Brainspotting - a relatively new technique – is a variant of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and was first described by David Grand PhD in 2003.
The theory is that there are specific points in the line of vision where we can locate and identify the initial trauma that has given rise to our troubling symptoms. These points reflect where, in the brain, the traumatic origins of anxiety, depression, phobia or problematic behavioural are being held. Using a pointer, the therapist guides the client's eye-movements to locate these points, so that the client may re-experience in a safe way the feelings from the initial traumatic event which are still driving behaviour.
The appeal of Brainspotting lies in its immediacy, its non-verbal nature and its twofold potential to both locate and identify events. It is not always necessary to spend hours describing and analysing an event and trying to remember it in all its details, and some traumatic events may be lost to memory, repressed by our defence mechanisms, so that we no longer even know consciously that they happened. However, identifying and fully experiencing the feelings the event produced is an essential step in the work of self-understanding and change for the better.
For some clients, Brainspotting is proving to be a helpful adjunct to the therapist's tool-bag, providing extra intensity and so speeding up the therapeutic process.