A therapeutic technique using eye positions to access and release unprocessed trauma stored in the brain and body.


Brainspotting is a powerful psychotherapy approach that combines focused mindfulness, bilateral sound, and eye positioning to identify, process and release neurophysiological sources of emotional pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of challenging symptoms. By targeting specific eye positions, known as brainspots, a therapist can help a client access and resolve unprocessed trauma stored in the subcortical brain, promoting healing on a deep level.

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Brainspotting was discovered in 2003 by David Grand, Ph.D., a licensed clinical social worker and author. Grand integrated his expertise in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), somatic experiencing, and sports performance to develop this groundbreaking approach. Since its inception, Brainspotting has gained international recognition as an effective treatment for a wide range of psychological conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction, among others.


  1. Rapid Trauma Resolution Brainspotting can quickly identify and process deeply held traumas, often achieving results in fewer sessions compared to traditional therapies.
  2. Holistic Healing By targeting both psychological and physiological aspects of trauma, Brainspotting promotes comprehensive healing of the mind and body.
  3. Improved Emotional Regulation Clients learn to better manage their emotions and respond to triggers in healthier ways.
  4. Enhanced Performance Athletes, artists, and professionals can use Brainspotting to overcome mental blocks and improve their performance.
  5. Increased Self-Awareness The process helps clients gain deeper insights into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, fostering personal growth.
  6. Reduced Anxiety and Depression By addressing the root causes of emotional distress, Brainspotting can significantly alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  7. Non-Invasive and Drug-Free Brainspotting is a safe, non-invasive treatment that does not rely on medication, making it an appealing option for many clients.

How It Works

Brainspotting is a psychotherapy approach that combines elements of EMDR, somatic experiencing, and mindfulness. It involves identifying specific eye positions, known as brainspots, that correlate with emotional experiences stored in the subcortical brain. By focusing on these brainspots while processing traumatic memories or emotional distress, clients can access and resolve underlying neurophysiological sources of pain, dissociation, and other challenging symptoms. Therapists guide clients through the process using bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or sounds, to help integrate and release the stored emotional experiences.


While Brainspotting can be an effective treatment for various mental health concerns, it may not be suitable for everyone. Clients with severe dissociative disorders or those who are not ready to process traumatic experiences may require a more gradual approach. It is crucial to work with a trained and certified Brainspotting therapist who can assess individual needs and adapt the technique accordingly. Some clients may experience emotional discomfort or heightened symptoms during or after sessions, making it essential to have a strong support system and coping strategies in place. Consistent commitment to the therapy process is necessary for optimal results.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Brainspotting sessions varies depending on the therapist's experience, location, and whether the sessions are in-person or online. Generally, a single session can range from $100 to $250, with some therapists offering sliding scale fees based on income. Many insurance plans cover Brainspotting as a form of psychotherapy, but it is essential to check with your provider for specific coverage details. Some therapists may offer package deals or discounted rates for multiple sessions booked in advance.

Virtual & Online Options

Online Brainspotting sessions offer convenience and accessibility for clients who may not have access to a local certified therapist or prefer the comfort of their own space. Virtual sessions can be conducted through secure video conferencing platforms, allowing for real-time interaction and guidance from the therapist. However, in-person sessions may be preferred by some clients who value the physical presence and connection with their therapist or find it easier to focus in a dedicated therapy space. In-person sessions also eliminate potential technical issues that can arise with online platforms.


To practice Brainspotting, therapists must complete a comprehensive training program and obtain certification from the Brainspotting Institute. The training consists of two phases: Phase 1 and Phase 2, each involving a three-day intensive course. Therapists must have a master's degree or higher in a mental health field, such as psychology, social work, or counseling, and be licensed or certified in their state or country of practice. Continuing education and supervision are required to maintain certification and stay updated with the latest developments in Brainspotting techniques.

Complementary Practices

Brainspotting can be paired with other therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), somatic experiencing, mindfulness practices, and creative arts therapies. Combining Brainspotting with these approaches can enhance overall treatment effectiveness, as they work synergistically to address different aspects of mental health and well-being. For instance, CBT helps identify and change negative thought patterns, while Brainspotting targets the underlying emotional and physiological responses.

Practitioner Types

Brainspotting is typically practiced by licensed mental health professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors. These practitioners undergo specific training and certification in Brainspotting to ensure they are qualified to administer the therapy effectively and ethically. Some practitioners may specialize in using Brainspotting for certain populations or issues, such as trauma, addiction, or performance enhancement.

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  • Q: What is Brainspotting and how does it work?

    • A: Brainspotting is a psychotherapy approach that uses eye positions to access and process unresolved trauma, negative emotions, and limiting beliefs stored in the subcortical brain. By focusing on specific eye positions connected to emotional experiences, Brainspotting helps individuals release and reprocess these experiences, leading to improved mental health and well-being.
  • Q: Is Brainspotting effective for treating trauma and PTSD?

    • A: Yes, Brainspotting has been found to be highly effective in treating trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It helps individuals process and release traumatic memories and experiences stored in the brain and body, reducing symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance. Multiple studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Brainspotting in treating trauma and PTSD.
  • Q: How long does Brainspotting therapy typically take?

    • A: The length of Brainspotting therapy varies depending on the individual and the complexity of the issues being addressed. Some people may experience significant relief after just a few sessions, while others may require more extended treatment. Typically, Brainspotting sessions last 60-90 minutes and are conducted once a week or every other week. The total number of sessions needed can range from a few to several months or longer.
  • Q: Can Brainspotting be done online or remotely?

    • A: Yes, Brainspotting can be conducted effectively online or remotely through secure video conferencing platforms. Many practitioners have adapted to offering virtual Brainspotting sessions, making the therapy more accessible to individuals who cannot attend in-person sessions due to location, mobility issues, or other constraints. Remote Brainspotting follows the same principles and techniques as in-person sessions and has been found to be equally effective.
  • Q: How does Brainspotting differ from EMDR therapy?

    • A: While Brainspotting and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) both use eye positions to access and process traumatic memories, there are some key differences. EMDR involves the therapist guiding the client's eye movements bilaterally, while in Brainspotting, the client's eyes remain focused on a single point. Brainspotting also places a greater emphasis on the body's role in storing and releasing trauma. Both therapies are effective for treating trauma, but some individuals may respond better to one approach over the other.


Brainspotting is a powerful and innovative therapy that has gained recognition for its effectiveness in treating trauma, PTSD, and other mental health issues. By accessing the brain's innate healing capacities through eye positions, Brainspotting helps individuals process and release unresolved emotional experiences, leading to improved well-being and resilience. With its growing evidence base and adaptability to online sessions, Brainspotting is becoming an increasingly accessible and sought-after treatment option. As more mental health professionals become trained in this approach, Brainspotting has the potential to transform countless lives and revolutionize the field of psychotherapy.