Neurofeedback therapy is a “cousin” of Biofeedback. If you have ever had a mood ring, then you know one of the ways biofeedback works based on body temperature. Our Neurofeedback therapy works specifically with the different brain states (or waves). The faster brain waves are called Beta waves. These help us process information rapidly whether its driving, doing homework or reading a book.
With neurofeedback therapy we focus on areas of the brain to restore and improve brain regulation and teach the brain how to work better. We will always first discuss your symptoms because these symptoms will tell us something about what kind of deregulation is occuring and in which areas of the brain this deregulation exists.
By placing electrodes on these specific areas, we measure the brains activity through EEG activity. Our computer software will recognize if this activity is in the right state or not and will then give you and your brain feedback on how well it’s doing. The computer software does that by converting the brains activity into video, audio and tactile sensors.
It’s literally like holding a mirror in front of your brain to show how well it’s doing? For example, during a video game that’s shown to you, you will see a car going quicker, music getting louder and images getting bigger when your brain is in the right state.
When a brain isn’t in the right state, that same car will go slower, music will go softer and images look smaller, and your brain doesn’t really like that…upon which the brain corrects itself in the right state again. So the car will go quicker again and the music will become louder.
And the funny part is you can’t control that, it’s the self regulating capacity of the brain and by training this self regulating capacity with our neurofeedback therapy regularly, your brain will be able to adjust itself better and quicker in daily life without the aid of a computer program.
Dr. Claire Albright shares an amazing explanation as to the pros and cons of neurofeedback therapy. “Much news coverage has been given lately to an amazing scientific breakthrough called neurofeedback therapy that can treat many disorders related to brain function including ADHD, depression, eating disorders and many others.
if you have been wondering if neurofeedback therapy can help you there are a few factors you’ll want to weigh when considering this treatment. First it is a very safe procedure. Neurofeedback therapy is non-invasive and most people who have been through the therapy say that it is comfortable and even enjoyable.
The therapists will attach electrodes to your scalp which are held in place by a water-soluble gel. These electrodes conduct the current coming from your brain into an EEG device which will transmit this information onto a computer screen. No input goes into the brain the machine simply reads the electrical energy coming from your brain.
There are virtually no significant side-effects to the procedure. However, some patients have reported feeling a bit tired after a neurofeedback session. Body language expert and author of the productivity epiphany, Vincent Harris reported that he was tired after his first session but that he was back to normal after taking a nap and a good night’s sleep.
If you find that you’re tired after a session, let your therapist know and they can easily adjust the settings to avoid much of the temporary fatigue. Regarding those with sensitive skin as far as the gel that is attached to the nodes that connects to your brain (scalp). This is a very uncommon mild side effect that only a few people have experienced. Nevertheless, if this is you, all you have to do is let your therapist know and he or she can do a small patchy test before proceeding.
Studies continue to be conducted to determine the efficacy of neurofeedback therapy. While solid evidence is pending regarding the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of some conditions, several studies support the benefits of the intervention of neurofeedback therapy.
Positive results from neurofeedback therapy have been demonstrated in numerous case studies. These results are often long lasting because neurofeedback actually changes the way the brain works.
In the case of ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for example, several studies have found that 8 out of 10 or 80% of those with ADHD who are treated with neurofeedback therapy are able to leave the aggravating symptoms behind for many years with only 30 to 40 sessions.
In most cases, the results you experienced from a neurofeedback procedure could depend somewhat on the environment in which you receive the treatment. It can be more effective if it is performed where the problem you’re trying to solve usually occurs. For instance, teenagers with ADHD may have better results when their neurofeedback therapy sessions take place in the classrooms where they have difficulty concentrating.
The pros and cons of neurofeedback therapy are that the neurofeedback can be costly. This type of therapy is not always covered by insurance plans and the cost of treatment can range from $90 to $150 for each session. Most practitioners offer payment plans for their clients while some point you in the direction of loan options. In some instances health insurance will reimburse a portion of the cost of the treatment.
Here is what one therapist ask patients to consider when he’s talking to them about Neurofeedback therapy. After he has explained how neurofeedback therapy works, he tells them before you decide to go ahead and begin the training to let me ask you to consider something pretend for a moment.
Pretend that we are six months into the future and you have completed six months of neurofeedback therapy and have experienced significant and deeply profound results. In fact, you feel so much better than you did six months ago that you sometimes feel as if a miracle has just occurred.
The therapist then continues to say, now after you’ve completed all of these wonderful changes, think about how you are now able to fully enjoy life feeling complete and whole. Then imagine that our Drug Rehab comes up to you and tells you that it cost $4,000 and that well gladly buy back all the results you have achieved and I’ll give you the $4,000 back! Will you sell me your results for the initial $4,000?
The neurofeedback therapy doctor said he has never had someone tell him yes and that most patients have looked at it from the perspective that $4,000 seems like a trivial amount of money to invest in the happiness and increased quality of life that neurofeedback therapy can bring them.”
When you come to our Drug Rehab, you do not have to worry so much about paying for each individual session. We were merely sharing a unique perspective to better understand exactly how neurofeedback therapy works, and because it is relatively new this was the best example to help you grasp the value associated with it.
Once you enter into our outpatient or residential facilities, you are now a part of the family and we will do everything in our power to make sure you get as many neurofeedback therapy sessions as your personal treatment plan would require.
We want nothing more than for you to heal and neurofeedback is an excellent option to help you do so! One area in life that needs constant addressing with our clients and our neurofeedback therapy is substance abuse and mental health. We are experts at helping you heal from these issues (PTSD, ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bi Polar, Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Heroin addiction, Alcoholism, etc.)
Speaking of substance abuse and mental health, here is a typical outcome you can expect to see for someone who goes through our facility and receives our neurofeedback therapy. To protect the anonymity of the individual, we shall call him Frank. Read what Frank had to say about his neurofeedback therapy sessions.
“I was in an outpatient rehab and I was experiencing depression pretty severely. My sleep quality was extremely poor and I was also experiencing anxiety and dealing with all three of those issues at the same time.
It was hard for me to find the willingness to stay sober at all, so by the time I was about to leave outpatient rehab; I was already using again and failed a couple of drug tests and was also using other things that didn’t show up on drug tests.
Most likely I relapsed as a result to self medicate the anxiety and the depression and insomnia I was experiencing on a regular basis. I believe that my depression and poor sleep quality are definitely the two things that influenced me to not stay sober.
When I’m not sleeping, I’m not happy! I wake up and I’m not energized. I’m so tired that I want to fall asleep but I can’t fall asleep and I know the easiest fix is to take a sleeping pill or six! I will drink alcohol or take whatever I have to in order to shut off my mind so I can get a good night’s sleep.
Once I started to relapse after getting out of outpatient drug rehab, there was really nothing to stop me! No drug test to take, so I started drinking excessively a lot more than I used to and I felt that I didn’t have a problem because it was just alcohol and I wasn’t using prescription pills any longer.
I found I could drink a lot more as my tolerance lowered and that’s when the blackouts started becoming more regular even though I wasn’t drinking every day. When I did drink, it was a lot more than I was used to drinking. It ended up making me make some bad decisions.
When I started drinking, I didn’t know what drugs I would take; how much of them I would take, and on and on. As I continued these behaviors, the heat started coming on. I started disappointing parents and was no longer accountable for anything. I started failing school again and stuff like that.
Additionally, I also got into trouble with the law. On one of the bad blackout episodes I ended up assaulting a cop waking up in jail not really knowing what had happened or what I’ve done, and that was probably the last event that led me to getting sober.
The neurofeedback therapy sessions are really easy! They take the sensors and put them softly on top of your head and you listen to some really cool music and you watch and interact with the television screen the whole time.
It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing you pretty much just sit there for a half hour to an hour and leave feeling a little bit more refreshed and the anxiety is definitely reduced.
Now that I have finished the neurofeedback therapy program things are a lot better. Obviously I’m sleeping a lot better. The anxieties I was experiencing are decreased. My sobriety is going better than I could have ever imagined!
My relationship with my sponsor now is very easy to talk to him about normal life problems because I don’t have these glaring disorders staring at me all day! My relationship with my parents are a lot better as well.
I’m a lot less irritable and I don’t fall into an isolated depression now that I’m sleeping better. My social anxiety is not as strong as it used to be because I am now able to go and do things that I normally would not. I no longer have difficulties doing everyday things because in the past I was too tired and just completely zombied out.
My spirits are ultimately a lot better! I’m living a life I really never imagined possible due to the depression and the insomnia and the anxiety and most importantly I’m staying sober which is mind-boggling.”
Frank is now 2 years clean and is currently in college and is passing all of his grades with a 3.6 grade point average. Frank has a wonderful relationship with his friends and family these days! He is a healthy contributor to society once again.
So just to summarize neurofeedback therapy in a different way; the brain waves responsible for relaxation and allowing the brain to slow down and stop releasing stress hormones are called the Alpha waves. You actually have probably seen a form of Neurofeedback if you have ever watched someone do yoga or use a repetitive sound to meditate. These activities use the brains instinctual ability to switch from Beta (everyday life) waves to Alpha waves to produce relaxation and that state some refer to as the “Zen state”.
Our staff can help you with this unique form of neurofeedback therapy treatment, that will teach you how to recognize when your brain has been triggered by a stressor and how to immediately move into a state of calm. If you are questioning whether this has anything to do with addiction, it really does!
Since we know most addictions are driven by past trauma or unresolved emotional issues, and we know that if the brain is constantly activated (triggered) concerning these issues then we are constantly seeking out something to relieve the stress and anxiety. If we don’t know how to do that for ourselves, drugs and/or alcohol is a really great way to temporarily fix the problem of feeling things we don’t want to feel.
Neurofeedback therapy is used to re-train the brain to self-soothe and to effortlessly move from Beta to Alpha wave states. This will help with attention and focusing issues, emotional balance and Central Nervous system balance. You can’t deal with extreme stress if you are already unable to soothe yourself and guide your self to a calm state of relaxation. Too often, the brain is bombarded with one stress after another and this is where it becomes unbalanced.
Neurofeedback Therapy is a drug free, painless procedure where you simply have different wires attached to the skin on your head. From there, a computer, similar to an EEG machine, will monitor your brain waves and reports this directly to you using a technique of either sounds, video games or a movie. The program may have you watch a movie which will stop if your attention wanders, or play a video game addressing certain behaviors. Your brainwaves control the game, or sounds or the movie!
This allows you to see in real time how your brain works, and how you can control certain brainwaves to create a more relaxed and calm state of being. Neurofeedback therapy will be able to let you know what parts of your brain are functioning well and which aren’t, which allows you to focus on those areas not functioning well which cause you stress and anxiety. Neurofeedback therapy re-trains and teaches your brain to work in a more balanced and healthy way.
Call (949) 386-2715 and see if Neurofeedback Therapy is the right trauma based PTSD treatment for your drug and alcohol use?