What Neurofeedback is used for
Neurofeedback is used to enhance overall brain function. You have the potential to improve work or school performance, learning ability, self-esteem and overall social behavior by affecting arousal, attentional processes, mood and overall functional regulation.
Although not designed as a specific treatment for a specific problem, there is a significant body of research and an abundance of case studies documenting its effectiveness for the following conditions:
- Attachment Disorders
- Chronic Pain
- Conduct Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue
- Performance Enhancement
- Sleep Disorders
- Stroke/Head Injury
- SMR/Beta and Alpha/Theta Applications:
Professional Types of Services
All services provided by Physicians, Doctorate Level Professionals, Masters Level Licensed providers or Interns include:
- Child, Adolescent, Adult Bilingual Psychiatry
- Child, Adolescent, Adult Physician Assistant Psychiatry
- Beginning Primary Care
- Psychological Services
- Nursing for Medication Management and Compliance
- Individual/Group Psychotherapy
- Family Therapy
- Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Prevention
- Crisis Intervention
Paraprofessional Types Services
All services are provided by professionals with experience or a Bachelor’s Degree in a behavioral field.
Psychosocial/Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services include:
- Anger Management
- Drug Abuse Prevention
- Conflict Resolution
- Social Skills Training
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- Medication Management Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Money Management
- Job Skills Training
- Study Skills Training
- Family Functioning
These services are provided in a variety of settings such as our offices, community settings, homes, schools, detention centers, stores, churches, senior facilities and more.
Neurofeedback, also called Brainwave or EEG Biofeedback, is a learning process that enables you to alter and control your brainwaves. Simply put, neurofeedback is biofeedback for the brain; there is one exception, however. Where more traditional forms of biofeedback are used to teach people skills they can call upon and use in specific situations (i.e. learning to decrease autonomic arousal during a panic attack), the goal of EEG biofeedback is to retrain the brain.
Health care professionals from around the world are using neurofeedback to treat a number of conditions involving problems with attention, cognition, mood and behavior. There are two major approaches utilized in neurofeedback: alpha/theta and SMR/beta trainings. Together, neurofeedback is used as both a treatment for many psychological and physical problems, and as a learning tool for enhancing attention, performance and creativity. Although neurofeedback is not the “cure-all and end-all” treatment, it is a relatively new and exciting treatment that has shown clinical efficacy with a variety of conditions.
The Neurofeedback (Arousal) Model:
All human activity is dependent upon the flow of information through elaborate neuronal networks in the brain. It is the combined effect of this neuronal activity that produces the wavelike electro-chemical discharges (brainwaves) that we work with in neurotherapy. Different activities or states of consciousness are associated with different brainwaves. A healthy brain shifts through different brainwave states dependent upon the task at hand. A deregulated brain may be underaroused and unresponsive or overaroused and anxious, resulting in a diminished ability to shift states in response to environmental demands; we become “stuck” in a specific state of arousal, style of responding or mood state. Neurofeedback is designed to enhance brain function by improving the brain’s ability to switch states. That is, neurofeedback is used to “teach” the brain to increase its production of “situationally healthy” brainwaves and decrease the production of “situationally unhealthy” brainwaves. Over time, the brain adapts, resulting in greater flexibility and regulation of brainwave state.
Brainwaves are generally classified into 4 distinct frequencies or speeds – delta, theta, alpha and beta – and our state of consciousness depends on which waves are dominant. Delta waves (.5-4 Hz) are dominant during sleep. Theta waves (4-7 Hz) emerge as you drift off to sleep; this is the “twilight,” hypnogogic state in which dream like images can surface. Between 8 and 12 Hz are alpha waves, characterized by calm, relaxed and meditative feelings, day dreaming and unfocused thought. Beta (12-36 Hz), which dominates our normal waking state, has been subdivided into SMR (12-15 Hz), beta (15-18 Hz) and high beta (19-36 Hz). SMR is characterized as a relaxed, but alert state; it is sometimes described as “highly alert, physical stillness.” Focused concentration, mental acuity and mental activity are characteristic of beta. High beta (>18 Hz) may be described as a hyper-alert state, sometimes leading to tension, anxiety and agitation. A healthy person will shift through the different states dependant upon the task-at-hand. Different activities require different brainwave states. Increased theta is adaptive when we are drifting off to sleep, for example, but not when we are driving a car. Brainwave training protocols are designed to enhance brain function by increasing the brain’s production of “situationally healthy” brainwaves and decreasing the presence of “situationally unhealthy” waves. Training protocols affect a combination of signals, depending upon therapy goals and any brainwave dysregulation that may be present. There are specific protocols appropriate for different problems, but each protocol is individually designed to fit the person.