Discovered in 2003 by David Grand, Brainspotting is an in-depth therapeutic process that works with the visual field to access both trauma and healing. Brainspotting’s watchword, says Grand, is “Where you look affects how you feel.” The technique is based on the supposition that by manipulating where someone looks when they think about something that activates them, such as to the right or left, can transform their emotional patterning.

An off-shoot of EMDR, Brainspotting (BSP) works well with any kind of trauma or to augment other healing modalities. Both therapies attempt to help clients reprocess negative events and retrain emotional reactions. However, what makes brainspotting unique is the wide variety of disciplines it can enhance. From athletic performance to public speaking to meditation practices, Brainspotting can clear away unconscious obstacles. Athletes of all abilities, actors, writers, musicians have benefited from BSP to dispel negative beliefs and help them target their creativity more effectively.

Brainspotting allows access to the intuitive, body-based brain. On an experiential level, it educates people about what’s actually happening in their brain. Because it’s so direct, issues can get resolved more quickly and without clients having to actually relive the intensity of the original trauma.

The brainspot, or hotspot, is typically the eye position activated by strong emotion and which correlates to a particular issue. Client and therapist work together to pinpoint the brainspot–telltale clues include an increase in reflexive eye or body movements, such as blinking, swallowing, yawning, head or body twitches. The body might feel a specific charge when it looks in a certain direction. Targeting the brainspot lets the brain have a chance to reprocess an earlier trauma without being overwhelmed by it.

The process invites a shift from a stuck or frozen place into a sense of lightness—even liberation. Clients can gain a deepening trust in one’s own inner guidance and a move toward a greater sense of health, wholeness, and ease.