Neurotherapy Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of questions most often inquired by potential and existing clients. If you don’t see your question here, please feel free to contact us!
What Happens When I Come for the First Time?
• You will be greeted by one of our clinicians who will ask that you fill out our consent form and intake paperwork. For convenience and to ensure more time with your clinician, this paperwork can be filled out before your visit.
• After completion of paperwork you and your clinician will have a discussion about your medical history, the issues you would like to work on, and your training goals. In the process of this conversation your clinician will explain training options and will discuss a Quantitative EEG, if necessary.
• The clinician will place non-invasive sensors on your scalp to collect baseline brain wave data.
• Your clinician will begin the process of planning your training.
How does training work?
During training, non-invasive sensors are placed on the scalp with conductive paste. Clients are then asked to relax and watch one of our many computer animation screens as we monitor your brainwaves. As the brain moves toward a healthier state you are rewarded by having the computer animation move and the sound play. Gradually through the process the brain “learns” a healthier brain pattern.
Are you shocking my brain?
Absolutely nothing is introduced into your brain or body. Neurofeedback is non-invasive and does not involve electricity going through the sensors. The sensors are like small microphones, simply recording and amplifying the brain activity that you are already making.
How is training done?
By responding to cues provided by a computer. A sensor picks up brain wave signals from your scalp and transforms them into images on the screen and tones. The client learns to move the images around by focusing on both the screen and the tones. In the process, the brain learns to work much better.
How long does the training take?
Because this is a learning process, it takes a number of sessions of practice so that it becomes second nature. The normal training takes 30-40 sessions lasting about 20 to 30 minutes each. Most people begin to notice improvement after only a few sessions. If they stop the training before it is complete, the improvement doesn’t last.
How long does the improvement last?
It is usually long-lasting or permanent. Persons below the age of 60 are less likely to require additional sessions later in order to keep the gains they have made. Older individuals can maintain the gains they have made by having a few “booster” sessions once or twice a year.
What about side effects?
There are normally no side effects, and people usually find the exercise pleasant. Occasionally, a few people have a mild, temporary headache after the training. Because the brain uses lots of energy during the training, it is not unusual for a person to feel physically tired after a session. In rare cases, people may experience undesired side effects, such as decreased patience and aggravation or increased moodiness. This can be quickly treated, so it’s important to notify your clinician as soon as possible if you experience these side effects.
Does the computer read my thoughts?
No. It only reads the energy given off as the brain goes about its business. In other words, the computer reads how effectively the brain works. Your clinician then creates targets for your training. As you work at reaching those targets, the brain learns to work more effectively.
Can everybody do it?
Almost everyone can learn to respond to neurotherapy. However, there are some people who are considered non-learners of neurofeedback. These are individuals who, for various reasons, don’t respond to the training. Research tends to show that 15-20% of people don’t respond well or are “non-learners.” It is difficult to tell who will respond and who won’t, however, we monitor results closely to make sure the people we help are making progress.
What experts are saying:
Frank H. Duffy, M.D., Professor and Pediatric Neurologist at Harvard Medical School, stated in an editorial in the January, 2000 issue of the journal Clinical Electroencephalography that the scholarly literature suggests that neurofeedback should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. “In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used” (p. v). “It is a field to be taken seriously by all” (p. vii).
In November 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics approved biofeedback and neurofeedback as a Level 1 or “best support” treatment option for children suffering from ADHD. The group using neurofeedback showed significant improvements, in more areas and to a greater degree than those who received cognitive training. Link to Article
For more information on neurofeedback go to:
International Society for Neurofeedback and Research
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
Biofeedback Certification International Alliance