What Is Brainspotting?
There are two kinds of psychotherapy: Technical and Non-Technical. Traditional talk therapy is a very valuable, non-technical form of psychotherapy. Brainspotting Therapy is a technical form of psychotherapy with psychological, emotional, and physical results. It is typically used to treat trauma and anxiety related issues.
Brainspotting and Trauma
When distressing things happen, your brain stores these memories in a quick-access file. This is very much like minimizing a window on your computer rather than closing the program. Your brain and body keep the memory running in the background. That uses up lots of energy. For survival, it works remarkably well. For daily life, it’s exhausting.
Unresolved trauma depletes you as you stay prepared to fight, flight, or freeze (lion, gazelle, turtle.) This releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which negatively impacts mood, memory, sleep, focus, digestion, and your immune system. Unlike traditional talk therapy, Brainspotting Therapy bypasses the thinking brain (neocortex) and accesses the reactive brain (subcortex), allowing you to resolve trauma responses in a comfortable, controlled setting with an attuned, caring professional.
Q&A With Brainspotting Pioneer, Dr. David Grand, PhD
Brainspotting and Athletic Performance
Your brain has a natural, protective mechanism called a “withdrawal reflex.” If you were to reach your hand out to a hot stove, your nerve endings would sense the heat and quickly send a message to your brain, telling you to pull your hand away to avoid injury. Athletes who have experienced accidents, injuries, shaming coaches, and humiliating performances sometimes develop a “withdrawal reflex” on the field, on the ice, on the track, on the court, or on the road. But that brief withdrawal reflex is now a game-losing play, a missed opportunity, and the dreaded mental block. Golfers refer to this as the “yips.” When it happens, athletes often experience shame, frustration and even some mild depression due to the loss of identity and activity. Brainspotting Therapy helps athletes beat mental blocks and performance anxiety for good. Click below to see ESPN featuring Brainspotting with an athlete.
ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Fields of Fear
Brainspotting and Stage Performance
In his Psychology Today article, “The Things We Fear More Than Death”, Glenn Croston, Ph.D. writes that surveys show humans fear public speaking more than death itself. (Additional surveys show that the fear of heights and insects are numbers two and three.) Public speakers, musicians, and stage performers can experience the exact same fight/flight/freeze responses that auto accident victims, combat soldiers, victims of crime, and injured athletes suffer. For the stage performer and public speaker, Brainspotting Therapy has been shown time and again to provide (in many cases) immediate relief and performance expansion.
Research and Case Studies
Article: “What is Brainspotting?”
Brainspotting, by Dr. David Grand