This powerful approach is based on the understanding that the field of vision can be used to locate the eye position that correlates to inner neural and emotional experience. It was developed in 2003 by David Grand who was a practicing EMDR therapist. He stumbled upon it when working with a young figure skating client. She was unable to perform the triple jump. When doing EMDR he noticed her eyes reacted in a certain position. He asked her to hold her eyes on that spot, and a whole lot of trauma came out over the next 10 minutes. The following day she was able to do the triple jump, and thereafter always could. David Grand subsequently developed the Brainspotting method.
A brainspot is seen as an eye position that correlates with a physiological capsule that holds traumatic experience in memory form. Brainspotting involves the client talking about the traumatic experience, accessing the associated part of the brain where the trauma is stored using the eyes and the bodys’ felt sense, then holding the gaze and uncritically observing whatever comes up in a mindful way. The client simply tracks their internal process, paying attention to feelings, memory, thoughts and body sensations without engaging the critical faculties by trying to understand or work things out. This continues until a state or resolution is reached.