Brainspotting: A Complement to Talk Therapy - Group Therapy LA
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Brainspotting: A Complement to Talk Therapy

Brainspotting: A Complement to Talk Therapy
April 24, 2024

Brainspotting is a therapeutic technique that utilizes the visual field to access and process deep-seated emotions, trauma, and psychological distress. Developed by Dr. David Grand, it involves identifying “brainspots,” eye positions correlating with emotional activation, to facilitate healing and release through the mind-body connection.

Traditional talk therapy serves as the cornerstone of mental health treatment, providing a safe space for clients to explore their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. However, specific individuals may encounter barriers in verbal expression or struggle to access deeply-rooted trauma through conventional means. This is where brainspotting comes in.

By incorporating brainspotting with traditional therapy modalities, practitioners can tap into its non-verbal, body-oriented approach to facilitate healing. Brainspotting’s emphasis on the mind-body connection enables clients to access and process emotions on a visceral level, bypassing the limitations of verbal communication. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD, where verbalizing traumatic experiences may be challenging or retraumatizing.

Moreover, brainspotting complements other therapeutic techniques by providing a targeted approach to addressing specific emotional triggers and trauma responses. Research supports the efficacy of combining brainspotting with other therapy modalities. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress in 2019 found that integrating brainspotting into treatment protocols for survivors of intimate partner violence significantly reduced symptoms of PTSD and depression. Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies in 2020 demonstrated that incorporating brainspotting into therapy for individuals with generalized anxiety disorder led to significant reductions in anxiety symptoms and improvements in emotional regulation.

These findings underscore the value of brainspotting as an adjunct therapy in mental health treatment, highlighting its effectiveness in addressing a diverse range of conditions and enhancing overall therapeutic outcomes.

Another advantage of brainspotting as an adjunct therapy is its ability to enhance client engagement and motivation. By incorporating experiential techniques that directly target the body’s physiological response to trauma, brainspotting can provide clients with tangible evidence of progress and empowerment. This hands-on approach fosters a sense of agency and self-efficacy, motivating clients to participate actively in their healing journey.

Additionally, brainspotting’s versatility extends beyond trauma therapy, with applications in performance enhancement, addiction recovery, and stress management. Its non-invasive nature and focus on the brain-body connection make it a promising tool for addressing a wide range of psychological challenges, enhancing overall well-being and personal development.

In conclusion, brainspotting offers a valuable adjunct to traditional therapy modalities, enhancing the depth and effectiveness of mental health treatment. By integrating brainspotting into therapeutic practice, practitioners can address the complex interplay between mind and body, facilitate deeper emotional processing, and empower clients to achieve lasting healing and transformation. As the field of mental health continues to evolve, brainspotting stands out as a powerful tool for supporting clients on their path to recovery.

Written by Cara Gardenswartz Ph.D. for Psychology Today


Grand, D. (2019). Brainspotting: Recruiting the midbrain for accessing and healing sensorimotor memories of traumatic activation. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(6), 907-922.

Marowitz, A., & Snipes, A. (2020). The effectiveness of brainspotting in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: A pilot study. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, 20(1), 53-68.

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