Brainspotting Principles by Lisa Larson

by Lisa Larson

Don’t have an agenda or you have a bias. Therapist needs to be a blank slate.

If you are a minute too late with an intervention it is better than a minute too soon.

Step into the uncertainty… WAIT…”Why am I talking/troubled?”

Interventions you want to do don’t make sense after 5 minutes of waiting.

Your brain is always aware of a dual Brainspot even when the client is not on it.

Believe in a miracle every time.

Therapists who believe the client will heal by their neurobiology have a better session than those who believe they need to work to make them heal.

Therapist needs to stay in the flow in the sub cortex (non-verbal) not the thinking and talking neocortex.

Stay in the “tail of comet”… Don’t lead!

Always have your pointer but use the gaze spots as well.

Don’t be distracted or lured as a therapist by the “shiny object” in client’s story.

Bring out client feelings about what happened more than picture (sub cortical).

Interventions take people out of their process. If you step in, step out and WAIT!

It’s okay not go have an activated eye position. Can have a “Dad” spot or “God” spot.

Focus on the client’s soul resources, NOT therapist’s resources FOR client.

Let client be where they are! Be curious about it…don’t shift it.

Have client observe their own breathing but don’t try to regulate it… You don’t want to create mismatched patterns because it can increase PTSD.

Intense Body Symptoms indicate preverbal trauma as well as pain conditions that are unrelenting.


Lisa Larson has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for the past nineteen years. She trained with Dr. David Grand who founded “Brainspotting.” He discovered that fixed eye positions in his EMDR work, dramatically increased the effectiveness of his trauma therapy. Lisa immediately recognized the powerful neurophysiological healing vortex Brainspotting taps into as she saw her severely traumatized clients heal quickly and permanently. She learned that her years as a talk therapist were missing the most crucial piece required to heal those with unresolved trauma, the body. Those with complex trauma and PTSD are enslaved by their own neurophysiology. True healing requires releasing the individual from the trapped body memories that trigger chronic fight/ flight or numb/ freeze responses. If left unresolved, the ensuing negative behavioral and thought patterns can cripple the traumatized for the rest of their lives.

A dream was born in Lisa. She was determined to do something about the unnecessary suffering of the traumatized. She opened the Pacific Counseling and Trauma Center in 2012 and Pacific Trauma Specialists, a non-profit dedicated to offering cutting edge trauma therapy regardless of ability to pay. Additionally, Lisa became a Brainspotting Trainer to teach other therapists how to bring lasting relief to their traumatized clients.

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The Rocky Mountain Brainspotting Institute (RMBI) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was created to promote and advance the use of Brainspotting, a brain-body treatment approach.

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