How our early experiences may limit our capacity to connect with our children and what we can do about it

Brainspotting for Parents

  • Why is it that even after reading all those parenting books and having a clear sense of how I want to parent, my parenting does not always come out how I want it to?

  • Why is it that when I’m stressed, I still revert to ways of reacting that are not comfortable for me and not that helpful for my child?

 

If you can relate to those questions, you’re not alone.

“No matter how much insight and understanding we develop, the rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality.”

Bessel A. van der Kolk

Much of what we learned about parenting we learned through being parented, so it helps to reflect on our past and present experiences without blaming our parents, ourselves or our children. As children, we learn which emotions are safe to share and which ones drive our parents away and therefore are better kept private or not even experienced. We learn to express some of our needs and deny others. We learn how we need to be to ensure that the people we need for our survival stay close.

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We learn most of this “relationship map” before we learn to talk and continue to use it to navigate our relationships. If, as a child, you experienced feeling alone, unmet and unheard in moments of anger, shame, or sadness, seeing your children experience those emotions can take you back to feeling unsafe and get in the way of being there for your children in the way you want to. This disconnection can happen in a split second, mostly outside our awareness.

What can we do about it?

In my experience, Brainspotting therapy offers a gentle, respectful and effective way to explore those knee-jerk reactions. Reflecting on moments of frustration, overwhelm, and being triggered by the demands of parenting, can help us find the wounds stored in the body, heal them and open more space for connection. As Brainspotting is a brain and body-based therapy, so we don’t always need to know the whole story. We can tend to those painful experiences by noticing how the body responds to triggers in the present moment. Here is a video that explains how Brainspotting works:

Brainspotting therapy can help you create a new emotional reality of feeling safer in your body, your being and your relationships. It can help you embody being a secure base for your child and parent with more confidence and ease. 

My journey as a Brainspotting practitioner started in 2016 when I attended my first Brainspotting training, I have been deepening my understanding of it ever since. I am a certified Brainspotting practitioner and a member of the Brainspotting UK training team. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about how Brainspotting therapy could support you in your parenting journey.

to explore how Brainspotting can help you