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May 31, 2023

Reviewed by:

Ben Pearson, LCSW

"Brainspotting is an innovative therapeutic approach that has shown promising results in helping individuals access and process trauma-related memories and emotions." - International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)


Brainspotting is a psychotherapy technique developed by therapist David Grand. It aims to access and process unresolved trauma, emotional distress, and other psychological issues by using the individual's field of vision to identify and stimulate "brainspots." These are specific eye positions that correlate with the activation of traumatic memories and emotions stored in the brain.


How does Brainspotting Work?

Brainspotting works on the theory that feelings from trauma can become stuck in the body, leading to both physical and mental issues. Brainspotting is a talk therapy that reveals unprocessed traumas through fixed eye positions. Specific eye positions each link to their own “brainspot,” an area of the mind that retains thoughts and emotions.

What is the Process of Brainspotting?

  1. Assessment: The therapist conducts an initial assessment to understand the individual's history, symptoms, and treatment goals.

  2. Identification: The therapist helps the individual identify their "brainspots," which are eye positions associated with the activation of distressing emotions or memories.

  3. Stimulation: The individual maintains focused attention on their brainspot while the therapist provides bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or auditory cues.

  4. Processing: As the brainspot is stimulated, the individual engages in internal reflection and allows emotions, memories, or insights to emerge and be processed.

  5. Integration: The therapist supports the individual in integrating new understanding, emotions, and insights into their overall healing process.