Neurofeedback in combination with psychotherapy is an even more powerful combination than either alone. Both work to improve coping and your overall sense of happiness and well-being.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a type of therapeutic treatment for your brain. It is a way to directly train the brain to self regulate and to perform more efficiently. Neurofeedback is a research-supported treatment to sharpen attention, relieve anxiety, enhance mood, and improve learning, and behavior…without medication. During neurofeedback, you learn to train your brain to correct the faulty brain wave activity, resulting in improved day-to-day functioning. You can think of neurofeedback as “brain training.” Like a muscle, your brain gets stronger the more you train it. And when the brain works better, you feel better and perform better.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback does not target any particular disorder. Its purpose is to change timing and activation patterns in the brain. This improves brain regulation, which can impact a variety of symptoms. Different symptoms will require targeting different areas of the brain. The software is designed to target specific areas of the brain according to a patient’s symptoms.
The best part of neurofeedback is that results are often permanent, allowing a person to reduce or even eliminate medications altogether. Where medications only manage the symptoms, the goal of neurofeedback is to address the underlying cause and restore normal brainwave functions.
What Happens During A Neurofeedback Session?
Neurofeedback training is a safe, painless, non-invasive procedure. Electrodes are attached to the scalp to listen in on brainwave activity. The brainwaves are monitored by means of an amplifier and a computer-based instrument that processes the signal and provides the proper feedback. This is displayed to the trainee by means of a video game or other video display. The trainee is asked to make the video game go with his brain. As activity in a desirable frequency band increases, the video game moves faster, or some other reward is given. As activity in an adverse band increases, the video game is inhibited. Gradually, the brain responds to the cues that it is being given, and a “learning” of new brain wave patterns takes place. The new pattern is one, which is closer to what is normally observed in individuals without such disabilities.
How Long Does Training Normally Take?
EEG training is a learning process, and therefore, results are seen gradually over time. For most conditions, initial progress can be seen within about ten sessions. Initial training goals may be met by twenty sessions, at which time we re-assess and make further goals as needed. In the case of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, training is expected to take about forty sessions, or even more in severe cases. The end result is often transformational, described as a “new lease on life.” Neurofeedback is a tool for both discovering and recovering one’s true self with the ability to function at a higher level and engage more fully in life.
WHAT KINDS OF PROBLEMS AND CONDITIONS DOES NEUROFEEDBACK ADDRESS?
The conditions which have documented, published evidence of its effectiveness are:
- Attachment Disorders
- Behavioral/Conduct Issues
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Cognitive Decline in Elderly
- Eating Disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Sleep Disorders
- Tourette’s Syndrome/Tics
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)