Neuro Feeback

Also known as neurotherapy or brainwave biofeedback is a way to learn to control your brain activity to break out of troubling thoughts or habits. When the brain is not functioning optimally this is often reflected in mental or physical health problems.

The process of neurofeedback alleviates a large number of physical and mental health problems. Neurofeedback draws upon the brains own ability to self-regulate, learn and adapt.

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback gives to the client up to the moment information about their electrical activity from various places in the brain. Once this information is received the brain is challenged to modify the brain waves produced. The client is soon able to make changes to the brain waves.

These changes lead to improvement in the brain waves to a more stable state. This change in brain waves then result in behavior change and improved emotional regulation.

Neurofeedback based methods are a form of behavioural therapy because they improve the brain’s performance based on learning mechanisms. The effects of neurotherapy are usually permanent and relapse rarely occurs.

Neurotherapy training is a painless non-invasive procedure. One or more sensors are placed on the scalp and two sensors on the ears.

The brain waves are measured by an amplifier which is sent to the computer that analyses the signal, and works out the brain waves we want to increase (associated with good focus and attention) and brainwaves we want to decrease (those which are associated with poor focus, anxiety and agitation).

Neurofeedback software is then used to drive a video game or DVD movie. The game or movie only moves forward when the client increases the right brainwaves and decreases the brain waves associated with poor focus, anxiety and attention.

Why train brainwaves?

All information being processed in the brain is transmitted by brainwaves.

The brainwave carries the information but is not the information. Slow brainwaves such as delta and theta waves relate to individuals being sleepy and having an inability to focus, whilst faster waves such as beta and high beta waves can cause anxiety and agitation.

Whether it be too many slow waves or fast waves that are present for an individual, people will have difficulty with focus and attention. By training neurofeedback and the brainwaves we can help create a healthy balance between brainwaves.

The reason neurofeedback is able to work well with a variety of disorders is because those disorders show a disruption to regulation of the brainwave activity which neurofeedback can restore.

Who is most likely to benefit from Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is especially effective for treating children’s issues such as hyperactivity, attention deficit, temper tantrums and conduct problems.

Neurofeedback training is an effective treatment for individuals regarding pain management, fears and phobias, depressed mood, substance use, chronic pain, sleep problems, headaches and PTSD.

The US military relies on the various Neurotherapy approaches also for the rehabilitation of war veterans. For example, after brain injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

What is involved in having Neurofeedback treatment?

An initial assessment is done which involves an interview to clarify the focus of treatment and to understand the key background factors. Clinical Tests may be given at that stage to understand where a client is and to measure before and after effects of treatment.

A third part of the assessment is then given which involves taking a midline assessment which is an EEG analysis. This process involves attaching sensors on the scalp to gather information and brainwave activity in parts of the brain and the results are then analyzed and treatment directions and protocols are then determined.

Initial assessments normally would take 1.5 – 2 hours.

How long do sessions last and how often will I have to come?

After the initial assessment is completed and the treatment plan is completed sessions will commence. Sessions normally take between 30-50 minutes. Initially it is recommended that clients would attend at least twice a week to gain the maximum benefits from treatment.

Intensive programs are also offered that would involve clients having two sessions a day for a week or fortnight. This is especially helpful for people travelling long distances to sessions.

Neurofeedback can help with top level performance or Peak Performance?

Neurofeedback training is also available to bring the brain back from day to day stress and facilitate peak performance. Many clinical applications of neurofeedback are used in sports settings, corporate settings and for positive leadership.

The US army uses Neurofeedback training for performance enhancement of frontline soldiers during active deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. The winning World Cup side in 2006 Italy used Neorofeedback before and during the tournament.

The use of Neurofeedback in the corporate world to increase performance of individuals/leaders is also increasing.

How many sessions of neurofeedback therapy will I need to get better?

On average clients may find that they experience significant improvements after completing between 10 and 20 hours of neurofeedback training. Some clients may report positive changes after a few sessions or even one session. Other clients with more complex issues may need upwards of 40 sessions.

Unfortunately neurofeedback is not a cure for all. Like any treatment each individual has personal requirements and complexities that may not be met by neurofeedback.

Other psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR are used in conjunction with Neurotherapy to provide a comprehensive treatment program for each client.

Glen Davey is also registered with all the major Private Health Providers.