I am tired, Mamas. I don't know about you, but the daily battle field with my trauma exposed kids has me constantly looking for answers. I have hopes for my children. I want them to be all they were created to be and for their struggles to be less. I go to IEP meetings, parenting classes and camps, prayer groups... I do hours of homework some days and dry the tears of my socially incapable kids. It is draining and yet I desire to do nothing less because if my kids can endure it, so can I.
It is this constant desire for more for my children that led me to finding neurofeedback. I was referred to a leading psychologist in the Phoenix area for what is called a QEEG test for my daughter at the time. The results of this test showed many areas of her brain that were either over active or underactive compared to the most desirable signal. She was told she needed 35-40 sessions of this thing called neurofeedback (also known as EEG or biofeedback). But the treatment was costly. It felt like we finally had a picture of both what was going on with our daughter and how to help her... finances were the limiting factor.
Fast forward to last year- I decided to add to my nursing background and become a neurofeedback provider and Certified Trauma Support Coordinator. I have been able to implement EEG therapy to my 2 middle kids and seen improvements in spacial awareness, sleep patterns, stuttering, facial twitches, insecurity, academic speed and understanding, introverted tenancies, and more.
So what is neurofeedback? It is a therapeutic intervention that provides immediate feedback from a computer-based program that assesses a client's brainwave activity. The program then uses sound and visual signals to reorganize or retrain these brain signals. It is non-invasive, requires no "trying" on the part of the client, has lasting results with little to no side-effect and now was affordable. Finally, a real solution for our family... not just for our family, but for a multitude of people with psychiatric disorders, trauma histories, or simply people looking to expand their thinking or learn to better calm themselves.
Is it too good to be true? Check out this study from Harvard. This study clearly shows significant and long term improvements with neurofeedback in the ADHD study that medications cannot support. This article details further studies for neurofeedback. Search the internet far and wide and what you find are people with bipolar disorder, learning delays, insomnia, physical pain, migraines, ADHD, PTSD, autism, introverts, anger issues, personality disorders, and more that have all found success with neurofeedback.
So why does neurofeedback work? It is basic in the principal of conditioned responses. When children touch a hot flame, they quickly learn it hurts and the brain builds neurological connections that tell it to NOT TOUCH FLAMES. Similarly, when a child experiences the best hug from a grandma, a child may think of old people as giving the best hugs. Our brain takes environmental information and categorizes things efficiently to help us do what is best given the scenario of exposure.
In neurofeedback, electrodes are attached to given areas of the brain that are tested to find erratic brain patterns or less-sufficient brain patterns, and when the signal produced from the targeted area approached "optimal", the visual and auditory signals the client is receiving improves immediately. This positive clarity in image (on the monitor, usually a video of some kind) and sound teach the brain to maintain this optimal signal output in order to get the best experience around him. Consequently, after multiple sessions, this "desired" brain wave activity becomes a new baseline or default and life is experienced with more ease by the client. This reinforces the improved brain wave activity, so further treatments are generally not needed.
In my practice, I put each client into 5 blocks of 3-4 sessions each. The client rotates through the blocks similar to a gym membership rotating through circuit training. By improving all areas in a cycle, the mind maintains "balance" as it is settling into its optimal performance. Most patients can hold their results with between 20 and 40 sessions. It is a big time commitment for both parents and the child. The great news is that the commitment here and now will have results that carry over for a lifetime. Shout out your questions below. I am eager to answer.
I am was treating clients in my home prior to the social distancing and hope to be back to that soon! I am also eager to complete treatment on myself!
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