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Addiction and Mental Health Treatment California

Brainspotting Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Brainspotting (BSP) is a new therapeutic modality developed by David Grand in 2003 to treat a patient by locating the points (spots) in their brain’s visual field that are stimulated because of unprocessed trauma. BSP therapy has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that are caused due to underlying trauma and hidden wounds.

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT

How Does BSP Work?

Brainspotting is often used as a tool in talk therapy to uncover a patient’s untreated traumas by having them focus on specific eye positions, each linked to a specific brainspot, thereby triggering the brain activity in the subcortical brain that is linked to that eye position. By doing this, the therapist can make use of the patient’s body-scanning ability to discover, process, transform and release their repressed traumatic emotions, thereby healing the mental and physical conditions associated with them.

In a BSP session, the therapist moves a pointer to different points in the patient’s visual field, while noticing the reflexive responses. When a brainspot is activated, it indicates an area of the brain where a traumatic or emotionally charged issue has been triggered. BSP therapy can then be used to maintain the focus on the patient’s body’s response to the trauma, helping the body and mind process, integrate and heal itself subconsciously and subcortically, while bypassing the conscious neocortical processes.

Many Brainspotting therapists also use biolateral sounds to enhance the patient’s processing abilities by using their auditory nerves to stimulate specific areas of the brain.

What Is Brainspotting Therapy Used For?

BSP Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating patients with physical or emotional trauma, and other conditions triggered by unprocessed trauma such as:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Depression and Depressive DisordersChronic issues such as pain and fatigue
Addiction and substance abuse disordersCo-occurring Disorders


Why Is Brainspotting Therapy Effective in Addiction Treatment?

Brainspotting is mainly used as a tool in addiction therapy to diagnose the hidden triggers of the patient’s addiction, such as unprocessed traumas. Stimulated brain spots are indicated by the patient’s distress levels, using their reflexive signals such as rapid blinking, twitching, dilation and/or constriction of the pupils, coughs, sniffs, sighs, nods, tics, and others.

BSP may sometimes be used in combination with other evidence-based therapy modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help patients reprocess and heal their mental and physical behaviors and addictions.

What Are The Benefits of Brainspotting Therapy?

Because BSP therapy is used in subconscious healing of the brain, the benefits may not be specific, however studies have shown that patients can become aware of their mental processes and learn to overcome them.

Some benefits of BSP may include:

  • Awareness of stress in the body
  • Awareness of anxiety in the mind
  • Awareness of triggers
  • Overcoming fears and panic
  • Enhanced energy levels
  • Decrease in negative thoughts
  • Decrease in pain and fatigue

Is Brainspotting Therapy Right For You?

If you are seeking treatment for addiction and correlated disorders, brainspotting provides a valuable tool in your therapy sessions where you may not have had success with other modalities. 

Because BSP therapy is still considered fairly new, the difficulty might be in finding a therapist who is knowledgeable and experienced in using brainspotting. At California Prime Recovery, we take pride in using the best treatment practices available for our clients, and our licensed, certified and experienced therapists provide exceptional care and compassionate treatment.

Interested in learning more about how we use brainspotting therapy in our addiction treatment? Call us at 866-208-2390

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