Brainspotting is an advanced brain-body-mindfulness-based therapeutic approach, which focuses processing in the parts of the brain where memory and emotion are stored and the parts of the brain involved with regulation, so you actually address the emotions and memories impacting you from a part of the brain that can help you feel better and feel more regulated. The neocortex is not involved with regulation; you can’t think your way into feeling better. Rather than trying to use the neocortex to think your way through something, Brainspotting helps us go to the source for a much more efficient and powerful experience.
Have you ever noticed yourself simply gazing or staring at some spot on the floor or wall or ceiling? Have you noticed yourself looking away or up or somewhere else when really thinking about something you are saying or want to say, particularly when the subject is loaded emotionally? As a therapist, I notice this all the time. Clients often become unnecessarily self-conscious about it and force themselves to make eye contact with me. While their gaze continues to drift back to these spots, they do not allow themselves to hold the spot. What they don’t realize is that rather than avoiding eye contact, they are intuitively helping themselves to process by accessing deep neural connections and memories in the subcortical brain. Where you look affects how you feel.
Brainspotting is a powerful tool for therapy to help process traumas, negative cognitions, difficult emotions, and upsetting events by focusing your visual field on a spot that stimulates processing. It is a “physiological approach with psychological consequences” that allows us to access our self-healing potential via bypassing the thinking of the neocortex and “promotes organization and integration through coalescence of hitherto separated information files”; “a Brainspot is a stored oculomotor orientation to a traumatic experience which has failed to integrate” (Corrigan & Grand 2013).