Cutting Edge Treatment Approaches at Beacon HouseSM
Neurofeedback is a learning strategy that enables people to alter their brain waves and exercise the brain’s own regulatory mechanisms. Also known as EEG Biofeedback, it is used for many conditions and disabilities in which the brain is not functioning as well as it might. For individuals struggling to sustain early and eventually long-term sobriety, Neurofeedback is an invaluable tool.
Research has demonstrated that various EEG (brainwave) frequencies are related to specific qualities of arousal, attention, mood and consciousness. Particular patterns of these frequencies determine the difference between peak performance and malfunction, between getting A’s and failure, and sometimes between joy and despair. As we regulate mood and performance through the use of this technology, we radically increase the opportunity for our clients to sustain continuous abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
At Beacon House our clients have frequent access to our Neurofeedback technology – enough so that they receive the amount of sessions necessary to increase the percentages of continuous sobriety achieved at the one year mark from 44% to 77% following a 30-day residential treatment program.
Neurofeedback is a safe, painless and noninvasive method for teaching the brain how to better regulate itself. When information is “fed-back” to the brain visually and by sounds, the brain can optimize its own activation level and its focus, attention and mood.
Frequently Asked Questions about Neurofeedback
What is it used for?
Neurofeedback is used as an aid for optimal brain functioning, by persons interested in achieving long-term abstinence from mood-altering substances (alcohol/drugs), Peak Performance and by persons seeking treatment for problem conditions and injury. These include Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, severe conduct problems, specific learning disabilities, issues such as sleep problems, teeth grinding, chronic pain, headache and stomach pain. It also helps mood disorders, anxiety, depression, weight control, seizures, and secondary stroke symptoms. While this may appear to be a ridiculously broad range of conditions – it is due to the fact that Neurofeedback optimizes brain functionality, and the brain is the Master Regulator of the body.
How is it done?
An initial interview, health history and testing is done to assess brain function, understand symptoms, and to plan a protocol. Comfortable sensors are placed on the scalp. The brain waves are monitored by means of an amplifier and a computer that processes the signal and provides the proper feedback. This is displayed to the trainee by means of a video game or display along with audio signals.
As activity in the desirable frequency band increases, the video games move faster, or some other reward is given. As activity in an adverse band increases, the video game is inhibited. Gradually, the brain responds to these cues, learning new and optimal brain wave patterns. The aim is greater stability, greater flexibility and faster recovery from anything destabilizing.
How long does training take?
Each session involves about 30 minutes of training plus 15 minutes hook up and discussion. Neurofeedback training is a learning process. Therefore, the results are seen gradually over time. For most conditions, initial progress can be seen within about ten sessions. Improvements are often seen in behavior, mental and athletic function and sense of well-being. Initial goals may be met at 20 to 30 sessions. In very severe chronic conditions and cases of hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder, training may take 40 or more sessions. Progress is monitored and tested along the way to maximize effectiveness.
How frequent should sessions be?
In the initial stages of learning, the sessions should be regular and frequent, at two, three or even more sessions per week. Later, one or two sessions per week will suffice.
Can Neurofeedback compliment other therapies?
Absolutely! Collaboration with 12-Step Programs, psychotherapy, and psychiatry are all advised. Neurofeedback support s them as they are helping you.