Can Neurofeedback Improve Self-Esteem?

Teenagers face a lot of challenges. Many are learning about themselves while also trying to fit in with their friends. The confusion, anxiety, and expectations during these years are immense. Teens who are also going through significant life events face added stress and uncertainty. Even without traumatic events, teens can question where they fit in. Some experience low self-esteem.

Low Self-Esteem and Teens

Low self-esteem is when a person suffers from a lack of belief in themselves. Some of the symptoms of low self-esteem include being unworthy of love, uncomfortable in social situations, or incompetent.

The authors of Low Self-Esteem People: A Collective Portrait explain that those with self-esteem issues are hypersensitive to perceived signs of rejection, inadequacy, or disapproval. Those with low self-esteem also fear doing something that will embarrass them or lead to judgment.

Teens can, at times, harshly judge themselves or focus on perceived flaws. As a result, they can decrease their opinion of themselves and seek comfort in substances or harmful friendships.

Teen Girls and Low Self-Esteem

Growing up is a challenge. Being a teenager is especially difficult. Social media, friends, and parents influence how a teen sees herself.

In addition, teen girls face added pressures like peer pressure, grades, or a boyfriend. The need for acceptance while worrying about rejection or failure can put her at risk of low self-esteem.

Their expectations, like perfect grades, popularity, or perfect looks, can increase the risk of harmful behaviors.

However, there are ways you can help boost your daughter’s self-esteem. A few examples include:

  • Compliment your daughter in ways other than focusing on her looks and style. Instead, validate her grades, good social deeds, or positive traits. When you focus on looks and style, you shift to who she is, not her looks.
  • Take an interest in what interests her. Take the time to learn about her hobbies, music, or shows. Showing interest in her likes can create a bond.
  • Find a sport or activity that she likes. For example, teen girls who are involved in team sports often have higher self-esteem.
  • Look for other girl-centered groups or activities if your teen isn’t interested in sports. Whether your teen is involved in sports or a girl-centered group, the goal is to build healthy relationships.

Adopted Teens

Adopted teens can also carry feelings of trauma, insecurity, or mental health disorders into their new life. Before their adoption, they may have experienced a lack of support from their biological parents or caregivers, abuse, or other stressors.

When you bring an adopted child into your family, they may bring unexpected challenges like questioning your place in their lives or if they are worthy of love.

Luckily, you and your child can benefit from family, individual, or group therapy. A treatment center that offers these services and other treatments like neurofeedback therapy can help your teen increase their self-esteem.

Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback, an alternate approach to help people change how their body functions. Therapists who use neurofeedback do so because of the mind-body therapeutic benefits.

When a person undergoes neurofeedback, they learn self-control. How? Brain waves are measured and provide feedback. Audio or visual feedback is recorded and guides a person to understand how their brain responds to positive or negative feedback. The feedback assists people in consciously controlling their brain waves.

Brain waves have various frequency signal bands that, when observed, are assessed by the person to see if they are making progress on how they respond to stimuli.

Neurofeedback Creates Flexibility

Neurofeedback is like yoga for your brain. Yoga builds an appreciation of how strong, flexible, or in control a person is of their body.

Often, people judge their body based on how it looks versus what it is capable of doing. Those who practice yoga increase their flexibility, stability, and control over their mind and body. Like yoga, a person undergoing neurofeedback experiences how to build a healthy narrative between their body and their mind.

Your teen can watch how their brain reacts by monitoring their brain signals and learn how to control their nervous system. Why is this important? Because visual aids guide your teen towards flexibility and learning how to manage their responses. Your teen learns to change negative thoughts to positive thoughts, reducing feelings of low self-esteem.

There are four different brain stages, including

#1. Beta: the regular waking state

#2. Alpha: the brain is calm and focused

#3. Theta: a contemplative state where past issues are resolved

#4. Delta: where the brain heals itself.

When your teen faces events that can decrease their self-esteem, their brain goes into defensive mode. Your teen goes into survival mode and focuses on the negative instead of the positive. Their brain reads specific actions by their peers as unfavorable. The mind isn’t disciplined to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

However, neurofeedback trains the mind to push away negativity and find peace of mind. Your teen’s brain will change and remember those changes. Neurofeedback can replace emotional trauma, feelings of self-doubt, low body image, or perceived rejection with healthy emotions.

Neurofeedback is an evidence-based form of therapy that can help your teen. Through audio or visual feedback of their brain waves, your teen can learn how to control negative feelings and replace those feelings with positive emotions. Havenwood Academy, located in Utah, uses neurofeedback therapy to help your teen achieve the flexibility and stability needed to increase self-esteem. Throughout treatment, your teen will receive guidance in retraining their brain. In addition, the visual exercise of watching brain waves as they react to trauma, mental health disorders, or stressors teaches your teen how to find a healthy mind-body connection. Havenwood Academy knows your teen’s wellbeing is essential to you. Our dedication to helping your child as they struggle with trauma or attachment issues means we provide comprehensive care, including neurofeedback, at our beautiful location in Utah. We welcome your questions and would love to help you. Call us today at (435) 586-2500.


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We encourage any visitors considering placing their daughter in treatment to fill out our online assessment as soon as possible. This two minute form will give our admissions team all the information needed to determine if your daughter is a good fit for our program.