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Brainspotting vs. EMDR: What's the Difference?


Brainspotting and EMDR therapy are therapeutic procedures aimed at managing PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms. These “power therapies” help people work through their previous traumas. They also help people unblock their trapped creativity and reach their true potential.


Those experiencing common psychological problems like stress, have trouble concentrating, or lack of sleep can benefit from these two therapies. Brainspotting and EMDR therapy can also help with various physical injuries and illnesses. Individuals can heal after reprocessing stored information and seeing things from a new perspective.


In this guide, we’ll go over brainspotting, EMDR therapy, and their differences. You can reach out to us at KBpsychotherapy if you’re looking for an EMDR therapist in Kenosha.


What is Brainspotting?


Brainspotting therapy was developed by Dr. David Grand in 2003. He helped Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 survivors deal with their trauma. Through brainspotting, therapists can tap into various parts of your brain that store unprocessed trauma.


They cross your conscious thinking and find the brain’s part that affects your emotions and body. Your eyes and their movements in specific positions can help you access unprocessed feelings. Using brainspotting, therapists can also help you improve your performance in multiple areas of your life and become more creative.


In a brainspotting session, you will be asked by your therapist to look at certain “brainspots” by moving your eyes. With these eye positions, traumatic or painful memories or emotions can be triggered. Then, your therapist will help you discover the root of the problem and thereby effectively help you work through the trauma.



A person undergoing EMDR therapy in Kenosha

What is EMDR Therapy?


EMDR therapy stands for “eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.”It was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 and it is similar to Brainspotting because it uses eye movements to access, identify, and process trauma bottled up in the subcortical brain. It also uses hand clapping and audio stimulation to trigger feelings and bring forward negative memories.

This therapeutic procedure helps individuals overcome PTSD symptoms and can also help them manage panic disorders, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, addictions, panic attacks, eating disorders, and self-esteem problems.


Similarities in Brainspotting and EMDR Therapy


Both brainspotting and EMDR therapy have the following similarities:


●Use eye movement

●Use bilateral stimulation

●Use resourcing

●Have the same protocol in every session

●Focus on the patient’s memories, thoughts, and emotional state

●Help reprocess stored information

●Access the information stored in a person’s amygdala


Brainspotting and EMDR Differences


Brainspotting and EMDR therapy differ in the following ways:


●Involve different eye positioning and movements. EMDR therapy is all about rapid eye movement and specific positions. Brainspotting focuses on one particular eye position.

●Use different devices.

●Have separate protocols. EMDR therapy’s protocol is very strict and has to be followed. In Brainspotting, the procedure is flexible and clients can lead the session, according to what they feel.


If you’re looking for a psychotherapist in Lake Geneva or Kenosha for EMDR or brainspotting therapy, visit KB Psychotherapy. We also offer depression therapy, anxiety counseling, and ADHD counseling in WI.


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