Client-side Brainspotting Setup for Telehealth

Normally, Brainspotting is performed face-to-face in a therapy session with equipment provided and set up by the clinician.  Brainspotting through a telehealth medium (aka video conferencing) is perfectly viable, though requires the client to do some setup on their end before the session takes place, since the therapist can’t provide the equipment in most cases.  Before a telehealth-Brainspotting session, a client will need:

  • A device that can play audio (a cell phone with app capability, iPod, etc).  To avoid technology conflicts and complications, it is ideal that this is a separate device from the one used for the telehealth conference.  Using the same device is fine in a pinch, though may require some experimentation with volume levels to make sure there is a good balance of noise levels between the telehealth conference and the audio of the Brainspotting soundtrack.
  • Headphones.  The best headphones are those that go over the ear and do not limit environmental sounds (basically, the cheap kind).  This allows the therapist to talk to the client through the telehealth platform while the Brainspotting audio track is running.  Other headphones can work, too, though may require some adjustments.  Headphones that normally cover the ear can be worn by partially covering the ear instead of covering it entirely, for example.  Note that in order for the track to be effective, both ears need to receive the audio equally and the audio sound needs to be in stereo.
  • A Brainspottiong “BioLateral” audio track, downloaded or otherwise prepared on the device being used for the Brainspotting.  These can be found on the apple store and the BioLateral sound website.

Helpful (but not necessary) additions:

  • Sticky notes, or something that can help mark spots in your field of vision outside of the telehealth screen.
  • Tissues.
  • Water (for drinking).
  • A blanket, sweatshirt, or some other means for temperature control.
  • A sleep mask, bandana, or something else to cover one eye, if the Brainspotting exercise is isolating vision to one eye.

Using any audio media player on your device, make sure the BioLateral sound track chosen works as expected.  The one adjustment you will need to make here is that the audio track is set to repeat.  This means the audio track should start over at the beginning as soon as the end is reached.  This prevents the Brainspotting audio from cutting off abruptly before the exercise ends more organically.  The volume of the BioLateral sound can be relatively low; still audible, but something more aligned with background music.  It should be easy to hear the clinician through the telehealth session over the BioLateral track.

The environment should be as distraction-free as possible.  Pets should be put in a different room.  On the devices being used, notifications and other noises (such as incoming call volume) should be turned off or muted, email and messenging apps should be closed, and so on.

A desktop or laptop is best for the teleconference call, if you have access to a computer with a camera.  This is both to allow as big a field of vision as possible of the video conference and make the clinician easy to see.  If a tablet or cell phone must be used, it should be stationary (not being held in your hand), and set up to be eye level or close to it.

Setting all of this up in advance can allow in-session time to be used for more meaningful content.  If there are any hiccups or questions, please feel to reach out to your clinician for support and assistance.