“I brought my 7 year old son in for NFB because he was exhibiting all of the signs of ADHD and he was starting to get in trouble at school. I knew he was very intelligent, but his difficulty sitting still and lack of focus were starting to detract from all of his abilities. The counselor had recommended consultation for medicine, and I just wasn’t comfortable with that option for my little one. I turned to NFB instead on the recommendation of a friend. I learned more detail about my sons functioning, and he loved his weekly 30 minute sessions! Within 6 weeks the teachers starting noticing changes and he kept improving throughout the year. No medication. As a mother, I have learned how amazing the impact of training brainwaves can be.” – C
Neurofeedback is a brain exercise, like taking your brain to the gym for a stress-relieving, strength-building workout. Your brain made up of millions of neurons that are constantly firing. This firing produces an electrical signal that can be measured by administering electrodes to the scalp to “listen in.”
As Monica Hammock, LICSW, describes, neurofeedback uses those signals to help us determine which of our firing patterns are “efficient,” or healthy, versus “inefficient,” or unhealthy. When the equipment recognizes that the brain is producing healthy patterns, it rewards the brain via the sensory feedback. As a result of this positive reinforcement, your brain learns to repeat those healthy patterns over and over, thereby teaching itself to function in a healthier manner.
WHAT DOES IT TREAT?
Neurofeedback is most successful when the problem is one of dysregulation–the brain going too fast, too slow, or not working well within. It was first created to treat seizures, a condition in which the entire brain is firing in too rapid and synchronized a manner.
Neurofeedback is helpful in reducing anxiety, negative reactivity, impulsivity, and the compulsive behaviors of addictions. It is also a wonderful tool for mood regulation, improving focus, and peak performance training, and is frequently used by individuals to manage and treat ADHD, eating disorders, sleep problems, and more.
There are a wide range of research on neurofeedback’s efficacy. This page organizes the research by topic, so you can learn more about what has been studied so far.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Initially you will meet with a clinician for a thorough assessment. Afterword, assuming that neurofeedback appears to be a promising fit, you will try a few sessions to see if you find it helpful.
A neurofeedback session begins with the clinician placing electrodes on your scalp, after which you’ll focus on a screen that delivers sensory feedback in response to your brain activity.
Neurofeedback is quite different from talk therapy and we find it to be an uniquely helpful addition. It makes sense that someone would have a lot of questions before starting. We encourage you to come in for a free consultation to see the equipment and ask questions. Also, you can check out eeginfo’s website to explore a bit more!
The following Viva therapists currently practice Neurofeedback:
Melanie Shapiro, LICSW, Neurofeedback Clinical Supervisor