Image of a young woman with her face in a book. This image represents what a college student in need of anxiety treatment in Nashville, TN may look like. | 37204 | 37212 | 37215

Online Brainspotting in Tennessee

As you know, anxiety is pervasive and sometimes debilitating. It affects millions of young adults worldwide. The challenges of early adulthood are many: academic stress, career uncertainty, social conflicts, family issues, future plans, etc. All things that can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Symptoms like nervousness, sweating, avoiding, not being able to speak up for yourself, and sometimes panic attacks. Talk therapy that includes cognitive methods and psychoeducation about the brain goes a long way to help but fortunately we now have access to more. Brainspotting is a relatively new and rapidly growing therapeutic modality, gaining attention for its effectiveness in helping with many mental health concerns, including anxiety.

Brainspotting is a revolutionary approach developed by David Grand in 2003. It is based on the understanding that the mind and body are deeply connected, and emotional issues can manifest physically. Brainspotting’s core principle is “where you look affects how you feel” and by accessing a certain location in your field of vision, therapists can access and help clients like you process unresolved memories and fearful experiences.

Since 2003, research has shown that this method can accelerate healing and bring relief from mental health symptoms such as self defeating thoughts, excessive worry, and rumination about mistakes. In layman’s terms, you can stop beating yourself up with your own thoughts. Once that is accomplished you are free to be happy, have a good time with your friends, and live the life you have wanted but seemed out of reach. First, we have to get over the hump of figuring out what it is exactly? Because I will be honest, Brainspotting is difficult to both describe and understand.

Here’s the story of the first client to benefit from Brainspotting: David Grand was a therapist that often utilized EMDR therapy. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing and is an evidenced based method that requires specialized training. The founder of EMDR recognized that moving her eyes from side to side helped her upsetting memories come back to her less frequently.

David Grand was utilizing this method in his New York state practice. Once, while working with a competitive ice skater who was distressed about her inability to land a maneuver, Dr. Grand asked her to hold her gaze in one specific spot while talking about her experience. This led to the discussion of previous experiences the client had in the past and included a flood of emotions. The next day, Dr. Grand talked to the client who reported that the move she had been failing at repeatedly was suddenly within her skill set. Not only could she land it, but she completed it another 22 times. From never being able to complete a maneuver to 22 times…Dr. Grand realized he was on to something.

How do I know Brainspotting is right for me?

Because it is right for everyone. Brainspotting is not contraindicated for any populations at this point. Even children are benefitting! Of course, I will first get to know you and your situation. Taking into account your environment, your medical history, and answering any and all questions you may have about the method first  Then, I think you will be as surprised as I was to find that it is really easy in terms of what is expected of you. The processing that happens in your brain is very deep but not uncomfortable. That is what makes this method so applicable to so many people.

Why am I offering it now? If you have read the rest of my website, you already know that I am an anxiety counselor in Murfreesboro, specializing in working with young adults with anxiety. I have been focused on this specific group for several years now. Despite attending many specialized trainings, I sometimes found my clients utilizing talk therapy methods to the point that they get frustrated. While clients still felt they benefited from sessions, they would still come back time and again wishing they didn’t feel stuck or like they are dealing with the same things over and over. 

As a therapist, you might imagine that I recommend therapy to a lot of my friends and family. I have always loved to help them find the right person with the right methods for them. About two years ago, I encouraged a family member to give Brainspotting a try. It was honestly a fluke. I had just heard it worked quickly and didn’t require a lot of talking. Not only was it a good experience for my loved one, but the results were great. Really great. I was convinced. As a provider, I wanted to offer Brainspotting for anxiety in Tennessee. Since I am an online provider, I first made sure this was something I could provide virtually. I’m happy to share that my trainers have been executing this method online for many years successfully. I attended a 3 day training in the fall of 2023 and I’m hooked! I couldn’t be more excited about offering Online Brainspotting in Tennessee. I am completing Phase 2 training in March of 2024 and have invested time in additional supervision to make sure I can execute this new method to the best of my ability.

The Basics

Eye position: As the therapist in a Brainspotting session I will be helping you find a specific eye position known as the “brainspot” that connects to the source of important emotional memories. This eye position is determined with full agreement from you. It will not feel uncomfortable. As a matter of fact your eyes likely fall to a “brainspot” many times a day without you noticing at all. Most of us were unaware that all the time, we are accessing information, memories, and feelings with both our brains and our eyes. The eye position gives us a direct connection to our past pains and fears in a way that we typically don’t access.

Attunement: During a Brainspotting session the therapist is solely focused on the moment. As the client, you are in the position of having support while allowing your internal experience and external cues to move you through processing events from your past that may have kept parts of your psyche stuck. I will be honest, this can sound very Woo Woo and is a turn off for some clients. If you are a logical, literal thinker these descriptions may not appeal to you at all. The Brainspotting community would encourage you to “go with that”! Skepticism is not a deterrent to progress. Trusting the therapist (and the process!) will both help you relax in the moment as well as give you more from the experience.

Bilateral Stimulation: As an optional enhancement to the Brainspotting process, we can utilize soft music to enhance the experience of processing emotions and trauma. I will share links to music that was created solely for the purpose of accessing deep parts of the brain. Listening to the music during or after a Brainspotting session helps connect both the thinking part of your brain with the survival part. Doing so is one of the ways this method helps you get unstuck and move forward.

Image of a 3D split model of the human brain. This image represents a tool that someone suffering from anxiety and in need of Brainspotting therapy in Nashville, TN might use to learn how Brainspotting works. 37215 | 37212 | 37204
Image of a young man wearing headphones with his eyes closed. This image depicts the relief you can find when meeting with a brainspotting therapist for virtual brainspotting for anxiety in Nashville, TN. 37205 | 37204

How does Brainspotting make you feel?

I believe that each Brainspotting session will leave you feeling the same, but better. You may or may not feel emotional. You may or may not feel a little vulnerable (because often we do when we are trying something new). With that in mind, I make sure to move forward slowly and with your agreement at every step of the way. You are in control at all times. And please know, I would not offer something that would cause you harm or leave you feeling worse. You feeling better and being able to track your own progress is my goal.

If I could ask my current clients to describe how Brainspotting makes them feel, I believe they would agree with this description: I really didn’t feel anything, but at the same time, I could tell I was a little better. Brainspotting can be a very gentle experience. What I have noticed is that checking in over a period of months helps us see what healing has really taken place. It is less about what you look like and what you notice isn’t there anymore: self doubts, test anxiety, doom scrolling, procrastination, and staying silent when you wish you could speak up. These are the kinds of things that slip away silently while we move forward with Brainspotting.

Why should I try Brainspotting?

I have specialized in virtual therapy for college students in Tennessee for over a decade. Over the years I have added to my skill set so I can better assist my clients but admittedly, most of those techniques were cognitive or relational. I have found that there are times when the client’s brain is limited in what we can accomplish with techniques that are utilizing the thinking part of their brain. More and more, I began to understand that experiences stored in the survival part of the brain were the driving force behind symptoms like excessive worry, the drive for perfection, and panic attacks. I realized that to be able to help more I would need to step out of the box of my past training and try something new. 

After reading more about Brainspotting for anxiety and talking with those that are believers in the experience, I was convinced and I sat down at my computer to learn how to move forward. Serendipitously, an in-person training was happening later that week in the same city where I am located. I signed up and spent 3 days taking notes and practicing with fellow therapists. I got to experience entire sessions devoted to me and my own brain, where I felt increasingly calm as well as at peace with my decision to try this unusual new thing.

I took the method back to my current clients immediately. So far, I find that the most difficult part of Brainspotting is giving it a try. It is really hard to describe its power in a way that makes sense to our lives. How can something be powerful without smacking us in the face? Some people are very tuned into their bodies and any changes in sensation. Those people may experience things more quickly, but even those that think “This isn’t working” come back later and ask to have another session of Brainspotting instead of traditional talk therapy. Others find that checking in with their physical sensations during the session is very new and probably unrelated to anything in the therapy world. I’m happy to confirm that your body and brain are very connected, and we can do some amazing, healing work utilizing them both. It is my hope that my commitment to adding Brainspotting to the anxiety counseling in Tennessee I provide will bring value to the clients that I serve.

Telehealth Brainspotting for Anxiety

If the idea of committing to years of therapy doesn’t sound good to you, then Brainspotting is a great option. If you are reluctant about trying mental health medications, then Brainspotting is a good alternative. If you don’t like to talk and wish there was a silver bullet…well, okay that would be pushing it. I won’t claim that Brainspotting is the long awaited quick fix. But we do have evidence from studies conducted over the past 20 years showing that the outcomes are very positive! Brainspotting does what we have been wanting in mental health treatment – getting to the root of a problem and addressing it there. We knew the brain was key but until now didn’t know exactly how to get in there to do long lasting work. 

I will say this as plainly as possible – I would not have bothered to invest my time and energy into learning how to do something that is useless. I don’t have time for that and neither do you. I am already an established anxiety counselor in Tennessee. And I am proud to expand my offerings to now include telehealth brainspotting. I believe it is worth a try and simply put, it isn’t going to hurt! Trust me. Trust the process. Brainspotting is up and coming and when people ask “What’s your secret?” when you appear happy/successful/surrounded by the exact life you have wanted…you can say “Brainspotting with Jody!”. Give me a call or set up a video consultation today. I think your only regret will be that you didn’t take the leap sooner.

Begin Anxiety Therapy in Nashville, TN

Thinking about getting started? If you have questions or concerns about anxiety treatment, please contact me. We can talk through any of your worries and get you started on your journey toward feeling better. My Murfreesboro, TN-located counseling practice uses online therapy to provide services to college students in the Nashville area as well as Tennessee as a whole.