Optimum brain functioning equals better performance!
Using the most advanced technology, our approach to neurofeedback therapy is the same used by Olympic athletes and top executives around the world to improve brain functioning and overall performance.
3-D Mapping and Neuromodulation
The American Academy of Pediatrics lists neurofeedback as a “Level 1” best support treatment option for ADHD, which is in the same category as medication and may be helpful for autism, anxiety, depression, sleep, PTSD, titrating off medication, performance enhancement, etc.
Neurofeedback comes in many forms and some may be more effective than others.
We use a 19-channel Z-Score Neurofeedback rather than other places that do sessions with only 2-6 channels, this allows us to maximize your results. Our in-house experts have obtained rigorous training and are consistently updating their methodologies to reflect evidenced-based neuroscience and provide you with the most efficient outcome.
Our Therapy Process
Your first session is an hour long appointment to obtain a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) ‘brain map’ that safely and non-invasively reads the brains electrical activity. Using advanced technology and statistical analysis, we obtain a 3-D LORETA (low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography) and combine those images with traditional brain maps and assess areas of inefficient activity and connectivity within your brain.
Next we develop a comprehensive, individualized treatment strategy in tiers that address inefficient functioning and desired behavioral and performance outcomes such as improved attention, lower hyperactivity, reduced obsessiveness, improved mood, or better auditory processing.
Last, we review the results with you in a feedback session and outline our plan for best results. A qEEG can be a separate appointment or in conjunction with more comprehensive testing.
Your Therapy Sessions
The sessions are non-invasive and last about 45 minutes each. The number of sessions needed for optimal results ranges based on age, response to treatment, magnitude of inefficiency in the brain, etc. Typically we can achieve optimum results in 18-35 sessions and your specialist may recommend a combination approach of neurofeedback and EMDR Therapy for optimum results.
Dr. Amy Serin Explains Neurofeedback Therapy
Common Questions About Neurofeedback Therapy
What is an EEG?
It stands for electroencephalogram which is a machine that tracks electrical activity in the brain. We can actually map your brain and see your brain patterns when you’re wearing it.
Do I have to wearing something?
Yes, a head cap. It will have electrodes, which are the small metal discs attached to it with wires coming off it. The electrodes can assess the electrical impulses coming from your brain and they’ll send that electrical signal from your brain to the computer to analyze the results.
Does having an EEG hurt?
No, an EEG does not hurt. There is no physical sensation or electrical shock during this test. The most annoying thing might be the weight of the numerous wires coming from your head cap.
How do neurofeedback sessions typically go?
It depends on whether they’ll do a wet or dry EEG. Serin Center uses a ‘Wet EEG’.
They’ll ask you to remove your earrings, then attach sticky electrodes on your scalp using salt-water gel (don’t worry it comes off easily) and your brain waves get measured on the screen.
Dry EEG’s are the same as above minus the gel.
Each electrode is its own line and that’s it’s measured electrical activity. Think of it like wearing a swim cap with a bunch of wires connected to a computer.
How long will attaching all of these electrodes take?
It is a simple process and takes about five minutes for placement and testing.
Then what happens?
They need to do an eyes-open and eyes-closed baseline for you. They’ll ask you to sit still for about 10 minutes with your eyes open without being assigned a task. Then, they’ll ask you to do the same thing but this time with your eyes closed.
Basically, they’re trying to establish what your brain looks like when you’re sitting down doing nothing. It’s what they’ll use as a control data to compare to during the test.
Any tips to get a good reading?
Take a deep breath. Relax your jaw. Focus on a particular place in the room to reduce the amount of noise on the screen. “Noise” in the EEG means you’re doing something like tightening your muscles, blinking, or any other head movements. The data they’ll record during your neurofeedback session has to be edited to determine what your brain is actually doing versus what movement skewed your results. If you want an accurate EEG reading, there needs to be as little noise as possible.
What can an EEG tell you?
A lot. The electrical activity of the brain can tell us many things. For example, are your sleeping and waking cycles normal? A sleep study is an EEG that measures that. There are also EEG’s ordered if a patient is suspected of having a seizure to map their brain activity.
This is why it is important to obtain EEG readings from highly trained professionals rather than small business professionals who add neurofeedback to their list of services. You need to have training on brain function to interpret EEG data properly.
What are neurofeedback channels?
It’s the number of electrodes you had on your head. For example: Serin Center uses a 19-channel neurofeedback which means that 19 electrodes will be reading your brain’s electrical activity. You want as many electrodes as possible to get a good reading. Many offices use older equipment and those machines only incorporate 2 or 6 channels. If you only have 2 channels, then you can only see 2 areas of the brain which means more sessions and longer time before results.
So, more electrodes are good?
It would be ideal, yes. It maps the brain better.
If there are only 2 channels, then that means we can only train the areas between the 2 sites.
Neurofeedback uses that data of you sitting still at the beginning to figure out what parts of your brain are deviating from the norm. Which parts aren’t activating the way they should? Is there too much activity in one area over another? That’s a lot of electrical impulses to measure. You want as many channels as possible to capture that data to get an accurate reading.
What happens next?
During neurofeedback sessions, the trained therapist will have the patient revisit the negative event or memories that may be the cause of their anxiety. They will have you revisit the past experience that started your anxiety in the first place. It is vital for them to know these details so later on they can have you recall the memories or thoughts associated with your anxiety.
By doing this treatment in a more controlled and pleasant environment, the brain will be less stressed. Instead, the brain will associate other stimulation with this new set-up which will give it a chance to better adapt and cope. The overwhelming feelings of fear caused by anxiety are believed to be the result of unresolved trauma. The person cannot cope with what they’ve experienced and so they turn to substances to self-soothe. That is why people turn to drugs, alcohol, even food when they’re suffering from severe anxiety or depression. They’re struggling to survive with a hurting brain that is unable to cope or heal on its own, the way it’s supposed to.
Why is it important for me to recall the event at all?
Because it’s important to begin a new neural pathway in the brain that won’t cause distress. We will add something new to your way of thinking about the event that you didn’t in the past.
What will be new?
The bilateral stimulation (BLS) step, is where you not only remember the event but also preform specific eye movements or other forms of stimulation while thinking about the event.
Operant conditioning is used to help the brain. Operant condition also known as Skinnerian conditioning plays a powerful role in everyday learning. Specific consequences are associated with a voluntary behavior. For example: Smile and get a treat. No smile, no treat. The subject will learn to smile more.
The introduction of a reward increases and encourages the desired behavior.
Your brain gets a visual treat (like a picture) as a reward. During neurofeedback sessions, when the brain is function spontaneously on its own properly, it is given as positive reinforcement. Your brain likes this and wants it to happen again, therefore it will do the healthy behavior (thinking) again. Over time, the brain starts to learn how to function more in a balanced and healthy way without needing a reward. When the brain is able to cope on its own again, this means it’s able to move past the tripwire of negative feelings and thoughts that, in the past prior to EMDR therapy, would trigger their anxiety.
How many neurofeedback sessions will I need?
It depends on many things. There are different techniques therapists can use. It all depends on the patient, the severity of their condition, how much treatment they’ll need to heal.
The speed of your improvement also depends on many things some of which are age, health, and consistency of treatment.
For example, how often are your sessions? Therapists will normally have a discussion with you about the negative and positive aspects of your life.
Usually, a treatment course consists of about 30 sessions, but that depends on how many areas of your brain need optimization because the electrical activity is deviating from the norm.
The number of sessions a person needs to begin to produce significant improvement varies on many things. But what’s amazing about the brain is that even after the first neurofeedback session, it is already training and changing.
Regardless of the number, neurofeedback sessions have been able to treat a variety of disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, traumatic brain injury, behavior issues, ADHD, and many more.
Will this really help me?
Yes. There’s a wide range of benefits that can be gained from doing Neurofeedback therapy. Numerous studies have shown how effective this treatment can be. Patients often report a reduction in the severity of their fear-based symptoms: they are less stressed, less anxious, better able to focus, sleep better, and for some, even less physical pain.
Recommended Treatment for:
- Anxiety, Depression, PTSD
- Sleep Disorders
- Performance Enhancement
Neurofeedback Therapy Available At:
PLEASE NOTE: We are not an emergency clinic. If you have an emergency, please dial 911. Also, we are not contracted with any court system and do not provide court ordered services related to child custody or other matters. For a list of services that we provide and do not provide, please visit our What We Treat page.
Neurofeedback began in the 1960s when Dr. Barry Sterman at UCLA discovered cats who had undergone neurofeedback had a greater seizure threshold than other cats.
Neurofeedback is now a treatment for seizures, ADHD, Autism, PTSD, and many other conditions. Technological advances allow us to get results that used to take 150 sessions in 30 sessions or fewer safely and non-invasively.
Source: Learning Disabilities and Brain Function: A Neuropsychological Approach