Episode 3

3: Spotlight on Healing: Dr. Melanie Young and Dr. Pie Frey's Brainspotting Trainer Insights

Published on: 15th January, 2024

Get a glimpse into the unconventional and fun side of brainspotting training.

Dr. Melanie Young is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Boulder, Colorado. She provides a warm and supportive environment for adolescents and adults. Dr. Young integrates a variety of approaches to meet the needs of each individual. She aids clients in overcoming depression, mood swings, anxiety, and anger. She facilitates healing from emotional, physical, and sexual trauma. She assists individuals and couples with relationships, losses, and grief. Dr. Young helps navigate the challenges around brain injuries, ADD, pain, illness, and phobias. Specialties also include working with seniors, their families, and caregivers. She uses BSP as a tool to help heal trauma, increase effective coping strategies, strengthen internal resources, and enhance performance. Dr. Young is a senior Brainspotting trainer, consultant and certified Brainspotting therapist who is available for individual and group consultation. She developed a resourcing technique called Wavespotting. Additionally, she is one of the early founders of Rocky Mountain Brainspotting Institute and is the former vice president of their board.

Dr. Pie Frey was trained in Brainspotting in 2006. She is the Senior US Trainer and has assisted Dr. David Grand, the developer of Brainspotting, in many of his training workshops and intensives. She has trained hundreds of BSP therapists all over the United States and Canada in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 since 2009. She also facilitates Brainspotting consultation groups and offers individual consultation to other therapists. Dr. Frey founded and is the President of the Rocky Mountain Brainspotting Institute in Colorado, which is a nonprofit dedicated to educating the community about Brainspotting and developing a scholarship program for BSP therapies.’

Cherie welcomes Melanie Young and Pie Frey to share their experiences as brain spotting trainers. They discuss the process of Brainspotting, their personal journeys with it, and share stories of hope and healing. They also talk about the challenges and joys of being trainers and the impact that Brainspotting has had on their clients and themselves.

Want to know how you can begin your journey to hope and healing? Visit Elevated Life Academy for classes and free resources for personal development and healing. 


Rocky Mountain Brainspotting Institute

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And I hope you enjoy this, this episode. I will have Melanie and Pie introduce themselves in just a second, but I want you to know a little bit more about brain spotting. I know we talked a little bit with Dr. Grand about it and you can find out more information on brainspotting.com. You can also look at my YouTube channel and there are some videos of how to brain spot.

Brain spotting is basically a way for you to be able to go inside and reprocess any information that is stored maladaptively inside of you. And we're going to talk about that process here a little bit with Melanie Young and Pie Fry. We're going to talk about what it's like being a trainer and all the people that they have met and worked with and taught and trained over the years.

So Melanie, if you would like to just introduce yourself for our audience.


But as I was in private practice, I was introduced to brain spotting, which I'll, I'll talk about how I got there in a minute.


[00:03:53] Pie Frey: Thank you. Good to see you. I am Pie Frey. I live in Nederland, Colorado and work in Boulder, Colorado.

in brain spotting by David in:

And so that gives me energy to keep doing the work and excitement to see changes that go on with everyone.


But the famous line is where you look affects how you feel. And so, you can harness a brain spot to go in and process old memories, trauma memories, or even blocks that get in the way of you achieving a goal. Melanie, so why don't you talk a little bit about, you know, how you went towards brainspotting after you went into private practice?


It was a newer technique. And I just remember feeling, this is just right. It gets, it gets in deeper and I could just feel the healing happen with within me. I, I did a brain spotting intensive where it was five days of brain spotting with several people and David and just found that it was really challenging work, but it helped me to make some big life decisions.

It helped me get more in touch with spiritual side as well as overall healing. And so I started assisting David, and from there became a trainer. And then we continued training even through COVID and went online. So all three of us obviously do, you know, trainings online and in person.


[00:06:52] Pie Frey: I actually, my story is different than other people's, but my, I actually met David in the EMDR world when he was selling his bilateral CDs, and I used it in my practice then.

And then when I saw the brochure that he had sent out about brain spotting, I just because I knew who David was is why I signed up for it. I think he is very gifted and I like working with him. So I signed up and went to the training.


And were you there, Melanie, when that happened?


[00:08:01] Cherie Lindberg: Wonderful. So Melanie, coming back to you now, tell, you know, maybe one or, or two of your favorite stories about, you know, as you've continued to be a trainer interacting with other professionals and, and witnessing, you know, the demonstrations that we do and participating in them during the trainings, any, any fond memories or stories of hope and healing that come up for you?


And I got an email from this woman later saying how amazing it was because she felt like she was finally getting a reprieve and she could breathe again and just not feeling it anymore, the, the trauma.


[00:09:52] Pie Frey: Yes, and I actually want to say that when I first learned of it in the training, I was pretty skeptical. And I, I see a lot of therapists who come in for the training and very skeptical about it. But I think what excites me as for myself and when I see the clinicians is they feel really amazed at the changes that are going on.

Part of what we do is the, the therapists do their own work as well as, you know the demonstrations that Melanie was talking about. And when they're doing their own work, they're always amazed at how fast, how much the trauma moves through. And so what I've seen is people who have anxiety and, and in one session, they can clear their anxiety, decrease it so they can go ahead and do whatever they need to do as clinicians or as clients. And that's what I like is to see it in both directions that people are doing amazing work. And it usually takes a couple of sessions before people really believe it. And then they go from saying, I'm skeptical to, I can't believe it. It's so amazing. The changes that go on.

And I, I was working with someone who has a, a physical condition called dystonia, where the muscles don't operate very well, it's neurological. And what I found is even in the first session, they can decrease some of the dystonic symptoms where they have no control over their muscles. And what I'm amazed at is we can do a lot of physical issues along with emotional issues, along with spiritual issues you know, along with athletic issues. And that is so exciting to see the changes that occur within people.


So any, anything you want to share around that, Melanie?


We, you know, we find ways to just really enjoy each other, the people in the trainings, the surroundings, wherever we are. I, I think, you know, it can be really tiring and yet at the same time, it can be really energizing. So when I'm at a training and I may have been traveling and I'm tired, but when you see people get it and, and feel like, wow, this could really help people heal and seeing it's a very client centered therapy.

So seeing how people heal within themselves and helping teach these, these practitioners to spread the healing to other people, which to me can make the world a more peaceful place as idealistic as it sounds.


And then they do some of their own work and all of a sudden they are feeling great about what they just went through. And then we see clients that have taken phase one and then we meet with them on zoom for several times. And then if we do a phase two with them and it's so exciting to see the changes that go on with our therapists who are taking the training and how excited they are when they share cases that they have with their clients and their clients are moving through so fast. And I think the power of brain spotting is that people don't have to be in therapy for forever. It's a very fast moving approach that, you know, people were afraid it'd be years and years.

It doesn't have to be. It can just be something they want to deal with and, and learn to get over it and just work on, you know, one issue at a time sometimes. But it's exciting to see the therapist so excited. when they're doing the work.


And that's another thing that's exciting about being a trainer, is we've gotten to know people from all over the world, very different cultures, backgrounds. And that's, it's really cool.


And like, I have tons of them coming up, but I'm, this is about you all sharing. But I know some of my adventures have been with you and some funny things that have happened. So can you think of anything coming to mind, Melanie, about some funny stories, inspiring stories?


And we have a teaching brain. And the poor woman that was checking my bag thought I had a real brain. And she was all panicked. And she said, but it looks green in the x-ray. I got pulled aside and had to talk to a few of the TSA people to get them to let me through with my extra brain.

So there you go. And I've heard other people having the same issues or the pointers we use. But yeah, there's, there's many stories. One that's coming to mind is when Cherie and I taught at a wilderness. Or it was what was it? It was, it was a residential place, was a wilderness program for teens and they had all kinds of animals all over the place. And so we're walking around during the practicums and the practicums where the two therapists get together and practice on each other and they had therapy cats that were getting in the way.

So next thing, you know I've got a cat under my arm walking around and walk in a room and there's a peacock looking in the window at two people trying to do the practicum. And it's like pecking on the window and doing that. And so we laughed, you know, we just had to, we had to close the shade on that one.

Do you want to tell them, Pie?


Put the headphones on, you're moving the pointer. And some people process very silently and they don't talk, and I'm one of those. So we just talked about the gorilla that was processing and not sharing his or her feelings as to what was going on, but there's always something funny going, happening. There's always something.


[00:18:14] Melanie Young: Yes, yes, we were in a theater and so we began to dress up and then we realized there was a security camera on us and we didn't know if people were wondering what we were doing in the room with all the costumes.


I know you have trained, both of you have trained different places. I've trained in churches, I've trained in basements, I've trained in someone's house, you know. And you'll go, we'll go anywhere to do a training. I think that's the gift of it all. Even, you know, though we're now on zoom a lot, it's just so much fun.

I think part of it, like Melanie said earlier, we are meeting so many therapists from all over the country and even all over the world that we are reaching out. We're seeing a lot of people. People are getting excited no matter where they are doing their training. And it's exciting. It's exciting to keep in touch.


[00:20:15] Pie Frey: I would like to say that for some people that don't know, brain spotting can work with helping people decrease their anxiety. I can't tell you how many high school and college age kids who get anxious taking a test. You can do brain spotting and clear that out. Melanie and I know a triathlete that's in the top few in the world.

And he brain spots the injuries he's had, issues with coaches he's had. And he is amazing when we get to watch him. And David's worked with him three times in the peak performance class. Yes. And so you see him get better and shorten his time every time. We've worked with spirituality, you know.


[00:21:16] Melanie Young: Yeah, many, many people actually. Yeah, I, I'm just thinking about someone I worked with with a lot of medical trauma amputee and, you know, not being able to do well in life and function well because of all the trauma as well as the pain. And being able to get through that after working on the trauma, the phantom pain went down tremendously, much less episodes of it and just the ability to know that healing can happen. That would continue to happen of course, you know, you have to do the work to make it happen, but seeing this person be able to get off substances because they were healing the trauma and move forward and start becoming a success when in terms of what they wanted in their life.


I have a traumatic brain injury. I work with a lot of people who have a traumatic brain injury. And to break down and help their brain start to get better. The symptoms that have come up start to decrease. And I've worked with stroke survivors so that they can have a better life and be more involved in their own life and being less depressed.

It just creates so much hope of thinking we are helping people one by one feel better.


[00:23:04] Pie Frey: That's right.


They know something's not right. They're overwhelmed, they're anxious, they're down, whatever it is. And you know, we know it as dysregulation, but they, we don't know that, but they know they don't feel good. And to be able to, you know, come in and change that to, to heal, to start becoming regulated again, and then to be able to teach other therapists to do the same so they can go help their clients heal themselves.


And I, you know, in some ways this podcast can be historical because maybe five years from now we'll need to do this again and, and see where we've evolved from where we're at now. So thank you both for, for joining us and you know I will be a part of this soon.


[00:24:24] Cherie Lindberg: Thank you so much. It's wonderful having both of you at the same time .

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About the Podcast

Elevated Life Academy
Stories of Hope and Healing
Welcome to Elevated Life: Stories of Hope and Healing with your host, Cherie Lindberg. Join us on a transformative journey, as Cherie engages in provoking conversations with leaders of the diverse realms of therapy and mental healing.

Embark on a quest to understand the intricate tapestry of the human mind as we uncover the power of therapeutic modalities, new healing methods, and the intersection of psychology and spirituality. "Elevated Life: Stories of Hope and Healing" is not just a podcast; it's your compass on a journey to well-being, self-discovery, and societal harmony.

Subscribe now to join Cherie Lindberg and her esteemed guests as they share insights, stories, and practical tips that illuminate the path to mental and emotional wellness. Whether you're a seasoned therapist, someone curious about mental health, or simply seeking inspiration for your own healing journey, this podcast is your guide to unlocking the potential within and fostering a more compassionate world. Tune in on Spotify, Audible, Apple Podcasts, and all major podcast platforms – because healing begins with understanding.