It is a powerful modality for issues rooted in physiology such as ADHD, learning challenges, executive functioning, depression, anxiety, behavioral dysregulation, traumatic brain injuries and concussions, insomnia, autism, trauma, and seizures. Also, research has demonstrated enhanced peak performance and cognitive enhancement for athletes and musicians.
Clients are shown direct feedback of their brainwaves with the intention of shifting patterns that are maladaptive. Neurofeedback feeds back an individual’s electroencephalography (EEG) so they can create changes in the surface electrical activity associated with the central nervous system.
Dr. Cory Hammond (2011) from the University of Utah, School of Medicine explains that ordinarily patients cannot reliably influence their brainwave patterns because they lack awareness of them. When they can see brainwaves on a computer screen a few thousandths of a second after they occur, it gives them the ability to influence and gradually change them. The mechanism of action is operant conditioning and involves reconditioning and retraining the brain. At first, the changes are temporary, gradually however they become long lasting as the brain learns new patterns.
Research states improvement in 75-80% of cases. It also shows microstructural changes present in white and grey matter after neurofeedback training in an MRI study (Ghaziri et al., 2013). The same researchers found improvement in visual and auditory sustained attention after neurofeedback.
Beginning with a brain map (qEEG), clinical intake, and neurocognitive testing we identify phenotypes and create a treatment plan.
Sessions are twice weekly (or more if desired). At 15-20 sessions we remap and retest to measure, qualify, and quantify what has been achieved and to determine if changes will be made in the treatment plan. People train until their goals are met. This is dependent on the individual and presenting patterns. For example, ADHD is 30-40 sessions on average.
Dr. McGuffin did her doctoral research and dissertation on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and neurofeedback.