Brainspotting (BSP) is becoming more and more common in drug and alcohol detox programs as a tool to further address issues of the client in rehab as an extension to the usual treatment modalities. So, what exactly is brainspotting?
“Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing, and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms.” (David Grand Ph.D.)
With a trained and sympathetic clinician, a client has the opportunity through BPS to recognize issues that are unidentified or not addressed on the conscious level. Brainspotting therapy works within the deep brain by using the autonomic and limbic systems within the body’s nervous system simply by where the client “looks” during the procedure. BPS uses the phenomenon of eye movement to determine, locate, and process a wide range of emotional and physical conditions.
BPS is a relatively new treatment and one of the fastest growing mental health developments of its kind. After serving his clients with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy for some time, Dr. David Grand, brainspotting pioneer, noticed a deeper connection between the places his clients’ eyes focused while talking or thinking about an issue and the neurological processes happening out of sight. Since 2003, Grand has been developing the versatility of his brain-based therapy and helping therapist broaden its application. On the whole, the treatment has been shown to help reestablish the body’s natural desire and ability to heal itself for optimal recovery. Specifically, this technique subscribes to the idea that what is happening in our brains is reflected by where our eyes focus.
Especially for those suffering from addictions and out-of-control cravings. (Andrew Green, LCSW)
The treatment has proven very effective for people with substance abuse issues. Every addict has issues of trauma and distress. These issues of unaddressed trauma, negativity, and physiological distress often leads to self-medicating, thus creating a dependence on destructive behavior or substance abuse to cope, coupled with a feeling of an inability to stop.
The goal is to eliminate the physiological distress, negativity, and unresolved trauma that feeds the need to self-medicate. With brainspotting’s distinctive procedure linking very specific eye positions and bilateral auditory stimulation helps locate the mental trauma and successfully “rewire” the response. (Andrew Green, LCSW). BPS is becoming a more prevalent modality in treatment in drug and alcohol rehabs because of its proven effectiveness in treating trauma and physiological issues often unaddressed in drug and alcohol facilities. Facilities such as Iris Healing Retreat has used this treatment with every client and has found the process very effective in dealing with clients dealing with trauma and addiction.
During a therapy session, a client will intentionally position their eyes so the focus is on the source of trauma or distress. Brainspotting exercises the brain’s limbic system. This brain region plays a significant part in motivation and impulse control, which are key factors in addiction, emotion, cognitive thinking skills, and long term memory. By combining talk therapy, bilateral stimulation, and visual focus, the brainspotting technique can offer relief. (Andrew Green LCSW)
The process of BPS is to direct the body’s natural tendency to scan our environment for information and the triggering of memories of trauma to a more positive result. Ultimately this process interrupts the normal process of destructive thoughts and, relatively quickly, helps reveal, disrupt, and release negative energy that is usually what drives addictive behavior and self-destruction. “Through brainspotting therapy, you and your therapist will learn to observe and process the pain trapped in your mind and body. You’ll start to experience healing and real recovery from deep within. Finally, you’ll begin to feel better as you engage your brain spots and continue the process until the relief you seek is achieved.” (Andrew Green LCSW)
When you talk to our professionals, they’ll assess with your input which of these methods seem best for you. In all likelihood, they’ll pick and choose, creating a treatment plan that pinpoint focuses on your individual needs. To begin that free phone consultation, call Iris Healing at (818) 435-3936. We look forward to talking with you!