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Brain Illustration

Deep Brain Reorienting

Deep Brain Reorienting is a new type of therapy that is informed by studying how the brain functions and is generally experienced as an effective and gentle process for alleviating traumatic symptoms.


This therapy follows a sequence of events that happens in the brain after something that is overwhelming or traumatic occurs.


The sequence includes:

(1)    orienting tension around the eyes, forehead or back of the neck

(2)    shock responses that feel like bracing, surges of energy throughout the body, a sense of hollowing or emptying

(3)    emotional responses including grief, anger, fear or shame

What is a DBR Session like?

The sessions begin with a discussion of what the client would like to focus on. Once a target to focus on is decided, the therapist will guide the client to connect with a sense of their body, spending some time orienting to where their body is located in the room and where the room is located.


After this, the therapist will invite the client to refocus on the target and to notice any orienting tension. After this the therapist will support the client to stay with the sequence. If there are many sensations at once, the therapist may help the client choose which sensation best follows the sequence.


If at any time the sensations or feelings become overwhelming or dissociating begins, the client can return to the orienting tension. Generally, at the end of the session the tension and emotions decrease in intensity and a different perspective on the area of focus for the session emerges.


While this therapy is new, there is already some promising research. A study from 2023 provided 8 sessions of DBR to people with trauma symptoms which resulted in a significant reduction of symptoms.

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