Neurofeedback

What is Neurofeedback?

 Neurofeedback is a way to train the brain to self-regulate.  It is a non-invasive way to treat conditions that involve the brain.  We are used to talking about “brain chemistry”, but another aspect of how the brain works is that it produces brain waves.  Simply put, brain waves tend to be very slow during some conditions, such as deep sleep, and get faster under other conditions, such as wakeful alertness.  They get faster still under highly anxious situations.  Also, sometimes one region of the brain is underactive, while another region is overactive.   Helping the brain learn to self-regulate, we often help promote enhanced mood, lower anxiety and fear, better sleep, better attention and behavioral control. 

 Neurofeedback is a specialized typed of biofeedback.  In neurofeedback, we give the brain some information about the brain waves it is producing, and selectively “reward” certain patterns.  We “reward” on the computer screen with a video game, showing for instance a rocket moving and hearing a beep if the brain waves are momentarily in a relaxed alert pattern.  We get the information about the brain waves through electrodes on the scalp.  In this type of neurofeedback, nothing is stimulated in the scalp, the electrodes are only used to measure the brain waves that are already there. 

 

Why have I added Neurofeedback to My Practice?

 

This way of “brain training” has long been used for a variety of conditions, most popularly ADHD, which is not my primary clientele.  This non-invasive way of helping the brain learn to self-regulate, often in a way that is self-sustaining, like learning to ride a bicycle, has been of interest to me my entire practice.  When more recently, trauma experts have developed and publicized neurofeedback protocols that may help people affected by a history of developmental trauma, I especially took note!   In my practice, I use specialized psychotherapy treatments for individuals with a history of trauma, or neglect, or attachment loss.  While these treatments are always evolving, are often very helpful and go smoothly, there are times when psychotherapy on its own needs to be paced slowly in order to be well tolerated.  There are case studies and some research documenting improvements with neurofeedback that would be hard to imagine even with very specialized psychotherapies. I decided to add this method to my practice to expand options for interested individuals.  I have seen some improvements that in my opinion would not have been likely with specialized psychotherapies alone. Neurofeedback provides an important option in helping facilitate trauma treatment.  I am Board Certified in Neurofeedback (BCN) through the  Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.

To find out much more about neurofeedback, a good online resource is http://www.aboutneurofeedback.com/

Contact me at 978-771-4154 or cs@freshapproachtherapy.com, so we can have a conversation to see if these services are a good match for you.



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