What is the i-brainmap™?

The i-brainmap™ or integrated brain map was developed by psychologist Rita McInnes. It is a model for understanding how the brain gets Stuck on Stress (SoS brain) through overwhelming or traumatic events. It explains how overwhelming events are stored in the body for years and when triggered, can drop you into the felt experience as if it’s happening right now. What makes (grey) matters worse is that you often remain unaware that the current experience is tied to something that may have happened decades ago, because the parts of the brain that orient you to time and place have disconnected. In short your brain doesn’t have a map or a compass during these events of re-experiencing.

The i-brainmap™ is a bottom-up-inside-out model. It starts at the bottom by firstly describing the common ways brain overwhelm is experienced, from the inside. Next it explains, using relevant brain-science, how and why the brain functions in this way. The i-brainmap™ then outlines how to change the (SoS) brain using mindfulness-based techniques that you can use when you experience lower brain activation.

What it does

Our big brain is exquisitely useful in the classroom or managing complex maths equations, but it doesn’t know much about emotional or lower brain (grey) matters.
The i-brainmap™ maps the experience of the brain-body-mind dynamic of distress and the process of integration. It assumes the brain can change itself. The challenge is showing the brain how to do that and what inhibits it. Often the greatest challenge is our intellect and cognitive function – our big brain.

The i-brain map explains all this to the brain and how to work from bottom up at the time the distress is happening. Until we engage the whole brain we are working from fragmented maps and stories and the brain is unable to make the required connections for integration to occur.

How the i-brainmap emerged

The i-brainmap™ was developed over more than seven years in clinical practice.
In the beginning, as I explained to people what I knew about how the brain behaves and why it gets stuck on stress or overwhelming experiences of the past, I was preparing clients for therapy. But I found as I explained what was happening in the brain people reported change before we began “treatment.”

View the i-brainmap below

The map is not the territory.

Please do not reprint the version of i-brainmap below without permission. It is intended as a guide only and to be used as part of the process of brain integration explained in detail in the book, i-brainmap, freeing your brain for happiness.