1. Does Neurofeedback work?
Neurofeedback has demonstrated efficacy for multiple conditions. The most research in the literature has been conducted for ADHD and Seizure Disorders. An increasing amount of research is being published for Neurofeedback in the treatment of Anxiety, Depression, Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma, and Optimal Performance clients. See the Research section for more information.
2. Will this treatment work for me?
It depends on your current situation, diagnosis, and training goals. After a detailed assessment and clinical interview, we can decide if you are a good candidate for training. We would then move forward and design a personalized program to help you achieve your training goals.
3. How many sessions will it take for changes to occur?
This depends on your training goals. Generally, clients observe changes between the 15th to 20th session. We have to remember that Neurofeedback is a learning experience. Everyone learns at a different pace and have different criteria for change.
4. How many sessions must I complete in total?
Trainees usually complete 40 sessions though more may be required depending on their training goals. Certain optimal performance clients (executives, athletes, and students without a diagnosis) may meet their goals at the end of 20 sessions. More complex cases may take more than 40 sessions of training. After specific training goals are achieved, new training goals can be defined, and a new training program can be created.
5. Can I continue to take medication while completing Neurofeedback training?
Yes. We only ask that the trainee stops taking medication during assessments as it does affect their EEG recordings. As the client progresses through the training, the dosage of medication may need to be reduced. At this point, scheduling a medication review is necessary to see if it is appropriate to modify the dosage of medications.
6. Is Neurofeedback training covered by insurance?
Psychological assessments and reassessments are covered by most insurance companies. Biofeedback and Neurofeedback training may be covered by certain insurance companies for certain conditions.
7. If Neurofeedback training works so well, why haven’t I heard of it?
The most common form of intervention for mental health conditions is medication. The pharmaceutical industry has the money and power to advertise where Neurofeedback does not. This is changing as more research is being published to advocate for the efficacy of Neurofeedback. See http://www.isnr.org/ and http://www.aapb.org/ for more information.
8. Are there any risks/side effects associated with training?
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive treatment modality that focuses on teaching individuals to regulate their electrical brainwave activity. No research to date has reported any negative side-effects from Neurofeedback training. Neurofeedback training programs are designed so that only positive, optimal brainwave patterns are reinforced. No negative or unwanted brainwave patterns can be created in this way. As the training progresses, the trainee may notice that the side-effects of their medication are becoming more prevalent (if they are on medications). This indicates that their brain functioning is becoming more normalized and a medication review should be scheduled to modify the dosage of medication.
9. Can Neurofeedback help me if I don’t have any diagnosable disorders?
Neurofeedback and Biofeedback techniques are also used in Peak Performance settings to help improve an individual’s level of calm, focus, relax, and alert. This type of training is used for athletes, executives, and students who aim to achieve greater success in their respective disciplines.
10. What age ranges are the best candidates for Neurofeedback training?
Neurofeedback relies on concept of neuroplasticity, which states that the brain can alter its function and reorganize itself in response to learning and other events. Neuroplasticity tends to decrease as you age, so younger clients tend to progress the quickest. This is why it is easier to learn a language or skill early in life as opposed to when you are older. The most common age ranges for training are 8-24 years old. Older clients (55 years of age and over) may need a few more sessions to achieve certain training goals.
11. Why not use medication?
Initially, drug therapies may be necessary as a short-term solution to reduce the severity of symptoms. Medication may not be a viable long-term solution for some.If medication is discontinued, symptoms reappear because no learning has occurred. Due to the numerous side-effects associated with the medication, non-pharmacological options may be a better option. As training progresses and symptomatology improves, medication may need to be reduced or removed completely (see our Services section on our Pharmacological Medication Review).
12. Are the results of training permanent?
Follow-up studies have been conducted for children who received Neurofeedback training and they indicate that their training progress was sustained years after training was completed in most cases.
13. Does Neurofeedback training hurt?
Neurofeedback training is a non-invasive treatment modality and does not hurt. Electrodes are attached to the head and ears using conductivity paste. Clients may feel fatigued at the end of a session because Neurofeedback is essentially a workout for your brain. The trainee is practicing self-regulation, and they may feel tired after a session.
14. What does a client do during a Neurofeedback training session?
Each of our clients is paired with a Neurofeedback mentor who works with the client on a one-on-one basis. After a baseline recording of the trainee’s brainwave patterns is taken, the client begins training their focus and concentration. Complex Neurofeedback software is used to give the client feedback when they are relaxed, alert, and focused. The client gets multiple chances to practice achieving this state. After each round, the mentor gives the client feedback and explains their scores related to their brainwave patterns. This is reviewed at the end of the session with the parents as well. The clients also complete tasks related to their training goals during the session. This can take the form educational games, puzzles, reading comprehension, or other metacognitive strategies to test the client and help them grow.