It’s easiest to think of Neurofeedback as a type of ‘brain training’. Coming to the Center for Neurofeedback is like taking your brain to the gym instead of your body.
Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback to the brain that shows you your brainwaves in the form of a live EEG scan (electroencephalogram) in a way that helps you understand and self regulate them. Your scan represents the tiny electrical impulses the neurons in your brain are constantly sending to each other, so your scan will vary depending on your state of mind and how active your brain is at the moment.
Your brain is adaptable but sometimes it needs a helping hand to change. Neurofeedback training helps you realize how your brain is behaving at particular times or in certain situations and helps you use this information to self regulate.
Please click here for a Comprehensive Guide to Neurofeedback.
Many of us have problems that do not respond well to medication or traditional therapies. These include sleep disorders, addiction, epilepsy, depression, ADHD, OCD, phobias and many other anxiety-related and behavioral disorders. Neurofeedback offers an alternative to traditional treatments.
Years of research has shown that people with the conditions described above have different brainwave patterns (EEG) to those without. Their brainwaves may be too slow, too fast or they may have unusual patterns of activity in certain parts of the brain.
Armed with this information, researchers have learned that Neurofeedback can offer individuals an effective way of changing and regulating their brain’s activity. Taking part in a Neurofeedback session exercises the parts of the brain that control attention, emotion and behavior, helping you to ‘tune’ your brainwaves to behave differently.
Neurofeedback has been used to great effect to fine-tune performance. Attaining peak performance in anything, from musical ability to learning new information, to school work requires the brain to achieve a very specific, recognizable mental state of focus and concentration.
This state sometime known as the Zone, is something that we all might have experienced a few times in our lives, but Neurofeedback sessions may help you learn how to achieve this mental state. With this newly learned skill, you will find that you are better able to concentrate and adjust your attention. It may also provide you with greater clarity of thought, increased intuition and may remove the negative feelings of self-consciousness, fear and loss of control that can so often disturb your ability to perform to your best.
In Neurofeedback, you are challenged to concentrate on achieving the best mental state for your needs and then learn how to hold and maintain that state of mind. The more you do this, the more likely your brain will learn this skill and retain it.
Neurofeedback equipment is exactly the same as EEG equipment used by medical professionals. Neurofeedback uses the same sensors placed on the head but fewer of them, and for fewer frequency ranges. Rather than a doctor reading the chart and telling you what he sees, you will look straight at the constantly changing scan on a computer screen.
At our practice, you will watch the brainwaves or a representative image, game or movie and you will receive feedback in the form of a tone or image when your brainwaves are at the desired level for what you want to achieve.
There is absolutely nothing to be concerned or worried about. In fact, most people find it an interesting and enjoyable experience and you won’t really feel anything.Neurofeedback is in no way intrusive and requires no medication. And if you undertake the training with licensed professionals such as ourselves, you should not experience any serious negative side effects. One or more sensors are placed on your head to pick up your brainwaves. Two computers are used so that you and your psychologist can see the data produced.
Brainwaves are microscopic electrical signals produced by your brain. Slow brainwaves are associated with less activity, such as dreaming. Faster brainwaves are characterized with more intensity, such as being extremely alert or anxious. Here are the most common brainwave patterns and frequency states:
Theta 4-8 Hz-Vsiualizing, Daydreaming, Creativity
Alpha 8-12 Hz-Relaxation, Reflection
Beta 12-20 Hz-Focused & 20-30 Hz Anxiety
Anxiety with all frequencies
For children with behavioral difficulties such as temper tantrums and aggression, Neurofeedback has been shown to help them control their behavior. In the case of ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, it’s been shown that the characteristics central to these disorder (impulsion, distractibility, and hyperactivity) can respond well to training with brain biofeedback. This in turn may improve performance at school.
For people with depression, a gradual lifting of mood and energy may occur. Such individuals have reported heightened emotional responsiveness and a reduction in effort fatigue.
Individuals who regularly experience anxiety issues may, after Neurofeedback sessions experience a reduction in the frequency and intensity of their anxiety as well as intrusive thoughts.
For migraine sufferers who have found no help in conventional medication, there’s often a reduction of intensity, duration and frequency of the headache.
Neurofeedback may also help people with epilepsy. Reduced amount and severity of attacks have been widely observed, to the point at which medication dosage may be reduced in consultation with your physician.
Dr. Srednicki will do an initial interview to assess your symptoms, discuss your current medication and get an understanding of your health and family history. We will then connect you up to the EEG system and you will see your brain waves for the first time.After this, you’ll be on regular training sessions that will last up to one hour each. Depending on your needs, these sessions will be from one time to five times per week. You may expect to see some improvement within 20 to 40 sessions and sometimes less. For more serious behavioral conditions such as OCD or ADHD, it will take longer for the brain to adjust, and 40 to 60 sessions may be needed. Please be aware that this is a learning procedure and one cannot predict in all cases the number of appropriate sessions.For clinical conditions, neurofeedback training may also be used as a shorter term treatment alongside other, more conventional treatments such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Please call Dr. Srednicki at 973-744-9130 ext 1 to discuss fees and insurance issues. Patients in treatment with Dr. Srednicki for psychotherapy who wish to enhance their experience with Neurofeedback should consult with him on appropriateness of treatment and pricing.