In the past few decades, researchers and clinicians have been working on new therapies that help reduce trauma, anxiety, and negative emotional responses to past events and feelings. You may have heard of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) developed by Francine Shapiro in the 1980’s? Where you attend to painful memories with brief images or talking, and then follow a light with your eyes, unlocking coping mechanisms in the brain?
What is the Difference Between Brainspotting and EMDR?
Brainspotting was developed by David Grand, Ph. D., out of his EMDR work. What he found is that Brainspotting can be used when traditional talk therapy just isn’t. Brainspotting is a “power therapy” similar to EMDR, but much more flexible. And, it is also gentler, which is important for people who find themselves easily overwhelmed. Instead of following a light, like in EMDR, Brainspotting Therapy involves the client and therapist finding the brain spot together (the area of the brain that triggers the painful feelings) and focuses there to activate healing, creativity, and mental health.
Brainspotting Therapy is No-Talk Therapy
What’s neat about this type of therapy is that is can look and feel different for every person. And, as ironic as it sounds, there is often zero talking in Brainspotting Therapy. Yep. Relieved already? This type of counseling is great for people who just don’t want to talk it out. Or, those who have tried talk therapy and didn’t get the results they wanted, or felt uncomfortable during the process. Additionally, Brainspotting Therapy can yield faster and deeper positive therapeutic results than traditional talk therapy.
What Happens in Brainspotting Therapy?
Typically, your therapist will help guide to the brain spot (think: eye position) that corresponds with the past traumatic memory or experience. From there, your therapist simply lets the brain do its job, letting it create the connections it needs to continue processing the event, thereby healing and positively coping with it. The results can be quite amazing.
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