EMDR & BRAINSPOTTING
Clients seeking psychological therapy often desire change, whether it is in distressing emotions, long-standing negative beliefs, or unhelpful habits. Talking therapy provides a platform to identify and address these changes. Specifically, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), as a broad umbrella of therapy modalities, pursues healing by promoting self-awareness and practising alternative thinking and behaviours aligned with clients' goals.
CBT is an effective tool for introducing change in people's lives and promoting growth. However, shifting core beliefs, often acquire in childhood, requires time and practice; pursuing different behaviours and challenge long-standing habits can also be anxiety provoking.
An additional, common challenge, is to reconcile what we "know"(e.g. I am good at my job) with what we feel (I am an imposter).
In the last 30 years, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brainspotting have emerged as powerful modalities that, alongside talking therapy, aim for deeper changes by bypassing language and consciousness and promoting changes at a neurological and physiological level.
EMDR utilises Bilateral Stimulation to enhance the brain's natural adaptability and foster the creation of new neural connections through a process called neuroplasticity. Dr. Francine Shapiro, the pioneering psychologist behind EMDR, made a significant discovery: much of people's psychological and emotional distress can be traced back to negative experiences or traumas that the brain has stored in an unhelpful way. Our brains gather and retain information crucial for survival, but this mechanism can sometimes lead to excessive responses under stress – Fight, Flight or Freeze - making it difficult to distinguish between recent and past events.
EMDR therapy often leads to a total relief from distressing symptoms, behaviors, and thought patterns by instigating real changes in the brain. What's significant is that these positive outcomes tend to accumulate over time thanks to EMDR's "generalising" impact on the brain. This enables new insights to spread across different experiences and memories, thereby refreshing the entire system. For example, most of us might have experienced perceived "failures" in our childhood or adolescence. Once we process the core memories attached to those experiences, in the here and now we start noticing that the feeling attached to the belief “I am a failure” has less power and generates less anxiety.
Similarly, Brainspotting has gained recognition for its effectiveness in helping individuals overcome various emotional and psychological challenges. Developed by Dr. David Grand, it is a form of psychotherapy that taps into the brain's innate ability to heal itself.
During a Brainspotting session, the connection between thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations is explored by using the client’s field of vision as a guide. Specific “brainspots", associated with relevant issues or emotions, are identified. By maintaining the gaze on these brainspots, the client delves into the associated feelings, memories, or experiences, creating a bridge between their mind and body. Through this process, the brain's natural healing mechanisms come into play, allowing the client to process and release unresolved trauma, emotions, or stress that may impact on how we feel and perform. Over time, Brainspotting can help reprocess and reframe challenging experiences, leading to emotional relief, increased self-awareness, and personal growth.
Brainspotting relies on non-verbal communication, making it a valuable tool for individuals who may struggle to express their emotions verbally. Each session is tailored to the client’s unique needs and experiences, providing a personalised path to healing and self-discovery.
Integration and Growth
EMDR and Brainspotting do not operate in isolation. They can smoothly integrate with traditional therapies like CBT, allowing the therapeutic process to be unique and effectively fit the client’s needs and aspirations.
Although most clients approach therapy with a degree of distress, these modalities can equally empower clients who are overall satisfied but hungry for growth and development, either professionally and personally.
At times life circumstances lead us to keep still, even when our lives do not reflect our full potentials.
Our internal barriers can be insidious as they can be often subtle and grown with us: self-doubts & negative self-fulfilling prophecies, procrastination, anxiety, addictions, just to name a few. Through EMDR & Brainspotting these well rehearsed cognitive, emotional and behavioural patterns can be dismantled and replaced with more helpful ones in our path to self-fulfilment and success.
Additional information can be found at: