Brainspotting is a tool developed by Dr. David Grand, PhD. It is based on the concept that where you look affects how you feel. What is in the body is in the brain, and what is in the brain is in the body. So Brainspotting involves a process of choosing a spot in your field of vision, a spot which activates information in the brain about the issue you have chosen to work with, and then the brain begins processing. The information bypasses the neocortex, the thinking brain, and goes deep into the brain, the sub-cortex, the limbic system, where the emotions are stored. From here the brain can connect with any part of the body where trauma may be held.

Because our brain and eyes are intricately woven together, our vision is the primary way that we, as humans, use to orient ourselves in our environment. As mentioned above, the signals that our eyes receive and send are processed in the “deeper” parts of the brain. Also, the brain reflexively and intuitively redirects where we look moment to moment, so it’s no wonder that our brain digests and organizes everything we experience. Because of this, trauma can overwhelm the brain’s capacity, leaving behind physical pieces of trauma “frozen” in an unprocessed state. In the process of Brainspotting, by keeping the gaze focused on an external spot, we maintain the brain’s focus on the specific internal spot where trauma is stored, which promotes internal processing that leads to the trauma’s release and resolution.