Neurofeedback, also called EEG Biofeedback, is a self regulation training tool that enables a person to alter his or her brain waves (EEG). When information about a person’s own brain wave patterns are made available to him, he can learn to change them. You can think of it as operant conditioning of the brainwaves and as exercise for the brain.
This video is an interview of Bessel van der Kolk, MD being interviewed about neurofeedback:
“How Neurofeedback Can Change the Way We Approach Trauma Treatment”
This next Youtube video gives some details of how neurofeedback is set up and works:
What Is Neurofeedback? How Brain Training Can Benefit Kids, Families, and Adults
Neurofeedback (NF) is used for many conditions in which the brain is not operating as efficiently as it could. These can include ADHD and more severe conduct problems, specific learning disabilities, sleep problems, and chronic pain problems including migraine. The training is also helpful with the control of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as for more severe conditions such as PTSD and Developmental Trauma.
Before neurofeedback training begins, the therapist will ask the client for a thorough description of his or her symptoms, health history and family history and several baseline EEG measurements will be taken in order to determine the best training approach. In most instances, clients will train at least once a week. The actual training sessions will generally begin around from 3 minutes in duration and build up to 15-20 minutes in duration. It is not unusual to see improvement within the first 20 sessions. However NF training for individuals with a history of developmental trauma will generally be longer. Click this link to see information about Sebern Fisher’s book on Neurofeedback and developmental trauma (https://www.sebernfisher.com). NF is a learning process. Once this learning is consolidated, its benefits are generally long-lasting and usually enduring.
The EEG biofeedback training is a painless, non-invasive procedure. One or more sensors are placed on the scalp, and one to the ear, using a salt-based conductive paste. The electrical signals that the brain generates are being monitored. No electrical signals are being sent into the brain. The brain waves are monitored by an amplifier and a computer-based instrument that processes the signal and reflects it back to the trainee in the form of video game or other video display. The trainee is asked to play the video game by making changes is his/her EEG pattern. As the person’s EEG activity shifts into a more efficient pattern, the trainee will receive information that she has done so through auditory and visual feedback in the video game.
The trainer has set frequency bands to increase in amplitude (rewards) and others to decrease in amplitude (inhibits). As activity in a desirable frequency band increases, the trainee will receive information that she has done so through auditory and visual feedback in the video game. If EEG activity either does not change or becomes inefficient, the video game is inhibited. Gradually, the brain responds to the cues that it is being given, and learns new brain wave patterns. We assess progress through changes in symptoms, behaviors, and EEG recordings.
Some helpful sites include: