Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, has been studied and practiced since the late 60’s. Neurofeedback is exercise for your brain. It allows you to see the frequencies produced by different parts of your brain in real-time and then through auditory feedback, teaches the brain to better regulate itself. Neurofeedback can be used to help detect, stimulate, and/or inhibit activity in the brain safely and without medication. It can help restore a wider “range of motion” in brain states, much like physical therapy does for the body.
While the client sits comfortably watching a movie or pictures appear on the screen (a calm and focused state), the EEG equipment measures the frequency or speed at which electrical activity moves in the areas where electrodes have been placed. This information is sent to the therapist’s computer. The therapist is then able to determine what frequencies are out of balance. For example, when the EEG shows that you are making too many “slow” or “sleepy” waves (delta/theta) or too many “fast” waves (high beta), the therapist adjusts a reward band to encourage more balanced activity. This encouragement or “reward” happens through the auditory reinforcement of “beeps”.
It is important to understand that the neurofeedback approach does not magically “cure” or “fix” the brain, it is learning. We teach and guide your brain to produce frequencies which help it relax and/or focus. We provide the brain with gentle “challenges” and encouragement in a user-friendly, stress-free format so it learns to regulate or shift to healthier states more smoothly on its own at the appropriate time. This new behavior carries over into the classroom and at home.
There is no “right or wrong” way to benefit from counseling. Rather, it’s all about the “fit” and needs of our clients. At The Brain and Wellness Center we offer many different options and techniques of counseling to fit those needs. Different counseling styles and approaches for individual clients of all ages, couples and families; make us a unique and inviting place to heal and grow.
Renee Chillcott, LMHC – The Brain and Wellness Center
Roxanne Grobbel, JD, LCSW, RPT-S – Insight Counseling Center
Tina Landeen, LCSW – Harmony Family Counseling
Staci Morey, LCSW
Kristan Torres, LMHC – Hope Christian Counseling
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, focuses on the memories we have that were stored incorrectly and therefore continue to disturb us, even if we’ve reasoned them out. These memories get stored in the emotional part of our brain, so accessing them leaves us feeling as if we are still experiencing them, and all the same hurt comes back. EMDR allows the brain to tap into these feeling memories and conjoin them with more logical reasoning so that we can heal them. We don’t lose the memories, but we lose the emotional grip they have on us. EMDR is an effective treatment for all ages. Even small children can get “stuck” in trauma experienced early in life that the brain stores and they are unable to connect.
What are the Symptoms that can be helped by EMDR?
- High anxiety and lack of motivation
- Memories of a traumatic experience
- Fear of being alone
- Unrealistic feelings of guilt and shame
- Difficulty in trusting others
- Relationship problems
IS EMDR NEW?
Since the initial medical study in 1989 positive therapeutic results with EMDR have been reported with the following populations:
- People who have witnessed or been a victim to a disaster
- Clients suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Suffers of panic disorders and anxiety attacks
- Suffers of phobias
- Chemically dependent clients
- Persons exposed to excess loss
- Crime victims
- First Responders
- Accident or burn victims
EMDR is similar to that of REM sleep, when our eyes move as we sleep, our brain is able to process the information we have collected through the day. In an EMDR session, your eyes are guided with hand movements or tappers, back and forth at a good pace. While the movement is happening, you may experience different memories, thoughts about the memories, feelings may come up and they may sometimes be intense. Through this process, you will be guided and supported. By the end of the process, your memory, and thoughts about the memory will be different. It won’t hold the same feelings for you anymore, and you may see yourself, and indeed your life, in a new way.
EMDR is a powerful with children as well, helping them move past fears and behaviors triggered by past events. It is done through play and can help move children through tough times with less stigmatizing affects. The children continue to work through therapy in play, with the EMDR allowing the brain to work out their feelings much faster.
Safe and Sound Protocol
The Safe and Sound Protocol, or SSP, is a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory, based on decades of research and developed by Dr. Stephen Porges.
What you hear, and how you hear it, influences how the body responds.
Listening is connected to the Vagus nerve, the body’s internal control center for processing and responding to cues and signals from the world around us. The SSP uses specially-filtered music to train the neural network associated with listening to focus on the frequency range of the human voice.
We look, speak and listen with the same system. When the voice changes, the body responds. As we learn to focus on the sound frequencies of human speech through the SSP program, the Vagus nerve becomes stimulated and the state of feeling more safe and calm becomes accessible.
The proof is in the playlists. Specially treated music playlists are part of the SSP program and all help ‘prime’ the nervous system by exposing it to different sound frequencies. Listening to these playlists through over the ear headphones helps the nervous system to more readily achieve balance, or “homeostasis.”
QEEG Brain Mapping
The QEEG is a quantitative EEG. It’s also called a brain map and does just that…it gives us a map of what is going on with the entire brain at one time. We attach electrodes to the whole head, 19 spots, and then record the brain waves with his eyes open for 5 minutes and with his eyes closed for 10 minutes. This recording is then sent to Advanced Psychological Services in North Carolina to be read and analyzed. They can not only give us a summary of significant findings, but the report also shows the results of analyzing the data several different ways. The brain activity is not only compared spot by spot over the entire head, but we can also look at connections, symmetry, how different parts are communicating and all of this data is compared to a database of peers (same sex, handedness and age). It can help us see what areas need to be addressed more efficiently than just training spot by spot.
We don’t always need this data to make an improvement in symptoms, but we do recommend it in certain situations. A QEEG can also be helpful information when diagnosing and/or trying to decide the best medication/supplement recommendations.
Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).