Getting Your Head Examined
Neurotherapy is an exciting treatment that’s different from other psychological and psychiatric options. Unlike medication or talk therapy, neurotherapy (also known as neurofeedback) is a results-based alternative designed to use the latest developments in neurology and technology to help individuals heal. If you’re looking for neurotherapy in Langley, BC, you can turn to Affinity Counselling Services.
Neurotherapy is designed to help clients achieve lasting results and make meaningful changes in their lives. In addition to promoting healing from emotional issues, treatment with this form of therapy has been linked to:
- Better concentration
- Increased attention span
- Improved sleep
- Reduced migraines and associated pain
Added benefit with Affinity Counselling you will be seeing LaVerna Wilk, MA, RCC and trauma specialist, who has been trained at the prestigious Swingle Clinic. She provides on going therapy along with the Neurotherapy so you are not just sitting with a technician. This makes the therapy more effective and helps clients feel they are making progress and understanding the process as they go along.
What is it?
Neurofeedback was first developed almost 60 years ago to help patients control epileptic seizures by learning to regulate their brain activity. In addition to seizures, mainstream neuroscience is now showing us that a wide variety of psychological disorders and severe emotional turmoil can be understood as firing mistakes in the electrical activity of the brain. Neurofeedback has developed into an increasingly sophisticated technology, which can teach people to make changes in their brain’s activity to eliminate symptoms of conditions including attention disorders, anxiety and phobia disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How does it Work?
Wave frequencies in the brain underlie every thought and feeling we have, as well as the behaviors they give rise to. Typically, for example, when we make more alpha waves (the frequency of 8–11 Hz), we feel more relaxed and, with time and training, can learn to spend more time in relaxation states as our default mode of brain activity. If someone with attention deficit disorder needs to pay better attention, they can learn to make more beta waves (15–18 Hz) and get better at maintaining focus. Simply put, the neurofeedback practitioner—ideally also a psychotherapist—assesses the client’s clinical needs, selects the target brain frequencies to address the presenting problems, and provides feedback so that clients can learn how to make more of the selected electroencephalogram (EEG) frequencies and ameliorate unwanted symptoms.
To start the training, clients sit in a comfortable chair with sensors placed on their scalp and play a game watching their own EEG signal shown on a computer screen. When they achieve the target frequencies while inhibiting the dysregulating frequencies (that is, very slow or very fast waves), they collect points in the game. In one such game, frequencies are represented as space ships. Whenever clients make the desired frequency and inhibit those getting in their way, the blue ship (the target frequency) outpaces the purple ship (slow waves) and the yellow ship (fast waves). Ongoing feedback from the game functions as a reward, and as the training continues, a client’s brain will naturally seek more rewards, increasing the time spent in the target frequency. More detailed instructions are occasionally needed, but most of the time, as in all biofeedback, there is really only one general rule: relax and focus.
Clients learn quickly that trying too hard impedes their progress, as is the case in most of our endeavors, from meditation to creativity to athletic competition. The clinician can act as coach during the session, reminding clients to breathe, drop their shoulders, soften the muscles in their face, and gently focus. She can show them how the EEG reflects body tension or fear states and remind them to bring the signal back within the target parameters. In this way, clients receive direct feedback to the organ most involved in learning—the brain—in the language it most understands—its frequencies. A training session typically lasts about 50 minutes and for best results is done, at least initially, twice a week. normally the brain will respond best after 10-20 sessions.
Is there Evidence for its Effectiveness with trauma?
Most of the research in neurofeedback has been around epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Recently, however, trauma researchers have become interested in the use of neurofeedback to help their clients learn to regulate their affect. In a randomized controlled trial, psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk and his colleagues found a remarkable 40 percent drop in PTSD scores for a sample of treatment-resistant patients after 20 sessions of neurofeedback, compared to a wait-list control group. A 40 percent drop is far larger than most published clinical trials of other treatments for PTSD, particularly in treatment-resistant populations.
With PTSD, as with other psychological conditions, the brain, by its very nature, is biased toward its own regulation. Once it learns how to achieve a more regulated state, it has no incentive to revert to instability—its old, habitual firing patterns—and dysregulation. It’s difficult to predict how long any individual will need to learn this new capacity, but most people will discern some improvement within the first 5 to 10 sessions, some even in the first session. Every brain is unique, and neurofeedback protocols—the placement of the sensors and the target frequencies that the practitioner sets—are tailored accordingly.
Info from Sebern Fisher is the author of Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain and numerous articles and chapters on neurofeedback to quiet fear circuitries in the brain. She integrates neurofeedback and psychotherapy in her practice in Northampton, Massachusetts. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See Evidence Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback.
If you’re looking to change your life for the better and move forward from the issues that have been holding you back, it’s time to call Best Marriages & Affinity Counselling Services to learn more about how neurotherapy may help you become a healthier and happier person. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.
Effective with Anxiety
Effective with Adhd
Probably effictive with Addiction
Effective with PTSD and trauma
For a detailed review of neurotherapy Click here
Call 604-530-2660 today for a confidential consultation