Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a powerful brain-body treatment that identifies, processes, and releases emotional and physical pain at the source. The result? A better life, sooner than later.  

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting gives us a tool to locate, process, and release experiences that interfere with our lives and dreams, yet are out of reach of the conscious mind. Brainspotting helps disconnect the emotional plug from painful memories or events to neutralize their affect on you.

What Is A Brainspot?
Who Does Brainspotting Work With?
Why Choose Brainspotting?

“Brainspotting is a very important leap forward in helping people resolve trauma. I find that the results are astonishing. Using it, one becomes amazed at the extent to which traumas can be detected in ordinary facial and eye reflexes and how, by using these windows to inner mental states, many traumas and symptoms can be rapidly relieved.”

 

– Norman Doidge, MD, Author of The Brain That Changes Itself

What Others Have to Say

“Brainspotting offers an “off-ramp” from the “no exit loop” of the trauma reaction.”

– T.K., Brainspotting Therapist

“Brainspotting helps you look wide-eyed at the tough places and transform them in real time. That tension headache transformed into a wave of peace that washed over me.”

– R.S., Sign Language Interpreter

“Brainspotting has changed my life. This process has healed my past and catapulted me into a future I couldn't have imagined. Ya'el is a gifted practitioner, able to guide, track, and reflect what happens in each session.”

– L.P., Corporate Consultant

“In two brainspotting sessions you have done more for me than three years of talk therapy. I never would have expected this. Since our last session, the nightmares have stopped completely.”

–  S.B., Communications Consultant

“Tears of beauty and joy! After all these years, I can live in this body. This is my home and I can be happy here. I never knew this before. I got through this and I didn’t know I was capable of doing that. Thank you brainspotting and thank you Ya’el.”

– S.H., Chef

“Clients begin to trust their own process. Some things will release, settle, shift, integrate...none of it happens by force. Consent is embedded because the therapist is following the client, not leading.”

– J.T., Brainspotting Therapist

“Brainspotting helps us go back in order to go forward. To go back and release in order to relieve our nervous system. Going back to forget our patterned and dysfunctional response to trauma in order to find new nervous system pathways.”

-M.S., Brainspotting Therapist

The Eyes Have It: Attunement

The power and rapid healing of this technique comes from the relationship between the therapist and client held in dual-attunement and the connections between the brain and body. With my support, Brainspotting helps your discharge trauma and calm your nervous system.

 

The intensity of the pain you feel does not require the same intensity to heal.

Brainspotting Unwires Memories from Emotions

Brainspotting helps the brain process those undigested pieces of trauma that give you mental, emotional, and physical indigestion. Once you begin processing Brainspots, you tap into your brain’s ability to heal and make new connections. You access and bring those stored, stuck painful memories into the present moment, unwiring the memories from the emotions.

While focusing your eyes on a Brainspot of a past experience, I will help you notice that you are safe right now. There is no threat right now. We add this information to the limbic story of the trauma by noticing the current experience of safety. This new information helps the limbic brain relax its survival hold on you, lessening the impact of the trauma. This part of the brain no longer seeks to protect you in the present from a danger associated with a memory in the past. Having lost its emotional charge, the memory moves into long-term storage into your conscious, rational brain.

Getting OFF the Hamster Wheel

The result? Release and resolution of your trauma around the event. When something makes you afraid today, no longer is it attached to everything in your life that caused fear in the past. Memories of the past will be just memories without the same emotional charge.

One client says of a person she felt mad at for years, “It’s the strangest thing, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get mad at him anymore!”

Or another client reports, “A few weeks after our session, I noticed my heart didn’t beat fast when I heard those heavy footsteps. The anxiety is just…gone.”

By harnessing the brain’s natural self-scanning and self-healing abilities, Brainspotting helps you get off that hamster wheel of repetitive thoughts that keep you up at night and hair-trigger responses that interfere with your daily living or achieving your dreams. This is how you experience change in your life as a result of Brainspotting.

Common Questions about Brainspotting

Where you look affects how you feel.

What Is a Brainspot?

Our eyes and brains are intricately woven together. In fact, our retina is comprised of 100 million neurons, an extension of the brain formed in the womb from brain tissue. Additionally, our eyes, and their corresponding nerves and muscles, are connected to the part of the brain that stores memories and emotions. Signals sent from the eyes are deeply processed in the brain, which then reflexively and intuitively directs where we look. 

We naturally use our eye position to access memory all the time. Think about a time in conversation. Notice how you might look up at the ceiling while recalling that time when…Well, that specific eye position, connected to that specific memory, is called a Brainspot. Brainspotting suggests that the direction of where you look and the positioning of your eyes affect how you feel.

Try it out! Think about an irritating issue and find a spot that matches or even expands your level of irritation. Now look around the room and find an eye position that corresponds to feeling more calm and peaceful in your body. Where you look affects how you feel!

What Can I Expect from a Brainspotting Session?

After we discuss your goals for therapy, we can consider how to incorporate Brainspotting into your overall treatment plan.

Unlike traditional talk therapy, Brainspotting does not require extensive conversation about a traumatic incident in order to be effective.

During a Brainspotting session, you’ll be asked to think about a target image, memory, or event, and then notice the feelings, sensations, and emotions you experience while thinking about it. Then, using the pointer we will find a spot in your visual field where your eyes connect to those feelings in your body. Or you may find a spot on your own. You can trust your eyes to know where to go to access your memories.

We may focus on a Brainspot that feels activating with intense feelings, a Brainspot that feels more calm and grounding in your body, or both. I can help you find Brainspots by paying close attention to your responses to different eye positions. These reflexive responses are cues that you have found a Brainspot, and may look like changes in your eyes, facial expression, breathing, or body position.

A brain-body connection is made that eventually reduces the intensity of an experience until it can be recalled as  factual, instead of a triggering emotional event. It is like the emotional plug is disconnected from the memory, and it just does not seem to affect you anymore.

You process the experience by observing changes in sensations and any thoughts or images that come. You can talk as much or as little as you want. You may move to new brainspots throughout the sessions, or stay at one the entire time.

The entire process is in your control. All you need to do is be open and observe with curiosity, give yourself space and time to see what happens. Observe everything and assume nothing. Hold no judgment. Processing can happen on an emotional, visual, physiological, and spiritual level.

How Do I Use Bilateral Music in a Brainspotting Session?

Brainspotting is most powerful and effective when done with the enhancement of bilateral sound. Bilateral sounds enhance the brain’s processing abilities. This music involves listening to soothing background music and/or nature sounds that move alternately from ear to ear. This alternate stimulation of the right and left hemispheres of the brain further assists in processing and releasing highly charged emotions while integrating the experience at the same time.

Here’s how it works:

  • Upload bilateral music to your phone. The goal is to have at least 1 hour of uninterrupted music.
  • If you just plug into bilateral music on YouTube, the advertisements will interrupt the flow of the session.
  • With earbud-type headphones, listen to the bilateral music on the lowest possible volume. Your brain will still hear it even if you do not. Conduct your Brainspotting session on your computer while listening with earbuds to bilateral music on your phone or another computer.
  • It is important that your music be on a separate device from your computer. If you have the earbuds plugged into your music on your computer then you will not be able to hear me during the session.
  • If we are meeting in person then just bring your earbuds and phone to the session.
  • Listen to bilateral music any time for calming your nervous system, relaxation, and enjoyment.

    Relieve your pain without reliving it.

    Who Can Brainspotting Help?

    This gentle modality is suitable for anyone, and is very helpful in treating a wide variety of conditions. There is not a single issue that cannot be addressed with Brainspotting. It can be easily integrated into a wide range of psychological as well as somatic approaches to physical healing, including advanced bodywork, chiropractic, acupuncture, somatic therapies, physical therapy, nursing, medicine, and other specialized approaches.

    How Long Does Brainspotting Take?

    Brainspotting helps you go deeper quicker than average talk therapy, often requiring fewer sessions than traditional therapy to achieve your goals. Even years of talk therapy often cannot get to the root of a client’s pain. However, Brainspotting locates and processes your pain immediately, with a felt sense of change in the body and your life. Brainspotting can be integrated with other therapy methods, such as talk therapy, “parts” work, and solution-focused techniques, depending upon your needs as my client.

    A Brainspotting session can last from 45 to 75 minutes. It is hard to predict specific outcomes after Brainspotting. Individuals frequently are relieved to notice the reduction of painful, repetitive feelings, and entrenched, old patterns shifting in positive ways. Minor traumas or issues can often be addressed in a few sessions, whereas more complex traumas or issues may require numerous sessions to resolve.

    Brainspotting is not only effective in treating trauma. There are countless points – Brainspots – in your field of vision that allow you to reach any aspect of yourself. Brainspots are access points for creativity as well as wounds, resourcing you as well touching into places of emotional pain. All of these roads lead to your healing!

    My Experience with Brainspotting

    I decided to see a Brainspotting Practitioner and after six weeks experienced such a profound relief – I was different. I greatly looked forward to these gentle, quiet sessions where I didn’t have to talk much, I could just be with all the different aspects of myself and simply pay attention to what sensations arose in my body as my eyes slowly looked here or there. My Brainspotting practitioner held the space with such calm strength and presence, I felt very safe, seen, and heard. I learned to greet whatever arose with curiosity and compassion, including powerful depths of emotions ranging from anger and grief to laughter and everything in between. After sessions, there was nothing to fix or “work on.” There was no need to practice a new way of thinking or acting. Suddenly, key aspects of the trauma I had carried in my body no longer affected me. Now as a Certified Brainspotting Practitioner I get to guide and witness you in this life-changing therapy.

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