Everyone has to perform in some way, everyday. Some performances are done alone and some while interacting with others. You are performing when you drive your car, whether by yourself on a country road or at the Indianapolis 500.
Our focus is on improving your ability to perform effectively so you can accomplish your goals and live the life that you want. We not only work with high level athletes and other public performers, but with regular people who want to improve their ability to perform in their personal, social or professional life.
Our goal is for you to quickly remove your blocks so that you can achieve your highest level of performing. Your personal goal might be to reduce your anxiety and fear so you can commit to your romantic partner or your professional goal might be to neutralize a performance trauma and become a high performer on your team.
We focus on Brainspotting (BSP) as our core approach due to its effectiveness, especially with trauma. We also use valuable tools such as Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Mindful Creativity, Positive Psychology, Structural Thinking, and other approaches.
There can be many reasons for a person’s performance problems. Historically it has been believed to be:
- Lack of focus or effort
- Lack of motivation or commitment
- Distracted by anxiety or fear
- Analyzing or getting in one’s head
- Low self-esteem or inadequate self-image
Although these things may play are part, often focusing on them doesn’t resolve the performance issue. In many cases there is one or more unresolved traumas that must be neutralized.
Traumas: Most adults have had an event that still feels traumatic. Not necessarily a PTSD trauma, but an accident, failure, humiliation, illness, injury, loss, etc., that when re-experienced, is upsetting.
These painful memories become stuck in the mid-brain. In neuroscience this is known as a Freeze (Fight, Flight, Freeze). This causes the person’s mind to become blocked, resulting in both emotional and physical pain. Left untreated, this unprocessed memory can cause major performance issues.
Performance Traumas: Most performers have experienced personal and professional traumas that can undermine their future performances. They have missed their mark, interacted poorly with a fellow performer, or gotten in their head. They are physically and emotionally traumatic and build over time.
Sports traumas often come from accidents, failures, humiliations, and injuries. Traditional methods seldom help and traditional sports psychology has not accepted this reality.
Repetitive Sports Performance Problems, especially the yips, are caused by traumas. Brainspotting can effectively neutralize these problems, even the yips.
One sad example is that of Mackey Sasser, a starting catcher with the New York Mets. During the 1990 season he was aggressively run over at home plate. This was the end stage of a lifetime of trauma. His yips were obvious and he was mocked by the fans and the media. He would often have to pump his arm several times and sometimes he couldn’t release the ball without walking towards the pitcher. This effectively ended his baseball career.
Dr. David Grand worked with Mackey and in only three sessions, in one day, they got his yips under control. Watch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “Fields of Fear.”
Brainspotting is a highly effective, brain-based, and client-centered approach. It is so organic, natural, and simple that it is sometimes referred to as magical. It mimics the way your brain and body normally process and resolve negative experiences. During the actual processing of a specific issue, you don’t have to share what that specific topic or event is or any details. This is the opposite approach of traditional talk therapy that is still used to attempt to process deep issues and traumas.
With the help of the therapist or coach you will identify and focus on the issue that you want to resolve or the activity that you want to improve or enhance. You will find your “brain spot,” which is a point of focus in the visual field in front of you, and which is connected to the issue that you are processing. Every brainspot is unique to you and your specific issue. You will softly focus on your bsp while you feel your emotions and body sensations. This allows your brain and body to organically process your chosen issue to completion and with the best outcome for you. That outcome could be the:
- Neutralizing a past traumatic experience
- Connecting with useful internal resources
- Expansion of a future performance
Bi-Lateral music or nature sounds is used to activate your brain and to relax you. Many advanced Brainspotting approaches may be used.
Brainspotting is used for:
- Neutralizing Past Traumas: Brainspotting shifts and reduces the negative intensity of traumatic events by focusing on old neuropathways in the midbrain. It opens you so you can then deal with the underlying emotional issues, like anxiety, depression, relational issues, triggers, and physical pain. Unresolved traumas are a major factor in performance blocks, especially with the yips.
- Expanding Future Performances: Even if you are an accomplished performer you can use these processes to connect with and expand your best performance; students, amateur and professional performers alike will benefit. It has two parts:
- Brainspotting Your Inner Resources: Opening up and connecting to a personal mental-emotional resource state can be powerful. Common resources spots are:
- Calm Spot
- Capable Spot
- God Spot
- Enhancing Your Performance: This process connects your visual brainspot with your inner “success” resources, supercharging your ability to perform.
My clients often share that they start with hope and apprehension, yet as soon as they experience the immediate effectiveness of brainspotting, their apprehension shifts to relief and appreciation. As they resolve each issue or trauma, their expectations for peace, closure and higher performance increase.
BSP has three parts:
Each play an important role.
“Where you look affects how you feel”
—David Grand, PhD, Brainspotting Developer and Trainer
Founder & Director
Tom Rohrer, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.
Dr. Rohrer is certified in Brainspotting with extensive training and experience. He was licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist in 1985, received his PhD in 2000, and earned a certificate in Sports Psychology in 2002. He has had decades of experience helping his clients resolve their issues, and improve their personal and professional performances. Read more about Dr. Rohrer.
Coaching Client Recommendations
"The work I did with Dr. Rohrer was compelling, it refocused my personal and professional life and helped me achieve my goals." -- George Hart, Ph.D., Ex. Dir., KARE, Livermore, CA
"Working with Dr. Rohrer really helped me make significant positive changes in my life. It was a powerful experience." -- David Brady, Consultant, Oakland, CA
"Dr. Rohrer helped me set and develop effective strategies. I met and surpassed my goals. It was a profitable experience." -- John Metas, Entrepreneur, Berkeley, CA
Ann Schiebert, PsyD
Dr. Schiebert is a psychologist who is certified in Brainspotting and the treatment of trauma. She has advanced training in both. She works in the Emergency Department and Chemical Dependency Department of a major HMO.
Ann has a series of books titled Let’s Make a Contract that can be found on Amazon.com. She also has a weekly radio show called Dr. Ann’s Relationship Radio. Additional information can be found on her website, www.drannschiebert.com.
- What is Brainspotting, Question & Answers: David Grand (23:49)
- Brainspotting with David Grand, Ph.D, From a lecture (3:49)
- Brainspotting Therapy, Developed by David Grand (PhD), Dr Mark Grixti (9:51)
- Dr. Robert Weisz on Brainspotting, Paths to Wellness with Dr. O (27:07)
- Brainspotting & Mental Health Stigma, Healing Quest (9:39)