The human brain is an astonishing device with more connections than the number of planets in the universe! Despite its complexity, we have been learning significant amounts of information about the brain and the electrical activity it produces, over the last fifty years. We now understand that the brain can be trained to work at optimal speeds for the task at hand. Brain training allows for changes in the frequency a brain currently functions on. This can lead to positive changes in behaviour, emotion, and cognition. Neurofeedback therapy helps trains the brain to self-regulate. With successful training the brain often improves its functioning as a result.
Neurofeedback therapy is a type of biofeedback which is:
Neurofeedback therapy can be conducted in several ways. Some practitioners use guesswork based on the symptoms. We find this to be inappropriate for an organism as advanced as the human brain. The most effective way, and in our opinion the most appropriate way, is to gain an understanding of how your brain currently functions before commencing treatment. Even if you decide not to peruse your neurofeedback journey with us, don’t settle for treatment which has anything less than a QEEG guided assessment.
Mindstate Psychology conducts an assessment of your brain functioning prior to starting Neurofeeback training so we can get an in-depth understanding of your brain with a Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) which measures resting brain states, and Evoked Response Potential analysis (ERP) which captures the brain activity while doing a task. ERP are very stable markers of brain processing captured when the brain is active and can be used as neuro-markers for certain mental health conditions.
Using the car analogy, telling a mechanic about the symptoms is helpful, but hooking the engine up to an electronic monitoring device provides more precise results. Do not compromise your brain.
Finally, please note that a qEEG is captured in the same way as an Electroencephalography (EEG) a neurologist might conduct. However, it is conducted for a different purpose and uses different stimulation. The medical EEG’s are conducted and interpreted differently to the clinical EEG used in this service. A medical EEG is used to assess brain dysfunctions in real time while the qEEG works on averages. In addition, if you suspect you may have epilepsy, you will need to see a neurologist before you commence neurofeedback therapy.
Generally two small sensors are attached to your head over the area of the brain we will be training and a comparison sensors placed on different reference points including the ear. The sensors are held in place with pea-sized blob of paste. By using the sensor and specialised software, we simply measure your brain’s activity. Nothing is ever being transmitted into the brain, and it will not shock you. We measure your electrical activity so you can have feedback about what your brain is doing in real time. This allows you learn to adjust your brain to optimal functioning (biofeedback of the brain’s electrical activity is called neurofeedback).
The electrical activity is displayed on a screen and will be monitored by a technician. During the session you will be doing an activity. You may be playing a game or watching a movie. The movie display is set up to appear 'snowy' or dark when your brain is working at an undesirable frequency, and to be clear and look normal when your brain is working at the desired frequency. Your brain is trained to stay at the desired frequency as it is rewarded by making a clear picture for the movie or the game is in actions. When we allow the brain to see its own activity, it can then adjust itself for better overall performance and function.
You can learn more about the research supporting the use of neurofeedback in treating certain conditions here.
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