Does neurofeedback involve putting electricity into my brain?
Absolutely not. The sensors placed on the scalp function only to detect and transmit brainwave patterns to a computer where the signals can be processed. The procedure is somewhat similar to a clinical EEG (a brainwave test used by neurologists) except that only 3 scalp sensors are employed in neurofeedback. In addition, neurofeedback is not designed or employed to diagnose medical or neurologic conditions.
Are there any side effects with neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a very safe procedure and side effects are minimal.
Subjects may sometimes experience temporary sensations such as head pressure or sleepiness during a treatment session, but communicating such symptoms will allow me to make adjustments in the treatment protocol which usually results in prompt resolution.
Occasionally clients report delayed effects (1-2 days after the session) such as temporary changes in sleep patterns, fatigue, or transient worsening of presenting symptoms. If persistent, these types of issues can also be addressed by way of alterations in the treatment protocol at the next session.
What types of conditions can be treated with neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a method of training the brain towards self regulation, which in turn enhances brain function and thereby improves mental performance, emotional control and physiological stability.
Neurofeedback can be effective for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, sleep disorders, headaches, tics, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and many other conditions which stem from disregulated brain networks.
How many sessions are usually needed?
This depends on the complexity and duration of the symptoms being treated. The goal is to effect lasting improvements in brain function, so the process must be carried out in a disciplined and orderly fashion.
In general, a beneficial response occurs within 10 neurofeedback sessions, but up to 20-25 treatments may be required to achieve maximum benefit (especially for chronic and/or complex conditions). (Note that discounted rates are available when > 15 sessions are required).
For the minority of clients who show no response after 10 treatments, it is usually advised to discontinue neurofeedback therapy.
Do insurance companies reimburse for neurofeedback?
Most private insurances do not provide coverage for neurofeedback. Likewise, medicare does not reimburse for neurofeedback treatments.