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What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, directly trains brain function by providing the user with real-time feedback on brainwave activity. Through this direct training, the brain learns to function more efficiently and self-regulation improves, allowing the central nervous system to function in a more optimal way.
Who benefits from neurofeedback?
- Children who are explosive and out of control at home or at school.
- Children or adults who have a difficult time getting going (getting activated).
- Children or adults who are self-critical or perpetually negative.
- Children and adults who have problems in learning.
What can be expected from neurofeedback treatment?
Changes that occur vary from person to person depending on the individual’s symptoms.
The following improvements have been noted with neurofeedback:
- Improved sleep.
- Extremes in mood even out.
- Reduced irritability and explosiveness.
- Increased focus for longer uninterrupted periods.
- Less distracted.
- Becoming more goal-oriented and motivated.
- Feelings of depression and anxiety are resolved.
- Impulsivity is greatly reduced.
How frequent are sessions?
Sessions typically occur 1-2 times per week. Typically one would expect to see changes in targeted behavior relatively quickly. Certain problems usually begin to resolve in 4-5 treatment sessions.
Are treatment effects long lasting?
In most cases, yes. In order for improvements to persist, it is usually necessary to continue treatment for 20-30 sessions. This deepens and broadens the effect of treatment, and makes it longer lasting. In the case of some psychiatric disorders, such as Tourettes Syndrome, treatment may have to be much more extensive.
How does neurofeedback fit into a broader treatment plan?
Neurofeedback can be used as a standalone process, but it is also often used as a part of a broader treatment plan. This treatment plan might include individual and/or family therapy, coaching to address academic and attention difficulties, consultation with the school, and/or medication. In some cases medication may be reduced or eliminated as a result of neurofeedback treatment.
How are the effects of neurofeedback measured?
The effects of neurofeedback are measured by objective tests of attentional abilities, behavior checklists, and subjective reports of change by the parent and the child. Change is also measured using reports from school, and improved academic function is demonstrated by improved grades.
Weekly feedback reports from the parents as to how the child is doing are critical to the success of the neurofeedback process.
For More Information
To learn more about neurofeedback and how it can be used to help children with varying challenges, please click on the links below:
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback and ADHD
Neurofeedback and Dyslexia
Neurofeedback and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Internationals Society for Neurofeedback and Research
Audio and Video Resources
Listen to an NPR program on neuroscience and autism
View a video segment about neurofeedback and autism
View a video segment about neurofeedback and attention/behavior