Neurofeedback is an exciting applied science where psychology and physiology meet. Neurofeedback training focuses on the brain and takes into account behavioral, cognitive, and subjective aspects as well as brain activity. When you give the brain information about itself, it has enormous capacity for change. Neurofeedback provides the brain information, almost instantly, and asks it to make adjustments. The computer used acts as a high-tech mirror, giving simultaneous feedback about the brain and rewards the brain for reaching optimal brain wave patterns targeted to address the problem. Whether symptoms are caused by ADD/ADHD, a learning disability, head injury, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, cognitive dysfunction associated with aging, or other brain-related conditions, neurofeedback training directly retrains the electrical activity patterns in the brain. The exciting thing is that even when a problem is biological in nature, neurofeedback can provide an option for those who want an alternative treatment to medication.
Who is Using Neurofeedback?
Generally people who are experiencing symptoms of or have been diagnosed with the following disorders use neurofeedback:
Increasingly, neurofeedback is also being used to facilitate peak performance in executives and athletes. We can also help to maintain good brain function as people get older. The good news is that almost any brain can be trained to function better.
What should I expect?
During a typical training, one or more sensors are placed on your scalp and earlobes. Your brain’s electrical activity is relayed to a computer and recorded. Similar to how a physician listens to your heart from the surface of your skin, electrodes allow us to measure the electrical patterns coming from the brain. The electrodes are attached to a computer that allows you to play a game that your brain waves control. No hand-held controller is used. You are literally playing the game with your brain. If you are reaching the optimal brainwave activity, the game will continue. If you do not keep the brainwaves within the parameters tailored specifically for you, the game will slow or stop. The process is like exercising or doing physical therapy with the brain, enhancing cognitive self-regulation and control.
What happens if neurofeedback clients are taking medication?
With successful neurofeedback training, the medications targeting brain function may need to be reduced as the brain takes a more active role of regulating itself. It is important for clients to communicate with their prescribing physician regarding neurofeedback and medications. At Stokan Jaggers & Associates, both the neurofeedback provider and psychiatrist consult regarding changes in the client’s brain functioning and any need for medication adjustment or elimination.
What is needed prior to beginning Neurofeedback training?
Everyone’s brain is unique. Appropriate assessment is important prior to beginning neurofeedback training to determine what brainwave frequencies are excessive or deficient, or if there are problems in processing speed or coherence, and what parts of the brain it is occurring . Proper assessment allows the treatment to be tailored to each individual. The electroneurodiagnostic report is comprehensive and allows us to tailor the treatment to each individual. Amy Galpin has teamed with leading experts to provide the best customized treatment plan for each client. There are a number of assessment tools we use to help us decide which protocols to use. These include neurodiagnostic and neuropsychological tests.