I am a Registered Psychotherapist, who holds a doctorate degree (Ph.D) in psychology. I have been trained in EMDR therapy to work with complex trauma, PTSD, and dissociative disorders.

I have completed additional, specialized training in family therapy. I have extensive clinical work facilitating life coaching and stress management workshops.

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What is Trauma and what happens in traumatized Brain?

In this video Dr. David Grand, the founder of Brainspotting, talks with the Healing TREE and discusses these questions.

What is trauma?

Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal situation. There are different types of traumas such as Birth trauma (coming from a warm womb to a cold world), developmental traumas (traumas that we experience as growing up), vicarious traumas (traumas that we witness or hear) and complex traumas.

Three Parts of the Brain

There are three main parts of the brain. Reptilian Brain also known as brainstem that is shared between humans and all the reptiles. On top of the Reptilian brain, we have the Mammalian brain also known as the midbrain or Limbic system. This part exists in all the mammals. This part of the brain is where emotions mainly get processed. On top of the Mammalian Brain is Neocortex which is also known as human brain that is unique for only primitives while humans possess the most developed and sophisticated neocortex; this part is where language and thinking takes place. The parts below the neocortex are called subcortical and there is no language or thought there but intuitive sense, body sense and emotions.

Where are traumas stored?

When the brain gets traumatized and doesn’t fully process through, these unprocessed traumas are generally held in the subcortex where there is no language or thought but only senses and emotions that are not accessible with talking. Hence, talk-therapy doesn’t necessarily reach the subcortex where traumas are stored and this is considered to be a limitation of talk-therapy.

However, there are Brain-based psychotherapy modalities that can bypass the Neocortex to get in to the subcortex where traumas are stored unprocessed. These are Bottom-up modalities (subcortex to neocortex) versus the Top-down ones (neocortex to subcortex) known as talk-therapy modalities. Because information is mainly processed bottom up (subcortical to neocortical) the Brain-based therapies can access, process and heal the traumas.

Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a Brain-based, bottom-up therapy that uses eye positions to access and locate the traumatized material stored in the deeper subcortical brain. According to Brainspotting, traumas are treatable and healed by locating and processing the unprocessed and often forgotten (dissociated) traumatic material blocked in the subcortical brain.

 

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