The body stores more than we expect–it can hold on to memories we thought we stowed away in the archives, or attempted to hide. We may try to forget these memories, or disregard the suspicion that something is bothering us, by turning to drugs or alcohol. Yet our body may be communicating the why, the culprit of our present-day hiccups, everyday. Specialists at Iris Healing Retreat can help with brainspotting therapy which can help us access where our traumas are stored in our body so we can live a more fulfilling life. 

brainspotting therapy

What is brainspotting?

Brainspotting (BSP) was discovered by David Grand, Ph.D in 2003. Grand believes that where people look affects how they feel. He realized that people can access unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain where brain activity organizes itself around their eye position. This process of bilateral stimulation downregulates the amygdala because the eye position accesses somatic capsules in the subcortical brain. BSP reveals, disrupts, and releases negative thoughts associated with memories and changes them to positive ones.  BSP includes somatic work, neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, and polyvagal theory.

During treatment, a therapist will guide their client to look at a certain direction, guided by a pointer. A therapist will then slowly guide a person’s eyes across their field of vision to find the spots that are triggering. If a particular spot activates a negative memory, they will have found a brainspot, where trauma is stored. While doing so, therapists use a process of attuning the brain-body response that can affect emotion, cognition, memory, and impulse control.

Brainspotting and addiction

Trauma and addiction are often connected. Many people with PTSD–those living in a constant state of fear, anxiety, depression, and experiencing flashbacks from a traumatic event–turn to substances to escape their realities and numb their feelings. Drugs and alcohol are able to provide the temporary relief and sense of control traumatized people desire. Moreover, a person with a trauma holds the trauma in their body, giving the body an opportunity to depend on a substance that provides the relief–coping–and makes addiction desirable.

BSP therapy works for people with a high sympathetic nervous system, like those with trauma. The good news is that it does not re-traumatize people during the healing process.  A way to recover from an addiction is to tackle the trauma by ridding of psychological distress that motivates people to use a substance to cope. Using BSP can help locate the trauma and rewire how a person responds to the trauma when it appears or is addressed. This modality helps recoveries to no longer react to their triggers caused from trauma so that they can control irrational reactions. BSP also helps addicts identify what is unresolved or unhealed in their body and mind, and it can help distinguish what is an overreaction. The therapy can even help those suffering from trauma and addiction to reprocess their past. Ultimately, BSP can help a person process and let go of any lingering pain from an event, that has latched onto the body and possibly merged into the person’s identity, so that they can heal.

To begin that free phone consultation, call Iris Healing at (844) 663-4747. We look forward to talking with you!