If you are new to the mental health field, you may have never heard of neurofeedback therapy and how it can be used to treat several kinds of mental health disorders. You may have heard about it, but think it involves shooting electricity into your brain, which is a common myth in society. This type of therapy is not to be feared and has made a real positive difference in many people’s lives. It can be beneficial to learn what neurofeedback therapy is, how it helps people, and what disorders it can treat.
What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback (also known as Neurotherapy) is a technique that uses biofeedback to help teach and reinforce healthy brain functions through operant conditioning. Sensors are connected to your scalp to measure electrical activity and record real-time brain wave patterns. This is called electroencephalography. Brain wave patterns and electrical activity are displayed (feedback) where you can view them. This is usually displayed in the form of visuals or through the use of sound on a computer monitor. This gives you a visual aid to help you as you work on techniques to calm overactive parts of the brain that are causing their issues.
Through practice, you can learn how to relax when you need to. Neurofeedback does not shock the brain, it only displays brain wave patterns that you can see. It is not invasive and only requires a bit of cleaning to make sure the sensors stick well to the scalp. Sessions can go from 30 minutes up to an hour, but most only use them for 30 minutes at a time.
Not every therapist can use neurofeedback therapy. To use neurofeedback therapy as a form of treatment, the therapist must undergo a biofeedback certification international alliance (BCIA) accredited training program. This program has strict requirements, so you can be sure that those that use this treatment do so with all the knowledge they need to make it successful.
Neurofeedback does not use drugs as part of the treatment, so if you are concerned about medications, this kind of therapy may be a good option if psychotherapy is not working.
What Disorders Does Neurofeedback Therapy Treat?
Neurofeedback is currently used to treat mostly mood (such as depression) and anxiety disorders. Research is still undergoing on its effectiveness to treat other types of conditions, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, and strokes. Currently, this type of therapy has been proven to be quite effective in harder-to-treat mood and anxiety disorders, such as treatment-resistant depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes if medication and conventual psychotherapy is not helping, a therapist may recommend trying neurofeedback therapy.
This form of therapy has been around for nearly forty years and is still being explored in new clinical trials. You may very well see more disorders benefiting from this type of therapy within the next few years.
How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work?
Neurofeedback therapy works by allowing you to physically see your brain wave patterns and realize you have the power to influence them. A therapist will walk you through the process of understanding what you are seeing, as well as give you advice and tips on grounding/calming techniques. These techniques are designed to help, should you begin to experience symptoms, such as a panic attack or a sudden drop in mood.
You may not know how to regulate these feelings on your own, so this therapy can give you the practice you need to learn how to do so. The therapist is there to monitor the equipment and give advice, everything else is up to you. As you work, you will notice just how much you control your own negative emotions, and with time and practice, you learn how to not let them rule your life any longer.
The idea is that through practice, you will not need to need the machine any longer. Through conditioning your brain, you would have learned how to automatically regulate emotions that you could not before. If you struggle with self-esteem issues, completing this treatment is a boost to your confidence, as all the hard work you have done by yourself and now are enjoying the positive results of it.
As you can see, neurofeedback therapy is not something to be feared. It is a legitimate form of therapy that has helped people improve their lives over several decades. As time passes, the techniques used in this form of treatment become more refined, allowing more people to benefit from this form of therapy.
If you would like to try neurofeedback therapy, speak with a mental health professional you trust, and they will help you find more information about it. Many facilities already offer such therapy already and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the treatment itself and how it may help you.
Are you someone who feels like a lost cause and conventional therapy and medication do nothing to help you? You may find success in a neurofeedback therapy program. No matter what, you are not a lost cause and you still deserve quality care and treatment.
Sometimes it takes time to find the right treatment for everyone, and neurofeedback therapy may be what you need. Neurofeedback therapy offers a drug-free way to learn how to regulate your emotions and make a positive change in your life. At Acera Health in Costa Mesa, California, we use several unique therapies in our treatment programs, including neurofeedback therapy.
As a patient, you deserve to receive the most effective forms of treatment currently available. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder, call (949) 649-2339 today to learn how this treatment may be right for you.