Sunday 1 June 2014


In my time I have been fortunate to see some world-class therapists doing live sessions; James Bugenthal, Hal Stone, Tapas Fleming and Asha Clinton the last two both from the energy psychology world.  For the last four days I have been with another from the same league; David Grand who in 2003 discovered a powerful new form of therapy. David trained as an analyst in the early 80's and in 1993 trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming). He later trained in a body therapy called Somatic Experiencing and combined them to make EMDR less rigid as Natural Flow EMDR. In 2003 he noticed with one client that when she fixated at one point in her visual field she processed new trauma and deepened her processing of other traumas they had worked on for a year all in the space of ten minutes. Brainspotting was born.

"Where you look affects how you feel" and your field of vision contains the traumas and fixating on them in the right way allows pure therapy; the processing of the traumas at the level of the limbic cortex, the mid-brain and the brain-stem. This is where all deep change happens because this is where traumatic patterns are stored; way below the neocortex and conscious narrative about what happened. I feel as if I have been witnessing therapy laid bare; the core processes happening before my eyes. I witnessed a session of only about 40 minutes where a person who had absolutely no sense of smell from the age of three, when her grandmother forced her to drink some terrible chemical as a way of stopping her from crying; recovered her sense of smell and came out of a state of frozen terror and dissociation.  The requirement is a very highly attuned therapist; attuned both to the relationship and the neurobiology of the client, and getting the right spots for the brain/body to use its own healing abilities to process the trauma and put it where it belongs; in the past so that the person can be more fully alive and present now and recover a sense that had been completely shut down. The hardest part to teach is mindful, empathic attuned presence on the part of the therapist.

Psychotherapy and neurobiology are coming together; not in a cold scientific way but affirming the central humanistic principles of trust in the process, empathy and deep mindful presence. I feel so priviledged and excited to be part of such a live profession as psychotherapy