Neurofeedback for Beginners: Getting Help for your Teens

Neurofeedback for Beginners: Getting Help for your Teens

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG Neurofeedback, is one of the most powerful upcoming tools for therapeutic intervention. It is a type of “learning that uses special devices to provide instant feedback when the desired mental state is achieved. The computer-driven feedback may be auditory, visual, or tactile. (Demos).”

As a form of noninvasive biofeedback, Neurofeedback is able to quantify different types of brainwaves. This helps locate different

Neurofeedback Demo

 spots in the brain that are dysregulated and what the specific impacts are from the dysregulation. It does this by reading specific brainwaves and if the frequencies are faster or slower than what they should be, they are dysregulated. After identifying where in the brain needs focus, you can begin guiding the brain on improving its ability to self regulate

By adding Neurofeedback to other therapeutic methods, it can help teach your brain rather than just treat your brain. 

“Neurofeedback adds a clinical edge to traditional talk therapies and is rapidly becoming a state-of-the-art treatment for mental health issues… Our brains were designed to learn and master new challenges. Neurofeedback challenges the brain to greater efficiency and effectiveness.” – John N. Demos, Getting Started with EEG Neurofeedback

Learn more about the other therapeutic methods Havenwood Academy utilizes at: https://www.havenwoodacademy.org/therapy/ 

Neurofeedback Brainwaves

How does Neurofeedback work? 

Brain Mapping:

The process begins by creating an initial brain map of the client. Some technicians use a “brain cap” that is placed on their head and hair. It is important to make sure that each sensor or electrode is placed above specific spots of the brain. Following the brain cap, the neurofeedback technician then injects a gel into each sensor in order for the brainwaves to be read correctly. It then collects data on the different brain waves throughout the brain along with the frequencies and amplitudes. When the data is collected, it is processed with a computer software to put a map together.

See an example of what a brain map report looks like by visiting: https://www.clearmindcenter.com/external/Client-version-neuromap.pdf  

In addition to the brain map, each client takes a self-assessment with questions that can help measure their views on their cognitive efficiency. By comparing the results of the self assessment and the brain map, you can then more easily see what could be causing the dysregulation. 

This creates a great starting point for where the real work begins. 

Brain Training:

Neurofeedback trains the brain to self regulate by using classical conditioning principles in following sessions. With sensors placed on the client’s head, they focus on a screen in front of them. With real-time feedback, whenever the brain creates healthy brainwaves, the screen rewards it with a brighter screen (the desired stimulation). If the brain creates abnormal brain waves, the screen darkens to a dimmer screen.

Through this process and the brain’s neuroplasticity, neurofeedback actually helps create new neural pathways. The brain will “gradually change its activity” with a new pattern of brainwaves and begin to learn new behavior.

For a better explanation of the neurofeedback process used at Havenwood Academy, watch our video: https://youtu.be/qzKClD9Tmco 

What are the benefits of Neurofeedback?

There are many benefits to receiving treatment with Neurofeedback. The biggest benefit is that it is long lasting. Neurofeedback is focused on teaching the brain how to self regulate, even when experiencing triggering events or environments. When the brain successfully learns how to do so from multiple feedback sessions, that new neural pathway will remain connected as it is practiced. Other benefits include: 

  • Self regulation
  • High success rate with virtually no side effects if done correctly
  • Long lasting and not temporary like medications
  • Shown to be just as effective as medications in treatment of ADHD
  • Can be used to treat ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, and more;

Though there are valuable benefits from Neurofeedback, the process can take a few weeks or longer to start seeing results. Given the individualistic element of Neurofeedback, progress varies between individuals receiving treatment.

Neurofeedback Technician

Shauna Clark – Havenwood Academy Technician

“I am so grateful to have been introduced to neurofeedback. I have learned first hand the benefits it has and how it can be a great asset for anyone and everyone. Literally everyone can benefit from Neurofeedback.” – Shauna Clark, Havenwood Academy’s Neurofeedback Technician

Learn more about Havenwood Academy’s team of licensed professionals by visiting https://havenwoodacademy.com/our-team

Who does Neurofeedback help?

There are many people who can benefit from the help of Neurofeedback. Those who have high ACES scores may need to turn to trauma-focused therapy like Neurofeedback. Many even pair multiple therapeutic methods, like EMDR, DBT, Brainspotting, Equine Therapy, or the classic talk-therapy. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a measurement of childhood trauma someone may experience which has been found to correlate with serious impacts on a child’s future mental and physical health. Learn what your score is by taking a self-assessment: https://www.havenwoodacademy.org/resources/aces-score/ 

Neurofeedback can help those who suffer from a variety of neurological and mental health conditions:

  • Concussions
  • Stoke
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Chronic pain
  • PTSD
  • ADHD

There are many people who wonder how Neurofeedback can be beneficial for adolescents as their brains are not fully developed. Neurofeedback is great for adolescents who have experienced trauma due to the fact that many stop developing their brains correctly after their trauma. If utilized correctly, Neurofeedback can help balance their brains to process emotions more effectively and resume correct development. Instead of their body jumping right into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode, they will be able to process information with the correct reactions. 

Though neurofeedback has been proven to be effective, it may not be for everyone. If you are unsure if neurofeedback can help you or a family member, take our online assessment. Receive a reply within minutes to learn if we or another facility can help you.

Get answers today

When first learning about Neurofeedback, it can sound futuristic and even strange. With little exposure, it is always good to do more research from reliable sources. To learn more about neurofeedback and better understand its benefits, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892319/

If you are unsure if Neurofeedback can help you or a family member, take our online assessment. Receive a reply within minutes to learn if we or another facility can help you.

 


References:

Client Map Cognitive Efficiency – Clearmindcenter.com. https://www.clearmindcenter.com/external/Client-version-neuromap.pdf.

Demos, John N. Getting Started with EEG Neurofeedback. 2nd ed., W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.

Demos, John N. “John N Demos – Owner, Neurofeedback Professional Training, LLC.” Linkedin, https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-n-demos-52940733.

Drevitch, Gary, and Barbara Koltuska-Haskin. “How Neurofeedback Can Help You.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 26 Mar. 2022, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-my-brain-works/202203/how-neurofeedback-can-help-you.

Marzbani, Hengameh, et al. “Neurofeedback: A Comprehensive Review on System Design, Methodology and Clinical Applications.” Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Iranian Neuroscience Society, Apr. 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892319/.

Myers, Jane E., and J. Scott Young. “Brain Wave Biofeedback: Benefits of Integrating Neurofeedback in Counseling.” Limitlesstherapy.com, Journal of Counseling and Development: JCD, 20 Mar. 2011, http://www.limitlesstherapy.com.au/uploads/5/0/6/5/50656173/neurofeedback_and_its_function.pdf.

Rehman, Ibraheem, et al. “Classical Conditioning .” National Library of Medicine, 27 Aug. 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470326/.

Sachdev, Poonam. “Emotional Dysregulation: What It Is and How You Can Cope.” WebMD, WebMD, 22 June 2021, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-emotional-dysregulation#:~:text=Emotional%20dysregulation%20is%20a%20term,mood%20swings%2C%20or%20labile%20mood.

Silva, Lauren, and Rufus Tony Spann. “What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 June 2022, https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/what-is-neurofeedback-therapy/#:~:text=Neurofeedback%20therapy%20has%20shown%20improvement,addiction%2C%20schizophrenia%20and%20learning%20disabilities.

Valiente-Gómez, Alicia, et al. “EMDR BEYOND PTSD: A Systematic Literature Review.” Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers Media S.A., 26 Sept. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5623122/. 

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