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  • Writer's pictureEmily Smith

Brainspotting for Complex Trauma in Therapy - Finding Healing in the Gaze

Complex trauma is a multifaceted and severe form of psychological trauma that typically results from prolonged or repeated exposure to stressful events, often during childhood. It leaves a profound impact on a person's psyche, affecting their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships in intricate ways.


Developed by Dr. David Grand, Brainspotting is a therapeutic modality that provides a unique window into the brain's natural self-healing mechanisms. Unlike traditional talk therapy, which primarily engages the prefrontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain), Brainspotting taps into the deeper, subcortical regions where trauma is stored.


At the core of Brainspotting is the concept of "brainspots." These are specific eye positions that correspond to the location of traumatic or emotionally charged memories in the brain. When a person's gaze focuses on a brainspot, it activates the subcortical structures associated with the trauma, facilitating the processing and release of stored emotional pain in both the brain and the body.


The Benefits of Brainspotting for Complex Trauma

  1. Accessing Unconscious Material: Brainspotting allows individuals to access and process unconscious material, including memories, emotions, and body sensations that they may not even be aware of in their conscious mind.

  2. Reducing Emotional Distress: By targeting the source of emotional distress at its core, Brainspotting can lead to significant reductions in symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and dissociation commonly seen in complex trauma.

  3. Healing the Body-Mind Connection: Complex trauma often leads to physical symptoms and chronic health issues. Brainspotting helps reestablish a healthy connection between the mind and body, promoting overall well-being.

  4. Enhancing Self-Regulation: Individuals who've experienced complex trauma often struggle with self-regulation. Brainspotting equips them with tools to regain emotional balance and self-control.

  5. Promoting Resilience: Through the healing process, Brainspotting can empower individuals to build resilience and reclaim their lives from the grip of past trauma.

In Brainspotting, the therapist acts as a guide, helping the client identify and explore brainspots that hold traumatic material. The therapist's attunement and support create a safe container for the client to process and integrate their experiences.


For those wrestling with the long-lasting effects of complex trauma, Brainspotting offers a profound opportunity for healing. By accessing the brain's natural healing mechanisms and addressing trauma at its core, individuals can experience transformative change. If you or someone you know is living with complex trauma, consider exploring Brainspotting as a pathway to liberation from the past and the journey toward a brighter, more fulfilling future.



brainspotting therapy for complex trauma


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