What is Brainspotting? From 911 Survivors to Celebrities, the Trauma Therapy that Treats Anxiety and More
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million adults in the US aged 18 and older are diagnosed with anxiety disorders–roughly 18.1% of the population. While anxiety disorders are very treatable, only 36.9% of those afflicted seek treatment. Anxiety disorders step from a variety of complex risk factors that include brain chemistry, genetics, life events, and personality. There are a variety of ways to treat people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, and one of the most successful methods is brainspotting therapy provided by certified trauma centers in Malibu, CA and throughout America.
What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting, developed by Dr. David Grand while providing trauma support for 911 survivors, is an advanced type of trauma therapy that taps into the hidden awareness sectors of the brain. Brainspotting is a form of psychotherapy that recognizes eye positions connected with traumatic memories stored in the brain. Brainspotting therapy works out the cognitive muscles that enhance and strengthen one’s internal resources and engages in deep yet gentle work with dissociative disorders, childhood traumas, attachment issues and PTSD matters. Brainspotting enables mental and physical healing by regulating the brain’s command of the body, and is an ideal treatment type for a wide range of people suffering from various anxiety disorders.
Does Brainspotting Work? Who are Ideal Patients for this Trauma Therapy?
Brainspotting is a very effective type of anxiety treatment, and at Serenity Trauma we have a very high treatment success rate with our patients. In fact, celebrities Shia LaBeouf, Mick Jagger, Ariana Grande, Charlize Theron and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk suffered from a variety of anxiety disorders and were treated with brainspotting therapy. When successfully administered, brainspotting helps to eliminate depression and other behavioral conditions. Suitable candidates for brainspotting therapy includes those who suffer from the following:
- Anger issues
- Anxiety disorders
- Sports performance issues
- Childhood traumas
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain issues
- Impulse control issues
These are just some of the conditions that can be easily treated with brainspotting therapy. When conducted by a specialist like Dr, Joanne Mednick, trauma recovery can be achieved by helping patients reprocess the traumatic event while encapsulating their emotional responses. While brainspotting is commonly known as a type of trauma therapy to treat cognitive matters, it is also proven to help speed up physical healing, so patients injured from traumatic events are also considered to be prime candidates for this trauma therapy type.
What is the Difference Between Brainspotting and EMDR?
Both brainspotting and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) were developed around the patient’s line of vision. However, brainspotting focuses the eye on a fixed positional gaze while EMDR uses eye movements as a type of bilateral stimulation. These therapies use different perspectives, yet they both rely on orbital positioning to unlock deeper insights that have yet to be identified. The approach is what truly differentiates the two treatment types.
What Happens in a Brainspotting Session?
Brainspotting is part of a therapy plan initiated by a trained therapist in which the therapist is observing ocular movement looking for subtle telling signals that indicate a brainspot has been identified. The therapist uses a pointer to guide the patient’s gaze across his field of vision. The therapy delves very deeply but is gentle for the patient.
Usually, when initiating brainspotting therapy, the therapist will ask the patient some questions tailored to their lifestyle, personality or family history. In this case, we will use the example of an athlete and outline some questions that could likely be asked (the athlete will also likely be asked to disclose if any of these circumstances or “trigger events” happened at any stage of the person’s sports career::
- Have you experienced poor sports performance or perceived “poor” athletic performance?
- Any conflict with teammates, coaches or training staff?
- Lack of playing time?
- Any traumatic brain injuries?
- Any injury or illness that resulted in a loss of playing time?
- Any family or relationship issues?
- Any significant changes to game or practice scheduling, including travel or a move?
- Any changes in your self-expectations around sports?
- Any change in the importance level of sports and how it fits into your life’s priorities?
- Any challenges in adapting to the lifestyle and expectations of a professional athlete?
- Any exposure to violence (car accident, domestic violence, a fight, being a victim, witnessing a violent act on a friend, family member, teammate or loved one?
- Was there a death in the family, or of a loved one?
- Any history sexual abuse?
- Alcohol or drug abuse?
- Any other addictions such as gambling or adrenaline rush seeking?
- Any significant changes in weight loss or gain, dieting, exercise routine?
- Any discussion of retiring or challenges in approaching this subject?
Each patient seeking brainspotting therapy will be asked a set of questions tailored to their specific profile. This example simply serves as questions that might be used to help an athlete. Whether you are a first responder that has seen lots of trauma, a stay-at-home mother suffering from anxiety, an executive suffering from anxiety and poor performance at work, or a teenager in college dealing with anxiety, a custom set of questions will be asked to ensure you are given the right brainspotting approach to help define and cure you of your anxiety disorder.
Is Brainspotting Right for You? Call Serenity Trauma Today!
From its origins in treating 911 survivors, to treating well-known celebrities that have gone public with their anxiety issues, to helping average people in society, brainspotting is an approach to treating anxiety disorders that can work for people from various backgrounds. Call today and speak with one of our caring team members and we will book a consultation with one of our top brainspotting therapists. Now is the time to dig deep, through a gentle approach, and reclaim your life so you can live the best version of yourself.