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Your Healthy Family: Brainspotting therapy, and how it can help process deep mental challenges

Posted at 12:21 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 14:24:45-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — In this Your Healthy Family we're talking about a newer type of therapy called Brainspotting. It's a mind-body talk therapy used to process a variety of deep mental challenges.

Candace Rodgers, with Thriveworks Counseling inColorado Springs, has a Masters in Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker. Candace explains that, “Most therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy work from our top brain, which is our processing center, our high brain down. Brainspotting works to help the person work from their body up.”

In its nearly twenty years of existence, Candace says Brainspotting has helped a variety of patients. “It's most often used for trauma, we also have models for pain, or painspotting. We have models for ADHD, there is a model for trauma, there is a model for anxiety. We use Brainspotting for depression and it can be used with children or adults. They have also used Brainspotting with people who have a variety of health concerns.”

Brainspotting involves the eyes so in a way it's similar to EMDR, and some think it's a form of hypnosis, but Candace says it's more patient controlled than traditional hypnosis. “Brainspotting allows them (a patient) to step into something different and work through some of that stuff that is rooted in the body. Your entire nervous system, your neurobiology is not contained in your brain. We have to remember that your adrenal glands that are sitting on your kidneys are firing off cortisol. That cortisol is affecting your body, and that's where your stress hormones come from. Where does your anxiety come from? It comes from those little stress hormones down and there something is telling them to fire and then you're like. ‘I need to run away! ’ So we have to work with the whole body.”

Candace also explains the way Brainspotting therapy works in the brain, which is a little like blazing new trails on a cellular level. “It's somewhat like the Oregon Trail, your brain has a map and it's of the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail has a deep rut, it’s well-established and this is like what your brain went down for all of this time. Now, instead of going down the Oregon Trail you are going to try to make a new path. You have to allow your brain cells to start that new path. If you've ever stepped off the Oregon trail and tried to make your own hiking path, you know that the first step you take barely crushes the grass, so you may not be able to find the new trail again that day. It's going to take a long time for those pathways to regenerate and grow. The Oregon Trail has to start to regrow or fill-in and that’s also going to take a long time for that pathway to grow over, but it can start to re-grow. Those cells will start to regenerate, but it's not going to happen overnight.”

Candace also says that doesn't mean that Brainspotting can't provide help quickly in some cases. “It depends on the person, their commitment, how much trauma or anxiety, and how deep is that rut and how fast they can regenerate. I have seen people that can process things amazingly fast, and there are people that will take longer. It's truly an individual thing based on the person and what they are working on.”

You can learn more about Brainspotting, at Rocky Mountain Brainspotting Institute.com

If you are interested in speaking with a counselor either in person or on-line, or have any questions about Brainspotting, in-person or virtually feel free to reach out to the folks at Thriveworks in Colorado Springs, at (719) 266-3919, or, you can visit their website (https://thriveworks.com/colorado-springs-counseling/)

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