Brainspotting Therapy

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Brainspotting Therapy for Addiction

If you’re seeking a transformative approach to addiction treatment, Brainspotting Therapy could be the solution you need. This innovative therapy delves deep into the underlying trauma and emotional pain that often fuel addictive behaviors. By using specific eye positions to access and process these hidden issues, Brainspotting helps individuals achieve significant healing and long-term recovery. Whether you’re new to therapy or looking for a fresh perspective, Brainspotting offers a non-invasive, effective path to sobriety.

At First Steps Recovery, we’re here to guide you through this empowering experience, helping you find the peace and freedom you deserve.

brainspotting treatment session

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is a therapeutic technique developed by Dr. David Grand in 2003. It’s based on the premise that where we look affects how we feel, think, and experience emotions. The method involves identifying and processing neurophysiological “brainspots,” which are eye positions correlating with unprocessed traumatic or emotionally charged experiences.

Unlike traditional talk therapy, Brainspotting bypasses the cognitive mind and accesses the deeper, more primitive parts of the brain where trauma is stored. This can lead to profound healing and resolution of emotional issues. It’s particularly effective for treating trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other stress-related disorders.

Overall, Brainspotting offers a unique and powerful approach to therapy by harnessing the connection between eye position, brain function, and emotional processing to facilitate healing on a deep level. It’s gained popularity among therapists and clients seeking effective ways to address and overcome emotional challenges.

Brainspotting Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Addiction often stems from unresolved trauma and emotional pain. Traditional treatment approaches may not always address these underlying issues effectively. Brainspotting offers a unique and powerful method for targeting the root causes of addiction, facilitating deeper healing and long-term recovery. In addiction treatment, brainspotting helps individuals:

Identify Triggers

Brainspotting helps clients uncover specific triggers and emotional pain points that drive substance use by focusing on brain spots related to addictive behaviors. This awareness allows clients to address these triggers more effectively. By pinpointing moments or feelings that lead to substance use, clients can develop healthier coping strategies. Over time, this insight helps them manage triggers better, reducing the likelihood of relapse.

Many individuals struggling with addiction have experienced significant trauma. Brainspotting allows them to process these memories without re-traumatization, reducing the emotional burden that contributes to addiction. In a safe, controlled environment, clients can explore their past and release the hold these memories have on their behavior. This reduces emotional pain and paves the way for a stable and fulfilling recovery.

Addiction often involves emotional dysregulation. Brainspotting addresses underlying emotional issues, helping clients develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve emotional stability. This reduces the likelihood of turning to substances to manage emotions. By processing and releasing pent-up emotions, clients achieve a more balanced emotional state, reducing the highs and lows that trigger substance use. They become more resilient and adaptive in dealing with stress and anxiety, lessening their reliance on addictive behaviors.

Brainspotting resolves deep-seated emotional issues and trauma, reducing the risk of relapse. By addressing these root causes, clients can maintain long-term sobriety and build a strong foundation for a substance-free life. Improved emotional regulation and healthier coping strategies create a robust defense against relapse, helping clients sustain their progress and achieve a fulfilling, substance-free life.

How Brainspotting Works

Brainspotting involves a therapist guiding the client to find specific “brainspots”—eye positions that correlate with unresolved trauma or emotional distress. These brainspots are identified by tracking eye movements and noting where the client’s gaze naturally lands when discussing distressing topics. Once a brainspot is identified, the client maintains their focus on that spot while processing the associated feelings, memories, and sensations.

Here is the step-by-step process:

 

  1. Initial Discussion: The session begins with a conversation between the therapist and the client to identify the issue or trauma that needs to be addressed.
  2. Finding the Brainspot: The therapist uses a pointer or simply asks the client to move their eyes in different directions while paying attention to their bodily sensations. The goal is to find the eye position that triggers the strongest emotional or physical response.
  3. Focused Processing: Once the brain spot is identified, the client maintains focus on that spot. The therapist may use bilateral sounds or music to enhance the process. During this phase, the client might experience a range of emotions and physical sensations.
  4. Therapist Support: The therapist supports the client, helping them stay with their feelings and process them safely throughout the session.
  5. Integration: After the focused processing, the therapist and client discuss the experience, helping the client to integrate the insights and emotions that surfaced during the session.

 

This process is facilitated through focused mindfulness and can often bring up deeply buried emotions and traumas. The theory behind brainspotting suggests that the brain spot acts as a gateway to the brain’s deeper emotional and physical responses, allowing for effective processing and healing.

What to Know Before Starting Brainspotting Therapy

brainspotting therapy session

Before embarking on Brainspotting therapy, it’s important to learn the basics of the process and how to prepare for it. This treatment may not be suitable for everyone, so consider these key points. Here’s a guide to help you get ready:

Understanding Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a therapeutic approach that helps clients access and process trauma, emotions, and various psychological issues. It involves identifying eye positions that correlate with specific emotional experiences, facilitating deep processing and healing. Understanding this basic premise can help clients feel more comfortable and prepared for what the therapy entails.

Choosing the right therapist is crucial for a successful Brainspotting experience. Look for a licensed professional who is trained and certified in Brainspotting. Establishing a good rapport and feeling safe with your therapist is essential, as it ensures a supportive and effective therapeutic environment.

It’s important to have realistic expectations about Brainspotting therapy. While many clients experience significant relief and breakthroughs, the process can vary from person to person. Some might notice immediate changes, while others may require multiple sessions to achieve their desired outcomes. Patience and openness to the process are key.

Before starting Brainspotting therapy, ensure you are mentally and emotionally ready to engage in the process. This therapy can bring up intense emotions and memories, so being prepared to face these with the support of your therapist is important. Consider discussing any concerns or questions with your therapist beforehand to feel more at ease.

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your Brainspotting sessions is crucial. This includes both the physical space where the therapy takes place and your emotional state. Wear comfortable clothing, and ensure you have a quiet, private space where you can focus without interruptions.

Discussing an aftercare plan with your therapist is essential. Brainspotting can evoke strong emotions and insights, so having a plan for self-care after sessions can help manage these responses. This might include relaxation techniques, journaling, or simply taking time to rest and process.

Successful therapy requires commitment. Be prepared to attend sessions regularly and engage fully in the therapeutic process. Consistency helps in building momentum and achieving deeper healing over time.

By understanding these key aspects before starting brainspotting therapy, you can better prepare yourself for the journey ahead, ensuring a more effective and positive therapeutic experience.

What to Expect After a Brainspotting Therapy Session for Addiction

After a Brainspotting therapy session for addiction, you may feel a range of emotions and physical sensations. It’s common to experience relief, emotional release, or even tiredness as your brain processes and integrates the therapeutic work. Some clients notice immediate changes, while for others, the effects unfold gradually over time. It’s important to give yourself time to rest and reflect on the session.

Your therapist may also provide follow-up support, suggest activities, recommend coping strategies, and help you set goals to maintain the progress made during the session. Additionally, you might feel more clarity, emotional balance, and an enhanced sense of well-being. Regular sessions can further deepen these benefits and support your long-term recovery journey.

Experience Brainspotting Therapy at First Steps Recovery

Brainspotting offers a powerful and effective approach to healing trauma and emotional pain, making it a valuable tool in addiction treatment. At First Steps Recovery, we are committed to providing holistic and personalized care to help our clients achieve lasting recovery and emotional well-being. By integrating Brainspotting into our treatment programs, we empower individuals to address the root causes of their addiction and embark on a transformative healing journey. Take the first step towards a brighter future by exploring our comprehensive care options and starting your journey to recovery today. Contact us!

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Variety of Evidence-Based Therapies We Offer

We offer a variety of holistic therapies to our clients, both experiential and evidence-based. These therapies help our clients to get in touch with their minds and bodies while undergoing treatment, promoting a sense of peace and wellness.
Individual & Group Therapy

During individual and group therapy sessions, clients will interact with licensed and trained counselors to work through underlying issues that may be contributing to their drug or alcohol addiction.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (also known as CBT) has been clinically proven to help clients with a wide range of problems, including substance abuse.

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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (or DBT) is another common form of talk therapy that is found in many substance abuse treatment programs. 

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Trauma Informed Therapy

During trauma-informed therapy sessions, clients are able to talk with a specialist who accounts for their past trauma and the way it may have affected their thinking, behavior, and ability to interact with treatment.

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Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a type of alternative therapy that utilizes spots in a person's field of vision in order to help them process trauma.

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Neuro Feedback

Neuro Feedback is a type of noninvasive therapy that helps clients to alter the way their brain responds to certain types of stimuli.

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Family Counseling

Family counseling is one of the best ways to reconnect with family members who are affected by addiction and mend the relationship between a client and their family. 

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EMDR

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a therapeutic treatment designed to help clients process trauma.

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A highly individualized treatment experience designed for lasting sobriety using evidence-based and holistic treatment options.
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Our PHP allows you to continue your addiction treatment program without residing at the inpatient facility.
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Our IOP offers individuals the ability to receive the high-quality, personalized level care of our rehab, but the flexibility to continue their daily lives.
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Individuals in the alumni program are invited to stay connected for meetings, events, and resources that are intended specifically for First Steps graduates.
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Outstanding

5/5
My experience with First Steps and their entire team has not only helped me to gain sobriety but maintain it now for knots 18 months. The 24 or so days I spent there was the best thing that happened. My kids have their mom, the parents have their daughter but most importantly I have myself back!!

Dayatra L.

Amazing Experience

5/5
Amazing people. Super supportive and always there when you need them. My counselor, Amanda, makes it fun but also takes you to uncomfortable places in the best way. I recommend First Steps to anyone struggling with addiction.

Melissa B.

Above and Beyond

5/5
I attended First Steps outpatient program and was very happy with the help I received. I felt the staff genuinely cared about the health and well being of the people there. They went above and beyond to help me meet my goals and keep them.

Bruce G.

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