What happens during a typical neurofeedback session?
The skin on the head is prepared so that there will be a good connection. Then a few sensors are placed the scalp. The client sits still for about 30 seconds at a time while their brainwaves are recorded and a very low power pulsed frequency is sent back to the brain. Other than that there is nothing the client has to do. In a few minutes the client generally feels calm and relaxed. The session is over in less than half an hour.
How strong is the signal that is sent back to the brain?
The strength of the frequency is far less than a cell phone and cannot be felt. The signal is 1000 times weaker than simply holding an AA battery against your head. Yet, it is designed in a specific way to effect change in the brains cortical activity.
How effective is neurofeedback?
The success rate is very impressive. Over 85% of clients benefit significantly, often dramatically. And the changes are enduring. Once enough sessions have been completed, most people have completed their training process. There is no need to receive neurofeedback on an ongoing basis, though a very small percentage of clients return for an occasional “tune-up” session.
How many neurofeedback sessions will I need?
A minimum of 6 – 8 sessions is recommended to determine if you are going to respond well to neurofeedback. The number of sessions for sustained results varies. Problems that came on suddenly and were preceded by high functioning generally resolve more quickly (i.e., between 6 – 24 sessions). Problems that have been longstanding may require more sessions, while those that are degenerative or involve severe structural damage may require ongoing training to maintain or improve functioning.
Is neurofeedback safe?
Neurofeedback is very safe. There have been no reported cases of clients having been permanently harmed from neurofeedback. Nonetheless, neurofeedback can sometimes cause side effects – clients may sometimes feel wired, tired, spacey, or they may experience headache or nausea. In rare cases, a client may note an increase in symptoms before they settle down and resolve.
What if I am on medication? Is it okay to start neurofeedback?
Medication does not diminish the effectiveness of neurofeedback. There is no need to stop or reduce your medications, which would only be done under the oversight of your healthcare provider.
Is neurofeedback covered by insurance?
Unfortunately, neurofeedback is not covered by insurance and, because of this, I do not bill insurance for neurofeedback. It is, however, covered by many health savings and flexible spending accounts through clients’ employers.
Do you work with children and teens?
Yes! I love offering neurofeedback to children and teens. Neurofeedback is highly effective for youth for a wide range of clinical issues, including anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, oppositionality, impulse control issues, and depression.
How soon will I notice results?
Most clients notice initial changes within the first three sessions, occasionally a little longer. Clients usually complete somewhere between 12 – 40 sessions.