Reprocessing Techniques (EMDR & BRAINSPOTTING)

Performers have a super brain. When people experience a physical or emotional trauma such as an injury or humiliation by fans, coaches, teammates, parents, it would be instinctive to avoid further performances in order to not risk being exposed to injuries and judgments.

Despite the trauma to the body and the brain and the risk for their own safety, performers continue to submit themselves to challenges and trials. The profound self discipline, commitment and perfectionism which go beyond the survival instinct of your own body and ego makes me to affirm that these people who perform at high levels have a “super brain”.

In the art and sport field as well as in life, some negative experiences are reprocessed (i.e. metabolised) while others are “frozen” in the body and in the brain with their original intensity at the time that they occurred. This is because some experiences have been particularly traumatic or because they have been the “last straw that broke the camel’s back”, therefore shattering the person’s balance.

Traumatic memories tend to accumulate at an unconscious level and as a result, when performing, people experience a feeling of insecurity, body tension, confusion, fear and lack of mental clarity. This interferes with an optimal task execution. In order to overcome such emotional burden, there are reprocessing techniques ,which help to leave the past into the past.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, developed by Francine Shapiro , is a rapid and short-term type of psychological therapy. It is an innovative approach that is empirically supported and is very effective in treating anxiety, nightmares, distressing memories, overcoming blocks and obsolete conditionings within a short span of time.

According to the Adaptive Information Processing model (AIP), when a person experiences a traumatic or overwhelming event, the brain can be unable to reprocess that experience which remains frozen in the neuro networks. This experience becomes reactivated every time the person is exposed to similar stimuli or situations that act as reminder of that event. EMDR helps the person reprocess the traumatic memory, leave the past into the past and be focused and centred in the present.

Dr Alessia Bruno is an EMDR Consultant and has a wide experience in the field of re processing therapies. She has worked with the military and police officers, with athletes and performing artists, with businessman and healthcare professionals, in the UK and in Italy, to help them to overcome negative conditioning experiences and be focused in the present.
Brainspotting is a “brain-based” therapy developed by Dr David Grand in the United States. It is a recent approach, which uses the visual field and the eye fixation to identify where in the brain the person has located the trauma or other negative experiences. It is an effective short-term therapy, which aims at identifying, re processing the emotional and physical pain associated to blocks and trauma. Brainspotting is vastly used to increase creativity, social, sport, work performance. Many VIPs (actors, athletes) have been helped with great success and have overcome blocks through Brainspotting therapy.
Brainspotting is a neurobiological tool, which allows performers to reprocess and free themselves from negative sensations and discomfort of known and unknown origin.
David Grand highlights how Brainspotting works on the “reptilian brain”, the nucleus of reflexes, which is mainly involved in feeling blocked and anxious and which interferes with perfomance expansion and peak performance.
Brainspotting uses the natural capacity of the brain and the body to self-heal. Dr Alessia Bruno, thanks to her stay in United States and her fluency in English, is the first Italian Clinical Psychologist to be fully trained in Brainspotting.