Dr. David Grand is a psychotherapist and author based out of New York City. He developed Brainspotting Therapy, a method for resolving trauma. He has built an organization dedicated to teaching this technique to other therapists around the world and uses it with his therapy clients. In this interview, Dr. Grande talks about his business ethos, his private practice, and how the Brainspotting method has changed over the past decade.
[2:46] Dr. Grand explains how he came to be a psychologist. He went to college for business in the 1970s, and then switched to psychology because he found the classes freeing and more interesting than business classes.
[4:26] Dr. Grand says he has a “fluid” private practice; on average he works 40 hours a week with clients, but not on a set schedule because he travels a lot with his Brainspotting trainings.
[7:00] Dr. Grand discusses how he transitioned from an agency job to a full-time private practice, in the 1980s.
[8:10] Dr. Grand says having a niche as a therapist makes good business sense. Offering free sessions for referral clients brought in new clients, as did word of mouth.
[11:10] To build his practice in the early days, Dr. Grand also did public speaking inside professional organizations to get his name recognized in the field.
[13:00] In the early 1990s Dr. Grand trained in EMDR. He found it was too powerful for some clients, so he worked on ways to modify it through body awareness. He developed “natural flow EMDR,” and started to use the technique with athletes and stage performers. [14:30] Dr. Grand says 9/11 was a turning point for him as a New York therapist. Shortly after, he had a trauma therapy breakthrough with an ice skater, and this was the beginning of brainspotting.
[14:30] Dr. Grand says 9/11 was a turning point for him as a New York therapist. Shortly after, he had a trauma therapy breakthrough with an ice skater, and this was the beginning of brainspotting.
[16:49] EMDR is an activation model, Dr. Grand says—it calls up old memories and processes them. Somatic experiencing is more of a resource model. Brainspotting is an attunement model, closer to resource than activation.
[19:08] Dr. Grand says unconscious eye positioning reveals deeper brain patterns. When focused on one spot, brain stem/spinal access reveals itself through cues: coughing, blinking, head jerking. This is neurologically below where the trauma is stored. From here, he leads the client through a series of mindfulness steps to attune the response.
[23:15] Dr. Grand says the ultimate way to understand what’s going on in a body is to understand the brain. He tries to get the most deep brain access though body awareness and visual orienting.
[25:51] Dr. Grand held his first brainspotting training in 2004. He and his trainers have now trained over 10,000 therapists around the world.
[31:11] Dr. Grand says the business success of Brainspotting is paired with its effectiveness as a technique.
[33:39] Dr. Grand has two assistants for his business.
[37:50] Dr. Grand says he has set up an organizational structure for the Brainspotting Inc. training groups, with contracts and rules. But he maintains it’s freer than other organizations.
[42:50] Dr. Grand says planning in advance can save a training session.
[43:30] Dr. Grand’s advice to new therapists: remember that you’re running a business and you have to follow basic business practices.
Dr. David Grand, Therapist, Author and Developer of the Brainspotting Method – Manhattan, New York
David Grand, Ph.D. is the founder and developer of the groundbreaking brain-body based Brainspotting method. Through his Brainspotting Trainings, Inc he has trained over 8,000 therapists internationally and has developed 22 trainers worldwide.
Dr. Grand is the author of the acclaimed book, Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change and the Co-author of This is Your Brain on Sports.
Dr. Grand is in demand as a lecturer on a variety of topics. He has accomplished breakthroughs in performance and creativity with his Brainspotting Sports Work and Brainspotting Acting and Singing Coaching.
Dr. Grand has been widely featured in the media including The NY Times, NBC National News, The Discovery Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Sports Illustrated and Sirius Radio.
Dr. Grand still finds time for a full-time private psychotherapy and performance practice in Manhattan, NY.
You can find out more about his work at: https://brainspotting.pro/
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