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Neurofeedback

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback or brainwave training, is an evidence-based, non-invasive therapeutic technique that helps individuals regulate their brain activity. It works by monitoring brainwave patterns using sensors placed on the scalp and then providing real-time feedback to the individual through visual or auditory cues. Through repeated sessions, neurofeedback aims to train the brain to function more efficiently, promoting relaxation, improved focus, and better emotional regulation.

Neurofeedback has been used to address various mental health conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and depression, as well as to enhance cognitive performance in athletes and professionals. Neurofeedback offers a safe and drug-free alternative for optimizing brain function and improving overall well-being.

What Happens During a Neurofeedback Session?

Neurofeedback equipment - Robin Risso LMFT

A computer monitor, laptop, and electrodes used for Neurofeedback

When you come for neurofeedback training sessions, this is the setup you’ll see. Think of it like going to the gym but for your brain. We are training specific parts of your brain to work more efficiently and collaboratively with other parts of your brain. 

Small electrodes will be placed on specific areas of your scalp using a paste that is easy to remove. This allows your therapist to monitor your brainwave activity. The electrodes do not hurt and do not conduct electricity. Your hair does not have to be shaved and the electrodes can be easily removed and you can resume your regular daily activities after the training session.

The first step in neurofeedback is to obtain a baseline of your brainwaves. This is referred to as 'Mapping'. A cap is placed on your head, similar to a swimming cap but it is made of cloth and the fit isn't as tight. There are small holes and a gel is applied to the scalp.  The cap is easily removed but sometimes it looks like you went a little crazy with the hair get. The electrodes will monitor your brainwaves, then your therapist will compare your results to a 'normative result' and a map is generated to show which parts of your brain are too fast and which parts are too sluggish, or if your brain waves are not operating in a harmonious way.  I use sophisticated software called QEEG Pro to create our reports and for your comparative data. As your therapist, I will then devise a protocol to use in your neurofeedback sessions to help you move your brainwaves toward the more normal range.

During regular neurofeedback sessions, you will be seated playing a brain-training game or watching a video with closed captions and no sound, you don’t actively have to do anything other than watch the screen, your brain will be engaged with the video or game. As you watch, the screen will dim when your brainwaves are too fast or slow but the screen will become instantly bright when your brainwaves are normalized. You will also hear melodic sounds when your brainwaves are within normal range. The brightness and the sounds train your brain to regulate the wavelengths whenever they become too fast or slow.

Who Can Benefit From Neurofeedback?

Almost anyone experiencing emotional stress or dysregulation can benefit from neurofeedback, including people who struggle with:

  • ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder): Neurofeedback has been used as an alternative or complementary treatment for ADHD, by improving concentration, impulse control, and cognitive functioning.

  • Sleep disorders: Neurofeedback can help regulate sleep patterns and improve sleep quality for people who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia.

  • Depression and anxiety: Neurofeedback is used to treat depression and anxiety, and can help you regulate your emotional state. Neurofeedback is even more effective when combined with talk therapy.

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Neurofeedback has been used to help individuals recover from traumatic brain injuries by promoting brain function and cognitive rehabilitation.

  • Enhanced performance for athletes and performers: Neurofeedback has been utilized to enhance focus, concentration, and cognitive performance in athletes and performers, aiding in achieving peak mental states during competitions and performances.

  • Substance abuse issues: Neurofeedback may assist in addressing underlying neurological imbalances related to addiction and substance abuse, potentially aiding in the management of cravings and relapse prevention.

  • Autism and autism spectrum disorders: Studies suggest that neurofeedback may help improve certain symptoms associated with autism, such as social interaction and communication difficulties.

  • People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Neurofeedback may improve symptoms of PTSD by regulating brain patterns associated with emotional processing and stress response.

  • Anyone seeking cognitive enhancement: Neurofeedback may aid cognitive enhancement, helping people improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive function, even in the absence of any specific neurological disorder.

Want to find out if neurofeedback training is right for you? Request a confidential consultation call now!

Neurofeedback Fees

20 Session Package (can Include Mapping) - $2700

10 Session Package (can include Mapping) - $1600

5 Session Package (can include mapping) - $875

 

Single Neurofeedback Training Session - $275

QEEG/Brain Mapping - $325

Frequently Asked Questions About Neurofeedback

Is neurofeedback the same as ECT (electroconvulsive therapy)?

No, definitely not!  Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure that involves stimulating the brain and inducing a seizure in the person which can only be administered by a medical practitioner (usually a psychiatrist) and an anesthetist in a hospital environment. Neurofeedback does not stimulate the brain, and there is no electrical current going into the brain.  Instead, it is a natural way of training the brain through the process of neuroplasticity.

Is neurofeedback painful?

Not at all! The electrodes are small pads that are attached to the scalp using a gel. They do not emit any electricity and are easy to remove using alcohol wipes after your session. 

Can I do neurofeedback training if I am taking medication?

It is generally not a problem to start neurofeedback when taking medications. Neurofeedback is learning and your brain still learns when you're on medication. Some medications may slow down the progress of neurofeedback, for example, Benzodiazepines, but this will not prevent the efficacy of the treatment. We will discuss any medications you are taking during your initial appointment.

Can I do neurofeedback training if I am using marijuana, alcohol, or other substances?

It’s possible to train with neurofeedback while using substances, but they may interfere with or slow neurofeedback progress. Success depends on many factors, including the type of substance, dosage, frequency, age, and overall clinical history. It is important to be upfront about any substances you may be using so that I can ensure that neurofeedback is appropriate for you.

How long does it take for neurofeedback to work?

Response to neurofeedback can vary from person to person, typically there will be a noticeable response within 10-20 sessions, but generally, 30-40 sessions are needed for the brain to retain what it has learned during the training.

Will my insurance cover neurofeedback training?

Neurofeedback training and mapping is private-pay only and I am not contracted with any health insurance companies at this practice. Payment is required at the time of the appointment. Payment can be made by credit card, cash, check, HSA, or FSA.

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