Brainspotting for addiction and unwanted behaviours

Brainspotting and Deep Brain Reorientation provide ways to get beneath the level of thoughts and behaviour to the underlying trauma that causes them.

I have trained in Roby Ables’ Brainspotting for Addictions as well as with Frank Corrigan whose methods support people in recovery from active addiction to move to increasing safety and away from the painful states which make it so hard to break the addiction.

As well as substance dependancy these methods support people with sex addictions, gambling addictions, inability to rest (workaholic) and unwanted, compulsive behaviours, thoughts and moods, such as OCD, phobias. For people who have already engaged in a 12 step programme this work supports change at the neurobiological level and moves people towards growth states, after all recovery is very hard, staying in touch with the motivation to heal and a sense that it is possible and worthwhile is a big part of recovery.

For people involved in active addictions but looking for ways to increase safety and work towards stopping these sessions can also be helpful, though the work is about harm reduction and stabilisation. For people in the UK Help Me Stop is an organisation offering online and in person (Winchester and London) day treatment programmes at rates which are more affordable and times which allow people with work and family commitments to attend in ways which would be impossible with residential rehab. They are also able to offer advice about detox.

Therapy is often an essential support to get to the issues, very often complex traumas which have been experienced and continue to create ‘previceral pain’, that is pain in the mid-brain, which might be consciously experienced as an unbearable mood or sense which must be avoided and so states like rage, fear, shame and a cluster of panic, grief and sadness of feelings. People with addictions often can’t stop because the substance and/or behaviour helps to manage these unliveable with feelings. In recovery these reemerge and cycles of relapse arise, both to stabilise recovery and to help the traumatised nervous system leave this vicious cycle working with the previceral pain is a way to process the difficulty and reengage with life energy and grounded, healthy pleasure again.

This work aims to be very grounded, relational and to meet the individual where they are.

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