Brainspotting (BSP) is a relatively new type of therapy discovered by Dr. David Grand, creator of the more commonly known EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. During Brainspotting therapy sessions, trained counselors work with clients to identify “brain spots”, or eye positions that correspond with negative emotions or events. This allows counselors to access the subcortical brain, bypassing the part of the brain responsible for conscious thoughts and allowing counselors to access emotions on a deeper level than traditional talk therapy.

Although Brainspotting is most commonly recommended for those with a history of trauma, it has also been an effective option for those with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Phobias
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic pain

What happens during Brainspotting sessions?

First, if you’ve never met before, your counselor gets to know you better and discusses what brought you to counseling in the first place.

Once you’ve established rapport, your counselor may have you wear headphones and play bilateral music (music that shifts from one ear to another) to help stimulate both sides of the brain. At this point, you’ll be asked to describe what’s upsetting you. Your counselor will ask you to identify where in your body you’re feeling emotions related to that stressor. Then, they will then use a pen, pointer, or finger to help you find your brainspot. Once you identify an eye position that evokes a strong emotional response, you’ll be asked to keep your gaze there. Your counselor will then guide you through processing your emotions and thoughts.

Is Brainspotting effective?

While EMDR therapy is listed as an “Evidence-Based Practice” for trauma according to the American Psychological Association (APA), Brainspotting does not yet have enough research for the APA to make the same assertion. However, current Brainspotting research is extremely promising. In fact, a 2022 study featured in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health “found that EMDR and BSP were comparable in terms of efficacy, and similarly affected how the distressing memories were reported in terms of conciseness”.

Brainspotting at Fash Counseling

Lauren Brdecka is a Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive training in Brainspotting. She graduated from Northwestern University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Lauren expertly combines somatic, neuroscientific, trauma-informed, and humanistic therapy approaches to meet her client's unique needs.

If you’re interested in Brainspotting or it was recommended to you by a counselor or other mental healthcare provider, please contact us.