Neurofeedback Services at Women’s Recovery
Neurofeedback: A Powerful Tool for Healing
At Women’s Recovery, we are proud to be able to offer neurofeedback services for our clients. Our focus has always been on providing holistic recovery options for women battling addictions to drugs and alcohol. This is just one way we are able to continue to do that, and we are excited about all the benefits our clients will receive.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a relatively new form of therapy, and many of our clients will be unfamiliar with it. Fortunately, very little knowledge is required on their part in order to receive it. But we know the importance of providing our clients with as much information as possible about their possible treatment options. That is why we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss neurofeedback in greater detail.
Neurofeedback is often referred to as Neurotherapy or EEG Biofeedback. It is a type of treatment that helps the client learn how to modify their way of thinking. This is done by studying the individual’s brainwaves and train them how to modify their brainwave activity levels.
As we mentioned previously, neurofeedback is completely painless. It is a non-invasive form of treatment, which is why it is so useful for treating addiction and various mental health conditions holistically.
What are the Benefits of Neurotherapy?
There are many benefits to receiving neurotherapy. Typically, clients experience a drastic reduction in the symptoms caused by their mental health conditions. Many have also reported:
- Improvements in their performance at school or work.
- Stress relief.
- Better social relationships.
- Improvement in their symptoms of anxiety.
- A reduction in panic attacks.
- Improved self-esteem levels.
- Better mood and even emotional resilience.
- Less feelings of irritability.
- Improved attention and concentration levels.
- Less instances of oppositional behaviors.
- Better cognitive performance and learning abilities.
- A reduction in seizures (if a seizure disorder is present).
- Increased motivation and energy levels.
Neurotherapy has also been shown to be extremely beneficial in the treatment of addiction. It can help people change bad habits and even manage food cravings.
What are the Risks of Neurofeedback Treatment?
In addition to its effectiveness, the best part of neurofeedback is the fact that there really are no risks involved. This form of treatment rarely produces any negative side effects, which cannot always be said for other forms of care.
Having said that, while most will never experience any negative side effects, a few have reported short periods of troubling emotions. A small percentage of people may report feeling dizzy, fatigued, or experiencing tingling sensations during treatment. But again, these instances are rare, and they will not become persistent.
How is Neurofeedback Therapy Performed?
It is important for us to know that our clients are well-informed about any possible treatment or procedure. Those who are unfamiliar with neurofeedback will have questions about how it is done, which is understandable.
This form of therapy should only ever be performed by a professional who is trained in the use of EEG equipment. That individual should also have knowledge about various mental health conditions and the use of neurofeedback to treat those conditions.
There are five different types of brainwaves within the brain. They are:
Each of these electromagnetic brainwaves operates at its own normal frequency range. Some are responsible for higher mental activity, and some are responsible for lower levels of activity.
When a person suffers because of substance abuse or mental health issues, the brain’s balance is thrown off. This is evident when studying brainwaves. Neurofeedback training helps to restore that balance, resulting in a positive outcome.
The Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG)
The first step when beginning neurotherapy is to have a quantitative electroencephalography – or qEEG – completed. In short, the client has an EEG, and then a computer processes the recordings. The resulting EEG is then converted into brain maps, which are colored maps that indicate brain functioning.
The information that is gained from the qEEG is invaluable. It is used as a clinical tool to evaluate current brain function and brainwave activity. It is also used later as neurotherapy is experienced to record any changes that have occurred as a result.
The brain map allows the clinician to see areas in the brain that are either overactive or underactive. Once they have that knowledge, they know how to make adjustments, and how to plan the neurotherapy sessions.
EEG Biofeedback Equipment
Most people are familiar with what an EEG is and how it works. The EEG biofeedback equipment is very similar. Sensors are connected to the person’s scalp and ears. These sensors do not prick the skin at all, and they are completely painless as we mentioned earlier. Once they are connected, the individual’s brain waves become visible on a computer screen.
What is the Process of Treatment for Neurotherapy?
Many of our clients find neurotherapy to be very relaxing, enjoyable and even fun. Once the actual treatment begins, people find themselves playing computerized games, but not in the “traditional” sense. Instead of using a joystick or pushing buttons, clients play the game with their brainwaves.
The games can take on many forms, such as moving a figure through a maze. The process is actually brainwave training because the objective is only reached through certain types of activity. When the client is successful, those brainwave frequencies are reinforced.
In time, the client learns how to maintain those brainwave states in other activities, such as reading and writing. Eventually, they can apply their training to the activities they do every day.
How Does Neurofeedback Help With Addiction and Mental Health?
There are a number of different ways in which neurofeedback can be beneficial for people battling addictions and/or mental health issues. In fact, many people have even called their progress remarkable.
Neurotherapy and Addiction
Over the years, neurotherapy has not been known as an accepted treatment for substance abuse. But, because of vast improvements in patients with addictions who have received it, it was worth studying in greater detail. One particular study was conducted that involved neurotherapy in patients who struggled with opiate dependence disorder.
The study involved 20 patients who were dependent upon opiates, but that who were receiving either methadone or buprenorphine treatment. These individuals were separated into two groups. One group continued to receive their medication and the other also received neurotherapy.
The group receiving neurotherapy reported several positive results, such as:
- Better somatic symptoms.
- Better symptoms of depression.
- A better mental health total score.
- Less of a desire to use opiates.
- Better relief from withdrawal symptoms.
As a result, the study concluded that neurofeedback is an effective, therapeutic treatment method for opiate dependence disorder. In knowing this, and how addiction works in the brain, it makes sense that this would be true for all types of addictions.
Mental Health and Neurofeedback
The term mental health encompasses many different illnesses and conditions that produce negative emotions and behaviors. Many people in the United States suffer from:
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Insomnia and Other Sleep-Related Issues
The technology that is available through neurofeedback allows us to pinpoint the brainwave activity that can lead to these conditions and their symptoms. Unlike other approaches – which are only symptom-based – this form of treatment allows the clinician to “see” the problem areas in the brain. It is a process that allows for total accuracy in both diagnosing and treating the condition, regardless of what it is.
Neurofeedback and Trauma
So many women suffer from trauma, and conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are prevalent among them. While there are many effective ways to treat it – such as EMDR – neurofeedback appears to be even more effective.
For women with a history of childhood abuse or another complex trauma, chronic autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation is the norm. This means that either the individual has found themselves trapped in a state of sympathetic arousal, or they have shut down completely.
Neurofeedback works as a treatment for trauma because it allows restoration to the ANS. Clients are able to achieve a state of feeling restful, yet alert, and this has many positive, long-term consequences. A calmed ANS frees the client to resolve painful memories from the past with much less stress and more control. Inside the brain, new neural connections are able to be formed, which promotes ongoing healing.
Neurotherapy and ADHD/ADD
The studies that have been conducted on ADHD/ADD and neurotherapy have been extremely promising. Someone with this condition typically has a brain that displays various patterns of activity. This is mostly seen in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is also the area that is connected with learning, personality and behaviors.
Neurotherapy works for ADHD and ADD because of the way it changes the brainwaves in this portion of the brain. These changes allow the individual to experience better focus, less confusion, and improved cognitive function.
For years, the typical treatment that was recommended for ADHD/ADD was medication. But so many of the prescribed medications that are available come with terrible and concerning side effects. Because of neurotherapy, more people may be able to avoid taking these drugs and instead, focus on a non-invasive, holistic option for treatment.
Finding Neurofeedback Therapy Near Me
Neurofeedback is a much different form of treatment than what we have always utilized, but its benefits cannot be discounted. There is no punishment in the process of receiving treatment; instead, the brain is rewarded through the therapy. That only adds to its success.
At Women’s Recovery, we know that so many women have battled addictions, eating disorders and mental health issues. Some have found relief through therapy and other forms of treatment, while others have not. Neurofeedback is a ground-breaking technological breakthrough that we are excited to be able to offer our clients.
We have two locations in Colorado; one in Denver and one in Dillon. If you believe that neurofeedback is something you would like to learn more about, we would love to talk with you.
Do you have questions about neurotherapy? Please contact us today.