What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is an all natural, non-invasive approach to stabilizing the brain. It is a type of biofeedback that uses the EEG. It helps regulate, calm and stabilize the brain. It uses the body's innate ability to self-regulate.
Using computerized feedback, the brain learns to increase or decrease certain brainwaves based on parameters that have been set, in order to improve brain function. It just helps the brain become better regulated, more balanced.
Since sleep, emotions or behavior are regulated by the brain, improvements of conditions related to these areas are generally seen after training. A more stabilized brain translates to a more calm and stable body as a whole.
When you give the brain information about itself, (which is what the computerized feedback does) it has an enormous capacity for change. Neurofeedback makes the information available to the brain almost instantly, and asks it to make adjustments. This gives the brain a greater ability to self-manage or regulate. Think of it as the brain looking at itself in the mirror for the first time. With this tool it now has the capacity to notice poor habits and change for the better. We're saying " This is what you're doing. This is what we'd like you to do. How does that feel?"
How does it work?
Neurofeedback stabilizes the brain by balancing brainwaves. Neurofeedback works by taking advantage of operant conditioning. It's based on reward and punishment learning. In this case the reward is a bright screen and the punishment is a dim screen. A special EEG monitor and software is set up with a computer. Electrodes are placed on the scalp to record the client's brainwave activity.
The client is then given visual and/or auditory feedback like a specially designed computer game or movie. As certain frequencies increase or decrease, the trainee receives feedback, including auditory and visual feedback. With repetition the brain figures out the healthier pattern of brainwave production. Most conditions improve post 20 to 40 sessions. A minimum of 2 sessions per week is necessary in order for the brain to retain and consolidate what it learned.
I received a certification in neurofeedback from EEG Education and Research and trained with Ed Hamlin, PhD who is at the cutting edge of neurofeedback research and completed an internship with Larry Hirshberg, PhD, a professor at Brown University, who also does research and gathers clinical data on neurofeedback therapy and outcomes. I've received training from Sebern Fisher, a pioneer in the field of neurofeedback and developmental trauma. I will forever be grateful to Nancy Hetherington, another amazing therapist who I've been blessed to have as a friend and collegue.
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