What is Neurofeedback?
* All videos kindly provided by EEG Institute
How does Neurofeedback work?
"Neurofeedback is the direct training of brain function, through which the brain learns to function better and more efficiently. Self-regulation is the brain's core skill. During development, the brain learns self-regulation by way of feedback on its interaction with the world. We can now augment that process by allowing the brain to see itself in action from moment to moment through its own brainwave activity, the EEG. The brain effectively gets to watch its own dance of self-regulation in real time. This suffices to allow the brain to improve its self-regulatory competence. This is a gradual learning process. We refer to this kind of neurofeedback process as Endogenous Neuromodulation.
Most mental dysfunctions and disorders can be understood as disregulations, the failure of the brain to coordinate properly in the domain of timing and frequencyâ€”its dynamics. (We use the term disregulation when we're just dealing with such dysfunctions. The medical term dysregulation is appropriate where underlying organic factors play a key role.) Most brain-based dysfunctions are accessible to us by way of our brain training strategy. The training particularizes in terms of sensor placement and specific training frequency, depending on the issues. Also, training self-regulation is a moving target. That is why a skilled clinician needs to be in charge of the process.
Brain disregulation is a problem for all of us at some level. We've all taken our knocks, from the birth process on, and in the course of life we come to accept our limitations. It can now be said that no one knows the inherent functional competence of their own brain unless it has had a chance to train self-regulation. Historically, this has consisted of the usual techniques that encompass meditation, mindfulness, physical fitness, martial arts, playing musical instruments, etc. The process can now be aided significantly by way of instrumental support that takes advantage of what we have learned about functional neuroanatomy (the connectome) and brain function in the bio-electrical domain (dynamic connectivity).
All sustained benefits derived from neurofeedback ultimately trace back to learning that has taken place in the brain. We are merely facilitating and potentiating the process. Our organization has played a lead role in the evolution of the clinical application of these methods over the course of the last 38 years. Nearly two million people have already benefited from our particular approach, at the hands of over 10,000 clinicians in over forty countries. The method is well established, and it is well represented in the scientific literature."
- EEG Info
The Set Up
"We apply sensors to the scalp to detect the brainwave activity. (Nothing goes into the brain. This is not a brain stimulation technique.) The tiny brain signal is amplified, and then by way of signal processing the activity at certain key brainwave frequencies is extracted. This signal stream is then reflected back to the trainee's brain by way of a video game display, auditory feedback, and tactile feedback. The trainee is engaged by the game while the brain learns from the information imbedded in the signal. The trainee can even be watching a movie while the brain learns. Cognitive engagement with the signal is not required.
The clinician chooses what sensor placement to use, and what frequency range to work in. This choice is based on the totality of client complaints, which are evaluated in the context of personal and family history. Interpretation is in terms of the key failure modes of cerebral regulation, which then specify the appropriate protocols. The clinician optimizes the training parameters on the basis of the reaction to the training. Other protocols are then added to target remaining patterns of disregulation.
This is an improvement over an earlier day, when neurofeedback depended on the volitional engagement with the training signal. That is no longer necessary. In consequence, the training has become more efficient as well as more impactful. The older process (which is also still in common use) depends on our understanding, because we place ourselves in charge of how the brain is to be trained. We set the goals to be achieved. Then the feedback 'rewards' the trainee as these specific EEG-based training goals are approached. This technique is known as operant conditioning, and such reward-based training still has its place, even in our own work.
The new approach, which has largely taken over our practice, exploits the brain's wisdom to direct the training. Here's the crucial distinction: For the trainee and for the clinician, the signal is an observation. Even trainees cannot really 'relate' to their own EEG in the general case. For the trainee's brain, however, the encounter with the signal is an experience. It is awareness of the context that gives meaning to the signal, and the brain is in sole possession of that awareness.
This new approach is appropriately termed Endogenous Neuromodulation. It operates entirely on the basis of the brain's endogenous (i.e., self-generated) neural activity, and the neuromodulatory response is entirely initiated by the brain. There are no external nudges or rewards.
In this kind of training, the brain has to recognize itself in the signal in first instance, or the process does not move forward. Once such recognition occurs, however, the brain will naturally exploit the signal for its own benefit. We have a feedback loop. The brain bootstraps the information on its own activity to alter its instantaneous state in a manner determined entirely by the brain itself. This is an iterative process, with the change in brain state reflected in the signal, effecting yet another brain response. The process is a continuous one. All this can readily occur beneath consciousness. This is referred to as 'covert' neurofeedback. Over time, this process eventuates in improved functionalityâ€”when performed under appropriate conditions.
It may surprise us that we are talking about the brain being in charge just as if it were a person. This is called 'anthropomorphizing the brain,' and it has been frowned upon by scientists because it implies the existence of a 'decider' that is doing the deciding. In this case, however, it is entirely appropriate. The only entity that 'gets' what is going on here is the brain that produced the signal in the first place. So we have placed the brain in charge of the actual process. This makes the process context-sensitive, as indeed it needs to be, in a manner that is not possible any other way. That, in turn, makes the training more efficient and more effective.
The clinician remains in charge of the steeringâ€”determining the parameters under which the training takes place. That in turn calls for great professional skill, as it is a matter of turning the trainee reports on the changes being experienced into refinements of the training protocols. The training process combines the 'first-person' perspective of the trainee with the 'third-person' perspective of the clinician. This is somewhat analogous to what happens in psychotherapy, but the focus here is on what happens at the neurophysiological level rather than in the realm of psychodynamics.
Even though the person training may be distracted by a movie, this does not mean the trainee is merely a passive participant in the process. On the contrary, the clinician is dependent on good reporting from trainees on their experience of the training. Noticeable shift in physiological state can occurâ€”and routinely does occurâ€”in a matter of minutes. The reports on such state shifts, as well as on change in symptoms, indicate to the clinician how to adjust the training parameters for best outcome. In the case of someone who cannot report, we depend on family members or other caregivers, and the clinician watches for changes that occur from session to session.
Now the question remains: If there is no decider, how is the deciding getting done? The brain is a self-organizing system, and it has a problem. By the time it finds out what is happening out in the world it has already happened. There are signal processing delays. And it takes time for the brain to organize a response. So, in order for the brain to act in the world in real time (like, for example, hitting a baseball), it has to project the information it has forward in time. It is always operating on a prediction model. (We don't know how that is organized either.)
In any event, the same thing holds for issues of state regulation. The brain projects the signal forward it time, and then tries to bring closure between the unfolding reality and the prediction. The decision-making is not an event, but rather a continuous process, one that involves the whole brain. This is what the brain is organized to do, because the prime directive for the nervous system is the organization of movement."
Trauma often causes the brain to be in a fight, flight, or freeze state, which is an unhealthy state to be living in long-term. Neurofeedback helps in getting the brain out of this “stuck” pattern of functioning into more regulated healthier ones.
Neurofeedback is not a cure and may not work for all cases.
It is a process that takes time and needs consistency, but has numerous positive results.
The goal of Neurofeedback is to reduce the level of symptoms. Each individual who starts training will be able to see a report of how they are progressing throughout Neurofeedback Training.
How long do I need to do Neurofeedback?
Just as physical therapy needs to be kept consistent in the beginning to help in recovery, neurofeedback training will also need consistency to help the brain in it's recovery.
Neurofeedback does not need to be life-long, but in order for the brain to learn how to live in a more regulated way it needs time to adjust to the healthier regulation.
If a client was to end treatment after only a few session this would likely make it very difficult for the brain to retain what it had learned and it will have a higher chance of returning to previous behaviors.
Professionals recommend to have 20 sessions before discontinuing. During that the clinician will decrease the frequency of visits, which will help the brain retain what it has learned. Clients can then come in occasionally for maintenance training as needed.
Issues that Neurofeedback can help with:
and much more!
Clients who have participated in 5+ sessions have reported increased regulation and a decrease in negative symptoms.
Neurofeedback for ADHD
Neurofeedback for Autism
Neurofeedback for Peak Performance
Neurofeedback for Chronic Pain
Neurofeedback for PTSD
Each Neurofeedback Consultation is 90 min long
It consists of an:
-Intensive Background Interview,
-Symptom Assessment and
Neurofeedback Bundle Pricing
We try to provide Neurofeedback for affordable pricing. See our bundle pricing below.
1 60 min Neurofeedback Session- $150
2 60 min Neurofeedback Sessions- $300 $275
3 60 min Neurofeedback Sessions- $450 $400
4 60 min Neurofeedback Sessions- $600 $525
5 60 min Neurofeedback Sessions- $750 $600 (free session!)
*Please note: We ask that you schedule your sessions in your bundle and do not wait to use sporadically.
We value consistency in this process and want you to see the results you are looking for.
We also do not guarantee a "cure" for symptoms
For more information about Neurofeedback see EEG Institute
Meet the therapists who use Neurofeedback!
"Neurofeedback has become one of the best tools to use with my clients. The way it helps them regulate and see how their brain can learn to become stronger and more aware of ways it can do better has been such a great thing to offer to people. I love how it shows them that we are built to succeed and our bodies know just what to do to help us be the best we can be!"
-Hailey Maire, LCSW
"In Neurofeedback there is this great benefit that a client does not need to be motivated to change, but the therapy still works. Almost every other kind of therapy there needs to be a motivation, there needs to be homework and in Neuro you have a passive way to still see change."
-Taylor Madsen, LMFT-S
"In the number of years that I’ve done neurofeedback with various clients, I’ve seen countless tremendous positive outcomes! I love that it’s a direct way of showing the brain its activity and guiding it to train itself to have healthier ways of working and regulating. "
-Eddie Shin, LMFT