Brainspotting Research, News, Reviews

Below is a survey of Brainspotting research studies and analyses available to date.  Use the Table of Contents at the top of the page to find the Brainspotting research that applies to your interests.  If you have questions please contact Christine Ranck here.


Brainspotting Therapy: About a Bataclan Victim

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Joanic Masson1, Amal Bernoussi1 & Charlemagne Simplice Moukouta1
1 Center of psychology (EA 7273), University of Picardy Jules Verne, 80025 Amiens, France
Correspondence: Dr Joanic Masson, Center of Psychology, UFR Sciences Humaines et Sociales, Chemin du Thil,
80025 Amiens Cedex, France.
Received: February 7, 2017 Accepted: March 16, 2017 Online Published: May 29, 2017
doi:10.5539/gjhs.v9n7p103 URL:


Brainspotting psychotherapy (BSP), elaborated by Grand in 2003, aims at managing patients suffering from psycho-traumatic syndromes: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, emotional dysregulation, anxiety and/or depressive syndromes.

This original approach combines features of hypnotherapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and is based on the concept of eye positions capable of soliciting the psychological assimilation processes of traumatic memories. We briefly present this therapeutic tool (framework, protocol, expected effects) and propose certain hypotheses which may explain its efficacy. For this, we draw on research into the practice of Mindfulness and the theory of mnesic malleability. Finally, the follow-up of a victim of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan in Paris supports the discussions developed here.

Brainspotting – the efficacy of a new therapy approach for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in comparison to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Anja Hildebrand1, David Grand2, Mark Stemmler1
1 Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
2 Trainer and developer of Brainspotting, psychotherapeutic practice in New York City, USA.


Objective: This study aims at determining the efficacy of the new therapy approach Brainspotting (BSP) in comparison to the established Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) approach for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Method: The sample consisted of 76 adults seeking professional help after they have been affected by a traumatic event. Clients were either treated with three 60-minute sessions of EMDR (n=23) or BSP (n=53) according to a standard protocol. Primary outcomes assessed were self-reports of the severity of PTSD symptoms. Secondary outcomes included selfreported symptoms of depression and anxiety. Assessments were conducted at pretreatment, posttreatment and 6 month after the treatment. Results: Participants in both conditions showed significant reductions in PTSD symptoms. Effect sizes (Cohen’s d) from baseline to posttreatment concerning PTSD related symptoms were between 1.19 – 1.76 for clients treated with EMDR and 0.74 – 1.04 for clients treated with BSP. Conclusion: Our results indicate that Brainspotting seems to
be an effective alternative therapeutic approach for clients who experienced a traumatic event and/or with PTSD.

Report of Findings from the Community Survey September 2016

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This report has been prepared and released by the Distribution Committee of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund based on solicitation of public input into the current individual and community needs as it relates to the tragedy on 12/14/12.
The Distribution Committee is comprised of nine Sandy Hook/Newtown residents who represent perspectives from many different impacted groups including victims, surviving children, surviving teachers, emergency responders, Sandy Hook parents, community members, and the faith community. It is the responsibility of the Distribution Committee to solicit public input in order to better understand the needs and gaps that exist in the community as well as the strengths so that they can be built upon for long-term sustainable recovery.
For background on the history and formation of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. and the Sandy Hook School Support Fund or information about funds spent to date please visit

Effective treatments for generalized anxiety disorder

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Research Director: Dr. Javier Anderegg1


Both in applied research and in clinical practice it is common to have to evaluate the change experienced by patients as a result of their treatment.

This is a clinical experimental comparison study in which three therapeutic intervention techniques are discussed for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), with respect to a control group (CG). The first technique is based on cognitive behavioral therapy programs (CBT), the second one in the techniques of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and the third one consisting in location techniques involving relevant eye position and the neural network activated to access to the particular spot where the problem is fixed in the brain (BSP). These therapeutic procedures were administered to a total of 59 patients with generalized anxiety disorder, assigned by a random procedure to the three treatment groups. 19 plus GAD patients remained in the waiting control group. The assessment of efficacy was performed using the follow up psychometric tests: State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. (STAI) of C.D. Spielberger, the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUDS). The results show that the three programs achieved a clinically significant change in this disorder in most people, resulting in a more effective new treatment approach of Brainspotting and the techniques of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing .

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder as a Dissociative Trauma Related Condition Treated with Brainspotting – A Successful Case Report

Patrícia FM*, José FP, de F and Marcelo M
Universidade Federal de São Paulo Rua Borges Lagoa, 570 – Vila Clementino, São Paulo – SP, Brazil
*Corresponding author: Patrícia Ferreira Mattos Rua Dr. Nicolau de Souza Queiroz, 406 apto 16 Vila Mariana, São Paulo – SP, 04005 001, Brazil, Tel: +55 11 98381
5281; E-mail:
Rec date: Apr 21, 2015, Acc date: Jun 08, 2015, Pub date: Jun 15, 2015

Brainspotting: Sustained attention, spinothalamic tracts, thalamocortical processing, and the healing of adaptive orientation truncated by traumatic experience

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F.M. Corrigan a,b,*, D. Grand c, R. Raju a
a Argyll & Bute Hospital, Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8LD, UK
b Manor Hall Centre for Trauma, Doune, Stirling, UK
c 350 West 42nd Street, 17B, New York, NY 10036, United States


We set out hypotheses which are based in the technique of Brainspotting (Grand, 2013) [1] but have wider applicability within the range of psychotherapies for post-traumatic and other disorders. We have previously (Corrigan and Grand, 2013) [2] suggested mechanisms by which a Brainspot may be established during traumatic experience and later identified in therapy. Here we seek to formulate mechanisms for the healing processing which occurs during mindful attention to the Brainspot; and we generate hypotheses about what is happening during the time taken for the organic healing process to flow to completion during the therapy session and beyond it.
Full orientation to the aversive memory of a traumatic experience fails to occur when a high level of physiological arousal that is threatening to become overwhelming promotes a neurochemical de-escalation of the activation: there is then no resolution. In Brainspotting, and other trauma psychotherapies, healing can occur when full orientation to the memory is made possible by the superior colliculi-pulvinar, superior colliculi-mediodorsal nucleus, and superior colliculi-intralaminar nuclei pathways being bound together electrophysiologically for coherent thalamocortical processing. The brain’s response to the memory is ‘‘reset’’ so that the emotional response experienced in the body, and conveyed through the paleospinothalamic tract to the midbrain and thalamus and on to the basal ganglia and cortex, is no longer disturbing. Completion of the orientation ‘‘reset’’ ensures that the memory is econsolidated without distress and recollection of the event subsequently is no longer dysphorically activating at a physiological level. 

A preliminary study of the efficacy of Brainspotting – a new therapy for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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Anja Hildebrand1, David Grand2, Mark Stemmler1
1 Institute of Psychology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91052
2 Psychotherapist and Developer of Brainspotting, psychotherapeutic practice in New
York, United States
Version: 14.1129.05.2012 Words: 3,193 Characters including spaces: 24,488
(accepted for publication in 2014)


Posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) frequently emerge in people who have suffered from extreme psychological stress. Therefore, it is of most importance to develop new therapeutic treatments and to test their efficacy. This pilot study investigates the efficacy of a newly by David Grand developed treatment for PTSD called Brainspotting. The data of 22 clients from Germany and the U.S., who were treated with Brainspotting were analyzed. Clients’ self-reports as well as evaluations by therapists were assessed. Within three BSP sessions the PTSD symptoms and related psychological disturbances were significantly reduced. According to the therapists’ evaluations, the majority of clients benefited significantly. According to the clients’ reports, in addition, negative cognitions related to the trauma were heavily reduced. The results of this pilot study suggest that with Brainspotting the treatment of PTSD could be extended with another potent intervention method.

Brainspotting: Recruiting the midbrain for accessing and healing sensorimotor memories of traumatic activation

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Frank Corrigan a,b,*, David Grand c
a Argyll & Bute Hospital, Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8LD, UK
b Manor Hall Centre for Trauma, Doune, Stirling, UK
c 350 West 42nd Street, 17B New York, NY 10036, USA


Brainspotting is a psychotherapy based in the observation that the body activation experienced when describing a traumatic event has a resonating spot in the visual field. Holding the attention on that Brainspot allows processing of the traumatic event to flow until the body activation has cleared. This is facilitated by a therapist focused on the client and monitoring with attunement. We set out testable hypotheses for this clinical innovation in the treatment of the residues of traumatic experiences. The primary hypothesis is that focusing on the Brainspot engages a retinocollicular pathway to the medial pulvinar, the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices, and the intraparietal sulcus, which has connectivity with the insula. While the linkage of memory, emotion, and body sensation may require the parietal and frontal interconnections – and resolution in the prefrontal cortex – we suggest that the capacity for healing of the altered feeling about the self is occurring in the midbrain at the level of the superior colliculi and the periaqueductal gray.