Treatment Method Profile: Neurofeedback
Written by Stephen Mardell, Neurofeedback Specialist at A Healing Place – The Estates
The brain governs all emotional, physical, and cognitive functions, and in an optimal state, it can do its job quite well. Environmental, emotional, behavioral, social, and physical problems can compromise that ideal brain state and can shift the brain into permanent patterns of dysfunction. Neurofeedback training is a well-researched, highly-effective brain training method that helps clients with an array of problems such as:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Decreased mental functioning (memory, alertness, concentration)
- Sleep Management Problems
- Aspersers Syndrome symptoms
- Chronic Pain
- Irritable Bowel
- Chronic Fatigue
During the first meeting, an initial assessment is taken and symptom tracking software is completed. Symptoms are recorded and measured to establish a baseline or starting point. Symptoms are again measured at different intervals to illustrate positive treatment trends and to ensure strong outcomes that further support treatment efficacy. Based on each client’s assessment and symptom profile, training protocols will be created and the most helpful types of neurofeedback will be used. Most clients will start with standard 2 channel neurofeedback and progress into other forms of neurofeedback (Alpha/Theta) specifically developed to treatment trauma.
Sensors are placed on the scalp over regions of the brain associated with the given symptom profile of the client. The sensors are non-invasive and serve to read brainwave activity which is then processed through neurofeedback software. Clients choose from a variety of engaging feedback programs, like racing a car or something more soothing like a countryside hike.
Neurofeedback games are unlike traditional computer games which rely on hand-eye coordination and button pressing in order to progress. With neurofeedback games, the space ship flies faster, the car will accelerate, or the hike will progress when the brain begins to regulate itself.
What to Expect
Neurofeedback is both mentally and physically relaxing. You may find a stronger ability to be present with your thoughts and ideas allowing them to naturally flow at will, in contrast to the driven and always engaged nature of our minds during our busy days. Many experience greater focus and clarity in their thought process while feeling more soothed and calm. Clients often describe feeling as if they just had a spa day as their physical and mental stress seem to disappear during session.
Neurofeedback promotes gentle and gradually shifts in how people think, feel, and generally function. As sessions progress you will notice that your symptoms start to wane as your brain begins to regulate itself. Clients often report a greater tolerance for distress and an overall more naturally flexible way of moving through daily life. Clients often experience a newfound sense of hope as they become aware of their improved mood and quality of life.
Related article: 10 Holistic Non-Pharmacological Ways to Alleviate Chronic Pain
About Stephen Mardell, LMFT
EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE: Stephen Mardell, LMFT has been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences since 1996. In preparation for licensure, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and then obtained a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Stephen is the owner and clinical director of Child & Family Therapy Center where he and his staff provide comprehensive psychotherapy and Neurofeedback services to children, teens, adults, and families.
COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES: Stephen has been delivering comprehensive, strength-based therapeutic services to children and families since 1989. He has a wide range of experience in providing individual and group therapy as well as Neurofeedback services to clients that struggle with: anxiety and mood; psychosis; ADHD and Learning Disabilities; defiant/disruptive behaviors; substance use; grief, loss, and trauma; attachment and separation; parent-child conflict; families of divorce; autism and pervasive developmental disorders; chronic pain; crisis management, and other mental health challenges.
Meet the rest of our A Healing Place – The Estates team here!
Also, learn more about Stephen Mardell here.