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Freespotting

Updated: May 13

Freespotting is a simplified version of Brainspotting and is intended to be used as a self-help tool to process negative emotions. It’s really easy to do, and can depotentiate negative emotions so well that they just don’t come back again. It’s important to do thorough work, and stay with it until the negative feelings are gone.


Note: for complex trauma, and other issues with many layers, it might take some real determination to seek out and erase all the various aspects. But the key is to do very thorough work, until you feel much better, or the problem is completely gone.


  1. Identify an Emotion: Identify a Negative Emotion you’re experiencing (ie: maybe something you’re obsessing over, or a feeling of sadness or worry) Tune into that feeling and activate it.

  2. Scale the Emotion: Notice where in your body you’re feeling that emotion. Gauge how strong that feeling is on a scale of 0 to 10. Zero being nothing at all and 10 being extreme. 

  3. Pick a Point to Stare At: Choose a spot across from you, just above the horizon. It could be the corner of a picture frame, holding up a pen or your thumb, or any other spot on a wall, just something small. This is the “Freespot”.

  4. Keep Staring at that Spot Intently. Relax. Use a soft but focused gaze. Keep staring. It’s ok to blink. As you focus on the Freespot, pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without judgment. Allow them to come and go without trying to change or analyze them.

  5. Explore that Emotion: As you continue to stare at that spot, you may find different elements related to the emotion come up (ie: the conversation or argument that triggered it), or you may find the emotion reveals an entirely different emotion. Just stay with it and allow that emotion. Stay relaxed. It’s ok to remind yourself “it’s ok to feel this”. Keep feeling it.

  6. Let the Emotion Run its Course: Do this for about 3 - 5 minutes, as you continue to breathe and relax. As it starts to dissipate, you may even find yourself smiling or letting out a sigh.

  7. Scale that Emotion Again: Check the number out of 10 again. If it’s down, but not gone, do the exercise again and drain the emotion until it collapses completely.


Freespotting can be a wonderful, helpful self-help tool for promoting emotional regulation, stress reduction, and overall well-being. However, if you find that you are struggling with significant emotional issues or trauma, it's important to seek professional help from a mental health provider for more comprehensive support.


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