Why use Brainspotting for traumatic material?

Why use Brainspotting for traumatic material?

Traumatic experiences are overwhelming, beyond the brain’s processing capacity and become compartmentalized. These “trauma capsules” (term by Robert Scaer) take up energy and hinder homeostatic functioning physiologically and trigger maladaptive responses psychologically.

David Grand realized that unprocessed memory fragments (trauma capsules) can be accessed by keeping the right eye position, called “brainspots”. Brainspotting promotes the balanced functioning of the autonomic nervous system by locating and dissolving traumatic neural loops, i.e., unprocessed experience, which cannot be integrated into the present.

During Brainspotting, the body becomes a resource and all you have to do is trust it. This in itself is a healing experience for traumatized victims, who, as a result of stressful – and often physically abusive – experiences, lose their connection with their bodies.

The Brainspotting procedure – by means of a focused observation of activated bodily sensations – encounter the brain structures which regulate survival, i.e., the left hemisphere, the brain stem and the limbic system. This neurological connection has a grounding effect, and the cognitive task of localizing body sensations promotes body-brain communication. During the session, numerical centers are also activated, ensuring that cortical areas register the process. Although the cerebral cortex is involved in higher-level processing, it cannot contribute to regulation directly. So what really matters is how the client feels and not what he/she thinks. And that goes for the therapist as well. 🙂 Despite the need for metacognition (the awareness of what is happening), little verbal communication takes place. The cooperation is rather based on the therapist’s deeply aligned intuition about the client’s emotional needs.

Preliminary psychoeducational preparation and a safe therapeutic relationship, where the practitioner is present with the client at a deep (subcortical) level help to bear the burdensome experience of reliving painful feelings. It is, however, the system itself, that regulates itself and as such, it cannot become overwhelming.