Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a form of trauma therapy that has gained popularity in recent years. The aim is to help people access, process, and overcome trauma, emotional pain, and other psychological issues. The method involves the identification of specific eye positions that correlate with emotionally charged memories or experiences. It’s often used to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related mental health issues.

At Aliya Health Group, we work with an extensive network of treatment centers that take a holistic approach to care. If you are looking for treatment programs that offer therapies like Brainspotting, we are here to help. We can connect you or your loved one with a trauma treatment program that meets your unique care needs.

What Is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting (BSP) is a type of therapy used to address trauma and other emotional issues. It works by helping people identify specific points in their visual field while recalling their trauma. It identifies points that seem to be connected to the emotional or physical sensations related to trauma.

This is done with the intention of stimulating, focusing, and activating the body’s innate ability to heal itself, including the capacity to heal itself from trauma and other difficult emotions. Research has shown that many people with trauma have been able to improve their symptoms and lead healthier lives through this work.

Psychotherapist David Grand, PhD, developed Brainspotting after realizing that different spots in the visual field can be connected to internal experiences and emotions, taking inspiration from somatic experiences and EMDR when creating this mind-body therapy.

What Is a Brainspot?

A brainspot is a specific point in a person’s visual field. This point is linked to a particular emotion or experience. It is the main focus of brainspotting therapy. Therapists trained in brainspotting believe that where you look can affect how you feel.

By identifying a brainspot and focusing on it, you can access and process unprocessed trauma or emotional experiences. These memories are stored in the subcortical brain. This is the area of the brain responsible for emotions, among other things.

Brainspotting is similar to traditional EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. However, it does not involve bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or hand taps.  In brainspotting, the therapist will typically guide you to focus on a disturbing memory or emotion.

While you are doing this, they will observe your eye movements to help locate a brainspot. Once this spot has been identified, the therapist will help you stay focused on it while you process the associated emotions.

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What Does Brainspotting Treat?

Brainspotting is a relatively new therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions. The most commonly treated mental health disorder using Brainspotting is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are several additional disorders that can benefit from Brainspotting, including:

How Does Brainspotting Work?

Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, your Brainspotting session can look different from someone else’s. That said, there are a few steps that you can expect to participate in during one of these therapy sessions:

Eye Position

A therapist will guide a client to focus their gaze on different points in their visual field. The idea is that certain spots will trigger emotional or physical responses connected to past traumas.

Processing Emotions

By focusing on these “hotspots” and the feelings they evoke, the theory is that the brain can begin to heal. It does this by processing and releasing the pent-up emotions associated with the trauma.

Bilateral Stimulation

Similar to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Brainspotting may also incorporate bilateral stimulation techniques. This might include eye movements or hand taps to further aid emotional processing.

These are just a few of the steps and activities you can expect to participate in during a Brainspotting session. Depending on yourself and your therapist, you may require a more intensive approach.

What Do You Feel During Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is a therapy technique that can bring up a range of emotions and physical sensations. It’s important to remember that everyone experiences Brainspotting differently. 

Of course, there are some common things people feel during these sessions, including:

It’s important to note that Brainspotting is done with a therapist who will guide you through the process. They will actively help you manage any difficult emotions or memories that arise. This will make your therapy experience much more comfortable.

How Long Does a Brainspotting Session Last?

Brainspotting sessions typically last anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes. However, this timeline can vary depending on a couple of factors. One of these is your specific needs in recovery. Your therapist will tailor the session length to your needs and how much emotional processing you can handle in one go.

A good therapist will not rush the session, ensuring you feel safe and supported throughout. They will also use their professional judgment to determine the appropriate timeframe. This estimation will be based on their evaluation of your situation and the progress made during the session.

In some cases, sessions may even extend up to 2 hours, but this is not typical.  It’s always best to discuss your preferences and expectations with your therapist beforehand. Setting clear expectations between both parties is important for any successful therapy session.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with their mental health, our admissions team is available 24/7. Our compassionate and understanding team can help answer your mental health treatment questions and get you started on the path to recovery.

Deciding to seek trauma treatment can be intimidating. We are here to make this process as easy as possible. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our treatment centers can help!

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Who Benefits from Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is a therapy technique that can benefit a wide range of people. The main group of people who most benefit from this form of therapy are those who have experienced trauma. Brainspotting can help with many forms of trauma. This includes complex PTSD (C-PTSD), PTSD, and childhood trauma.

People with anxiety or depression can also benefit from Brainspotting. This form of therapy has been found to help reduce these symptoms and improve the quality of life for recipients. Other issues, such as chronic pain and performance issues, may also benefit from Brainspotting.

Brainspotting FAQ

If you are considering participating in Brainspotting, you may have several questions about this form of therapy. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about Brainspotting and provided answers for your convenience.

What is the Difference Between EMDR and Brainspotting?

EMDR and Brainspotting are both therapeutic techniques used to address trauma and emotional distress. However, there are some key differences between these two types of therapy.

The first difference between them is the focus of these therapies. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements. This is done to help reprocess a specific traumatic memory.

Brainspotting, on the other hand, focuses on the client’s internal bodily sensations and eye positions. This allows them to access and heal deeper emotional core issues. So, while similar, these therapies differ in their focuses.

They also have different structures. EMDR follows a more carefully structured protocol with distinct phases. It can often take multiple sessions to work through a specific memory. Brainspotting is more flexible and can potentially address multiple issues in one session.

Is Brainspotting Like Hypnosis?

Brainspotting and hypnosis are both therapeutic techniques that can address similar issues. But, it is important to understand that they work in different ways. Brainspotting focuses on a specific point in your visual field that is connected to unprocessed trauma.

Hypnosis, however, focuses on relaxing the mind and opening it up to suggestions. Whereas Brainspotting involves working with you to explore emotions connected to a chosen focal point, hypnosis is guided by the therapist using external suggestions.

Can You Do Brainspotting Yourself?

There are modified exercises you can try yourself, often called self-spotting or gaze spotting. However, these techniques focus more on bringing awareness to your body and emotional state. They do not allow the same level of delving into deep emotional processing as working with a trained therapist.

Self-spotting may not be suitable for everyone, especially those dealing with complex trauma. It’s important to be in a stable mental and emotional state and have a foundation in mindfulness to navigate self-spotting effectively. If you are dealing with active trauma, it is best to work with a trained professional.

Who Should Not Do Brainspotting?

While research has proven to be effective for treating PTSD and other issues, it may not be ideal for everyone. In particular, those who are dealing with severe PTSD or other mental health issues.

This form of therapy can bring up intense emotions. If you are struggling with severe mental health issues, you may want to consider seeking more intensive treatment. Those who have a history of substance abuse and lack support may also want to avoid Brainspotting, as it can trigger relapse.

Do You Talk During Brainspotting?

Brainspotting involves minimal talking compared to traditional talk therapy.  While there might be some conversation, Brainspotting focuses on using your body’s felt sensations. It uses these feelings and reactions as a guide rather than detailed storytelling.

How Do I Know If Brainspotting Is Working?

Brainspotting can be a powerful tool for addressing trauma and emotional distress. Of course, each person may react differently to this form of therapy. That said, there are some signs you can look out for to see if it is working for you, including:

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Brainspotting Treatment at Aliya Health Group

Aliya Health Group operates a nationwide network of treatment centers across the nation. These facilities incorporate several forms of trauma treatment, including professional Brainspotting therapy.

These Brainspotting treatment programs aim to treat a variety of issues, including trauma and substance abuse. During BSP treatment, you will work with a licensed psychotherapist to identify brainspots. Your therapist will help you work through any unresolved trauma related to these points.

Our treatment programs take a comprehensive approach to care. Brainspotting sessions are only part of your recovery plan, taking place alongside several other levels of care and treatment methods.

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Comprehensive Treatment for PTSD Near Me

If you are looking for comprehensive treatment for PTSD near you, we are here to help the healing process. We have treatment centers located across the country, providing you with the effective care you need in a convenient location.

Reach out to us now to learn more about our programs and how we can help. Our admissions team can answer any questions you may have about the recovery process. At Aliya, our top priority is your well-being. We also offer couples therapy and online therapy options for PTSD and families.

Our mental health professionals will work with you to develop a mental health treatment plan that caters to each of your specific needs and recovery goals. Call now, and we will get you started on the road to a happier, healthier life as soon as today.

We accept health insurance

Aliya Health Group accepts most major health insurance providers on both a national and local level. Some of the health insurance providers we work include:

Check to see if your insurance is in-network at one of our rehab facilities.

Client Testimonials

Marcus C
Marcus C
Royal Life Centers Alumni
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Royal Life Detox center pretty much saved my life. The facility and the staff are just top notch. Anybody who is trying to detox and start the process of getting clean off of alcohol or drugs should absolutely check this place out. You will not regret it.
Nick N
Nick N
Vogue Alumni
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This location is very knowledgeable and understanding. Bill does awesome groups that are very informative. AJ is fantastic! All of the staff here are awesome! Irma was very nice and helped very firmly on helping us return to our life’s. Great place I would recommend for anyone in need of detox. Ryan was also a great nurse and very understanding about all my issues. Thank you Vogue for helping me get a new start!
Jacob J
Jacob J
Malibu Alumni
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I was a client at Malibu Detox and Rehabilitation and I have to say it was a very pleasant experience even though the situation I was in wasn’t the best. The staff was very professional and the facility was top notch. I highly recommend this facility to anybody seeking treatment for alcohol or drugs.
Valeree K
Valeree K
SCBH Alumni
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Great place to come and share life's experiences. The staff was very kind and understanding to my needs. At first I didn't want to come, let alone be here, but I'm glad I did. My therapist Sandy is the best! I highly recommend her and the programs Southcoast has to offer.
Jennifer E
Jennifer E
Malibu Alumni
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I just completed 45 days at Malibu and I am so happy I came here. This was not my first treatment, but I know it will be my last. The group facilitators are great. Charles, in particularly. I have said many times now that if I had him in my first treatment, I may not have had to return. Communication could be improved, but as with any organization, they are doing their best. I would definitely recommend Malibu for anyone needing alcohol or drug treatment. They saved my life.
Chantell W
Chantell W
SCBH Alumni
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We sent our son to SCBH the beginning of Jan 2024. He has been to several rehabs in the past. SCBH is by far the best place he has ever been. SCBH really cares. Toni his case manager was outstanding. I have never meet people that care as much as Toni and Rob. This will always be my first recommendation to anyone that need help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Before entering outpatient treatment for substance abuse, most people have a long list of questions and concerns. To help you gain a better understanding of what to expect during outpatient programs, we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions.

Is smoking allowed in outpatient treatment?

Yes, our rehabilitation facilities have designated smoking areas available. However, kindly note that all cigarettes brought into the facility must be in unopened packs or cartons. The same rule applies to any cigarettes sent or brought by family or friends. Our staff will be more than happy to provide you with additional details regarding these guidelines during the admission process.

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Yes, in most cases, we can offer repayment options tailored to your unique circumstances. For more details regarding personal repayment options, we recommend reaching out to our admissions team. They’ll be more than happy to assist you.

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Do you offer outpatient mental health treatment?

Yes, we provide integrative dual diagnostics alongside a wide array of treatment modalities. Our core objective revolves around tackling addiction, while simultaneously addressing the underlying factors that contribute to substance use disorders. Our mission is to deliver effective and holistic care that encompasses both symptom management and the exploration of root causes of addiction.

Is outpatient treatment affordable?

In terms of cost, outpatient treatment is typically more affordable than inpatient options which require round-the-clock medical supervision. This makes it a viable solution for individuals who may be deterred from seeking help due to financial constraints.