Brainspotting 101

What is Brainspotting?
woman in therapy

kelsey terhaar headshotHey! My name is Kelsey Terhaar and I am provider for our Minot office. I have experience working with school-aged children, adolescents, and adults in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. I also have experience working with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

I currently work with individuals ages 14+ in an outpatient setting. My intention in counseling is to create an inclusive, nonjudgmental environment for my clients as we build a trusting relationship and work towards reaching goals together. I believe in a collaborative approach where the client is the expert and leader of their life. I strive to help individuals feel heard and guide them through difficult challenges. 

My theoretical approach is made up of evidence-based models such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), person-centered, and strength-based theories. I am trained and certified in Brainspotting. 

Brainspotting - Where You Look Affects How You Feel 

Brainspotting was discovered in 2003 by David Grand, PhD, as an advancement of his work in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Brainspotting therapy is a type of alternative therapy that uses spots in a person’s visual field to help process trauma. Brainspotting is a 'brain-body based' relational therapy.

It accesses trauma trapped in:

  • The subcortical brain
  • The area responsible for motion
  • Consciousness
  • Emotions
  • Learning

It is based on the premise that 'where you look affects how you feel' and finds that eye positions correlate with unconscious emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation, and a variety of other challenging symptoms. When you focus on an eye position related to an upsetting issue, you release the emotional and physical stress within the issue. 

Who Does Brainspotting Work With? 

Brainspotting is effective for a wide variety of emotional and somatic conditions. It is particularly effective with trauma-based situations, helping to identify and heal underlying trauma that contributes to anxiety, depression, and other behavioral conditions. Brainspotting gives the therapist access to both brain and body processes. Though Brainspotting therapy is primarily focused on discovering and alleviating trauma, it can help with attachment issues, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. Brainspotting is an open and creative approach