Neurotherapy (also known as neurofeedback and EEG biofeedback) is currently the most powerful and precise form of brain training available. It is in a league of its own. In an ideal world and certainly in the future neurofeedback therapy would be used first for all of the difficult and intractable conditions children and adults face. Counselling and/or CBT, OT, speech therapy, tutoring, behavioural management, etc, would be used (if necessary) after their brain had been regulated, which would dramatically improve outcomes.
What can neurotherapy help?
All of the issues children and adults struggle with including:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Oppositional defiance disorder (ODD)
Developmental trauma disorder (DTD)
Anger and aggression problems
Are all brain based issues of disturbed self-regulation ie the ability of the brain to regulate itself in a healthy functional manner. Therefore the most sensible strategy is to use a brain based technology to help the brain re-regulate itself. The brain has incredible capacity to do this known as neuro-plasticity from childhood to adulthood. Psychiatrist Dr Norman Doidge expert in neuroplasticity and author of the Books The Brain that Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing that popularised the idea of neuro-plasticity says he now refers all his patients for neuro therapy first. He states on his lecture tours for medical professionals that neurofeedback is the unsung hero of neuro-plasticity.
Neurotherapy will create improvements in:
- Focus concentration and attention
- Empathy and social awareness
- Rigid obsessive thoughts and behaviours
- Sensory hypersensitivity
- All aspects of sleep
- Anxiety and anger issues
- Emotional reactiveness and impulsivity
- Depression and low motivation
- Hyper activity
- Addictive behaviours
Neurofeedback therapy and trauma
Dr Bessel van der Kolk an international expert in Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) who has used neurofeedback therapy for 20 years explains it simply in his book The Body Keeps the Score, that the parts of the brain that are affected by trauma are the primitive structures that manage emotional arousal, which affects all our physiological and cognitive functions. These structures being sub-cortical are non-verbal, so any form of talk therapy just can’t impact these structures as the verbal parts of the brain are the higher cortices. All forms of trauma whether developmental or not de-tune these structures, which lead to all of the physiological symptoms and destructive behaviours including substance abuse.
It is so much better to change a child and their family’s life when the child is young rather than have them go through their childhood struggling with issue that not only profoundly impact them but also their parents and siblings and for that to continue into adulthood. The personal cost and cost to society is enormous. Neuro therapy can change all that.
I work with adult clients who had abusive childhoods that had the inclination and means to do tens of years therapy work and yet still struggling with issues of:
- hyper vigilance
- low energy
- poor memory
- anger and/or aggression
- anxiety etc.
All emotional arousal issues controlled by primitive non-verbal brain structures that neurotherapy targets. All have found a rapid change in their emotional reactivity, awareness of their feelings and behaviour and the capacity to stop it. This is very powerful because it gives a person the self-control they need to function normally which they didn’t have previously despite years and years of therapy. They all are grateful but wished they had found this a long time ago.
Is neurotherapy accepted?
I have conducted an in-school neurotherapy program using the home training process, with a NSW primary school with children on the spectrum, ADHD and behavioral and learning issues with great success improving the children’s behaviour, mood, academic progress and confidence across the board.
“Research on autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) shows that neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) can remediate anomalies in brain activation, leading to symptom reduction and functional improvement. This evidence raises the hopes for a behavioral, psychophysiological intervention moderating the severity of ASD.” Science Daily Feb. 28, 2008 Neurofeedback Helps with those with Autistic Disorders
Neurofeedback therapy and autism
Neuro therapy can make an enormous difference to a child on the autistm spectrum it usually calms them first, which improves sleep,ie they get off to sleep easier, therefore they go to bed earlier and sleep more restfully and longer, waking later at a more appropriate time. Their comprehension, empathy, social interactions and language all improve as well as focus and attention, ability to tell time and understand future events, ie when and why things are happening. Their sensory hypersensitivity diminishes so they feel safer and more comfortable in the world.
The Salvation Army is running a trial with neurotherapy
Neurotherapy is not a miracle cure
However, it does work and requires repeated sessions just like someone who was overweight with a poor diet and unfit, suffering from a range of chronic symptoms due to their condition. If they dieted and ate healthily, maintained a fitness program they will slowly but surely get better. Their symptoms would reduce and finally disappear.It’s a natural process that the body goes through but it takes time and constant sessions from 6 months to 2 years. Neurofeedback is exactly the same it needs constant ongoing sessions for these difficult problems but you get better and better because the brain is moving closer and closer to a more normal, healthy self-regulation profile.
This is why supervised home neurofeedback therapy is so effective because adults and children can train at home when it is convenient. They can train more times per week than 1 or 2 appointments in a clinic and train as long as they need to get the maximum benefit. It is cheaper than clinical sessions and doesn’t involve the inconvenience, cost and time of appointments and travel, usually the mother and most often with siblings tagging along. This makes it very hard.
Neurofeedback therapy is easy to do
If you are a child or an adult and you can watch a DVD or play a simple computer game you can do neuro therapy. Because it works at a sub-cortical level there is no skill to learn so there is no failure at this level. It’s like exercising your body and the muscles just get bigger and stronger because it’s a natural process. Neurofeedback helps the brain to exercise or re-regulate itself. It is merely a technological mirror that allows the brain to watch itself in real-time, which gives the brain an edge to re-regulate. It does this with a small EEG device with 1 or 2 tiny sensors on the head that pick up brainwaves processed by the software that run a game or make the DVD screen in the software expand and contract, based on the real-time brainwave activity. It doesn’t matter what the feedback is as long as the person is engaged. This takes care of the conscious mind while the brain is decoding the feedback at a sub-cortical level (out of conscious awareness) and uses it to make tiny changes in its functioning. It is these tiny changes that build a momentum towards remediation of symptoms.
A common theme with my clients both parents of children and adults is they are grateful to have found neurotherapy but are also often angry no one had told them about it before finding out themselves.Many of the parents are frustrated they can get funding for therapies that help a little but not for neurotherapy that has had a profound effect on their child. The ones who can’t afford feel deeply disadvantaged. Funding for home neurofeedback would be a very positive step forward for this promising process.
Discuss how you can beat the issues you and/or your child are struggling with using the most powerful and precise form of brain training known as neurotherapy. It’s fun, easy, non-invasive, safe, natural, holistic and the most powerful of all autism treatments with no adverse side effects.
Neurofeedback therapy is a powerful and effective way to change you and/or your child’s life for the better.
Contact me via email or phone and we can discuss how I can help you and your child with home neurofeedback therapy in the convenience and privacy of your own home, fully supervised by a caring professional with over 20 years neurotherapy experience.