Dealing with negative emotions, traumatic experiences, or unsettling thoughts can be a daunting task. However, there's a technique known as "Freespotting" that has shown promise in helping individuals manage and transform these challenging feelings.
Developed from the principles of brainspotting, Freespotting is a self-guided method that can be a valuable tool in your emotional wellness toolkit. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps of Freespotting, illustrating how you can apply this technique to work through difficult emotions and memories.
What is Freespotting?
Freespotting is a technique derived from brainspotting, a therapeutic method used by professionals to help people process trauma, fear, anxiety, and other emotional issues.
While brainspotting usually requires the guidance of a therapist, Freespotting is a simplified version that you can do on your own, provided your emotions are not overwhelmingly intense. It involves focusing on a fixed point while contemplating an emotional issue, allowing your mind to process and work through the feelings associated with it. As hypnotists, we believe it creates and utilizes powerful trance states through eye-fixation and emotion.
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Step 1: Identify the Emotion or Memory
Start by pinpointing an emotion, memory, or belief that you find distressing or challenging. This could range from a negative self-belief like "I'm not good enough" to a traumatic event such as a car accident or the loss of a loved one.
Step 2: Amplify the Emotion (If Necessary)
If the emotion isn't initially strong, try to delve deeper into the details of the experience. Recall what you saw, heard, or felt. Let yourself re-experience these emotions to a degree where they become more palpable.
Step 3: Scale Your Feelings
Assess the intensity of your emotions on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most intense. If you find your feelings scoring above an 8, it's advisable to seek help from a professional brainspotting therapist. You can find one at Brainspotting Directory.
Step 4: Focus on a Fixed Point
Choose a spot to focus on – it could be the tip of a pen, a point on your finger, or a spot on the wall. Focus on this spot for 2-5 minutes, allowing yourself to fully feel and experience the emotions, thoughts, or memories that surface. Remember, it's important not to judge these thoughts and feelings as bad or wrong. You can tell yourself that it’s okay to feel this.
Step 5: Conclude When Ready
Continue this process until you notice a decrease in the intensity of your emotions, or when no additional memories or thoughts arise. You can perform this technique anywhere safe, where you can dedicate your focus to being more resourceful.
Personal Experiences and Insights
Fiona De Vos, an advocate of this method, shared her insights, stating that while trauma from teenage years and one-time events tend to change and heal quickly, deeper-rooted issues like childhood trauma or repeated trauma may require more persistent work. She emphasizes that if negative emotions resurface, it's not a setback but rather an indication of more emotional layers that need attention and processing. (Some of you will connect these layers with Arthur Koestler’s “holons”.)
In summary, Freespotting offers a unique and accessible way to deal with emotional challenges, helping you to gradually work through and alleviate the pain associated with negative memories or beliefs. While it's a powerful tool for emotional healing, remember that it's not a substitute for professional therapy, especially for intense or deep-seated emotional issues. But with patience and practice, Freespotting can be a transformative addition to your emotional wellbeing practices.