What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is an advanced neurobiological  technique used by expert practitioners in the treatment of PTSD and other trauma related issues including physical pain, sleep disturbances, anxiety and grief.

The therapy is similar to EMDR but is non verbal so that the patient does not need to talk about the trauma and reveal sensitive and often confronting information. Recuperate Health and Wellbeing is the only place in the world where Sam conducts Brainspotting consultations while the patient is connected to Vagus Nerve Stimulation. The combination of Vagus Nerve stimulation results in the patient being kept in a parasympathetic state whilst going through the therapy making it less confronting, easier to regulate their emotions and spiking the brains neuroplastic ability to change and cement how one feels and responds to triggers in the future.

The therapy involves the practitioner sitting the patient down and making them comfortable. Distracting stimulus such as music, sounds and things moving in the background are excluded. Sometimes the patient will wear ear muffs to exclude sound which is hard to exclude. The therapist uses a rod or antena like utensil with a red ball on the end to guide the patient's eyes to various fields. The patient follows the red ball with their eyes whilst the practitioner is attentive and watches for visual cues or involuntary facial or body movements. Once a Brainspot is located and stimulated the patient continues to maintain the eye position at the red ball. Often the patient will experience emotional release such as crying, anger, feelings of anxiety or embarrassment and even physical pain if that is their presenting issue. This is completely normal and the process is facilitated by Sam, who reiterates the safety of the current environment and the normality of the emotional response.

 

An important part of the therapy is the trust and comfortability of the patient with the practitioner. During the therapy the intensity in the area of the Brainspot decreases within seconds to minutes. Once the area in which the Brainspot was stimulates disappears the practitioner then moves away from it and revisits it, looking for a complete loss of the involuntary facial or body movements. The patient will then be asked how do you feel here? where they should feel that there is no longer a trigger there. This forms the majority of the technique where the final part happens after the patient has a sleep that night. Brainspotting acts as a tool to package and prepare the trauma to be moved from short term memory to long term memory banks. This is vital in the progression of PTSD and other trauma related issues. It is then in the sleep that the frontal lobe can move and store the trauma in long term memory. 

Why does Sam use Brainspotting?

"I believe that a lot of people who have suffered from trauma and traumatic events don't know what to say about the trauma, they have also likely been involved in talk based therapy for numerous years where there has not been clinically significant improvements or it has been too triggering. I like that Brainspotting works on the patients subconscious and that they don't have to disclose information relating to the trauma if they do not wish. I find that Brainspotting has been successful for the majority of my patients and the effects have been seen and felt immediately after the session and in the days and weeks following. It is a great way of incorporating the psychological barrier to my patients treatment progress relating to their pain, PTSD and their overall quality of life." 

Research:

Psychotherapeutic Techniques for Distressing Memories: A Comparative Study between EMDR, Brainspotting, and Body Scan Meditation