Neurofeedback is offered as Self Matters is committed to a holistic approach that includes biological influences on mental health. I am a commitment to ensure that I am not only trained but that I am certified in neurofeedback with the maintenance of continued education to ensure the most up-to-date standards.
What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a non-invasive technique used to help the
brain self-regulate. Using sensors and special software, the brains activity is measured and
reflected back through a video display. When the brain is allowed to see its own activity (like a
mirror), it can then adjust itself for better physical and mental performance. Nothing is ever
transmitted into the brain. Brain activity found in the EEG, through the particular placement
based on careful assessment of symptomology, is recorded and fed back to that brain through
visual, sensory, and auditory means.
By improving self-regulation of brain activity, clients can be helped to function better
cognitively, emotionally, and behaviourally. Your brain changes itself. You don’t have to “think
about” it or “try.” The choice of where to train and which protocols to use is based on the
training plan. Over time, as the brain is conditioned or trained into new, healthier brain wave
patterns, symptoms improve.
Who can benefit from neurofeedback? According to the EEG Institute:
Individuals of any age can benefit from EEG training. Neurofeedback can help a variety of
childhood problems including bedwetting, nightmares, attention deficits and other forms of
disruptive and disturbing behaviours. It can assist adolescent who struggle with anxiety and
depression or drug and alcohol use. Neurofeedback can help anyone maintain good brain
function as they age. Peak performers also use EEG training to enhance their abilities in sports,
business, and the arts.
What can I expect in a session?
You will meet with a qualified neurofeedback practitioner, and a careful assessment of your
chief complaints and symptoms will be reviewed. Assessment will also include an overview of
the functioning of both current and past behavioural, cognitive and emotional characteristics.
Your symptoms will then be reviewed at the beginning of each session. Your participation is key
so that the clinician can monitor for the effects of the training. For younger clients, a parent are a
guardian will be included in the assessment.
You will sit in a comfortable chair and sensors will be placed on the scalp using a special paste.
It is important to be reassured that no electricity passes to the person being trained. The sensors
simply measure brain waves. Through a computer program, and based on the individuals unique
training plan, brain waves are then shown to the brain so the brain can then make corrections and
Individuals of any age can benefit from neurofeedback which can address a variety of issues such as: (This is not an exhaustive list)
Drug and alcohol use
Are you interested in learning more?
Please feel free to contact me for additional information or check out the following resources:
Research: Many empirical articles can be found doing a PubMed search or other search engine
that can access empirically reviewed articles and studies.
Can also learn more at www.EEGinfo.com/research
What is Neurofeedback? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6XeCwFQrCA
What Is Neurofeedback? How Brain Training Can Benefit Kids, Families,
and Adults https://youtu.be/HxHR7InSQ1c
A Symphony in the Brain by Jim Robbins.
Brian’s Legacy by Siegfried Othmer and Brian Othmer
Making a Good Brain Great by Daniel Amen, M.D.
Restoring the Brain: Neurofeedback as an Integrative Approach to Health by Hanno W. Kirk
ADD The 20-Hour Solution by Mark Steinberg, Ph.D. & Seigfried Othmer, Ph.D.
Are There Different Types of Neurofeedback?Yes. Some types of Neurofeedback Programs include: -Cygnet - neurofeedback program allows Clinicians trained in the Othmer method to create each individual's treatment plan, using research-based protocols as a guide and making clinical adjustments throughout the treatment to find optimal effectiveness. Cygnet and the -Othmer method allow for more hands-on and individualized interaction between the client and the clinician by modifying the training every step along the way based on current symptoms and the brain's response for more effective and accelerated learning. Cygnet is able to provide both Infra-Low and Alpha Theta neurofeedback training (eeginfo.com). This is the type of Neurofeedback Self Matters uses. -NeurOptimal - neurofeedback program that allows renting or purchasing equipment for at-home use; more of a one-size-fits-all approach that can be administered by an individual who is not trained in Neurofeedback -LoReta - requires a QEEG brain map, z-scores, and a full 10-20 electrode cap along with an experienced clinician in the office (biofeedback-tech.com) -Other Brain Training products that can be used concurrently with Neurofeedback: -Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) - a form of "stim" technology that provides pulsed electricity or pulsed electromagnetic signals to stimulate the brain's activity (chicagomindsolutions.com) o Alpha-Stim - cranial electrotherapy stimulation (alpha-stim.com) o NeuroSky - EEG Biosensor to read brain activity for apps (neurosky.com) o Muse - Senses your brain wave activity for meditation (choosemuse.com)
Why the Othmer Method *Cygnet” of Neurofeedback?Amanda Burns selected the Othmer Neurofeedback method as it resonated with the emphasis on quality care that requires rigorous training and certification. Due to Amanda’s extensive experience in mental health as a health professional, she was drawn by the Othmers highlighting that each brain is different. Therefore, individualized interventions should be utilized. A one-sized-fits-all neurofeedback training is not what Cygnet embraces but rather protocols based on the unique symptoms and challenges the client wants to be addressed. While it requires lengthier clinician training and continual recertification, this ensures Amanda is using the most updated research to support the clients in their neurofeedback training.
What Are Brain Waves, and Why Do They Matter?"What Are Brain Waves, and Why Do They Matter? Brainwaves are electrical impulses in the brain. An individual’s behavior, emotions, and thoughts are communicated between neurons within our brains. All brainwaves are produced by synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. Our brainwaves occur at various frequencies. Some are fast, and some are slow. The classic names of these EEG bands are delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. They are measured in cycles per second or hertz (Hz). These brainwave states range from deep, dreamless sleep to high arousal. The same four brainwave states are common to the human species. People of all ages experience the same characteristic brainwaves. They are consistent across cultures and country boundaries. Beta - Beta brainwaves (13-38Hz) are smaller, faster brainwaves associated with a state of mental, intellectual activity and outwardly focused concentration. When the brain is aroused and actively engaged in mental activities, it generates beta waves. Beta waves are characteristics of a strongly engaged mind. A person in active conversation would be in beta. This is a state of alertness. Alpha - Alpha brainwaves (8-12Hz) are slower and larger. They are associated with a state of relaxation and represent the brain shifting into an idling gear, waiting to respond when needed. If we close our eyes and begin picturing something peaceful, there is an increase in alpha brainwaves. A person who has completed a task and sits down to rest is often in an alpha state. A person who takes time out to reflect or meditate is usually in an alpha state. Alpha could be characterized by the presence of being in the ‘now.’ Theta- Theta brainwaves (4-7Hz) brain waves represent a daydreamy, spacey state of mind associated with mental inefficiency. At very slow levels, theta brain wave activity is a very relaxed state, representing the twilight zone between waking and sleep. Theta brainwaves are typical of greater amplitude and slower frequency. A person who has taken time off from a task and begins to daydream is often in a theta brainwave state. A person who is driving on a freeway, and discovers that they can't recall the last five miles, is often in a theta state--induced by the process of freeway driving. Theta has been referred to as a state of inner intuition and often when good ideas occur. The ideation that can take place during the theta state is often free flow and occurs without censorship or guilt. It is typically a very positive mental state. Delta- Delta brainwaves (1-3Hz) are the slowest, highest amplitude brainwaves and are what we experience when we are asleep. Delta brainwaves are of the greatest amplitude and slowest frequency. When we go to bed and read for a few minutes before attempting sleep, we are likely to be in low beta. When we put the book down, turn off the lights and close our eyes, our brainwaves will descend from beta to alpha, to theta, and finally, when we fall asleep, to delta.
Can the Brain Learn?The brain is amazingly adaptable and capable of learning. It can also learn to improve its performance if only it is given cues about what to change. Making information available to the brain about functioning and asking it to make adjustments can help it reach improved brain health. When the brain is doing a good job of regulating itself, and the person is alert and attentive, the brain waves (EEG) show a particular pattern. We challenge the person to maintain this "high-performance," alert, and attentive state. Gradually, the brain learns, just like it learns anything else. Just like other learning, the brain tends to retain the new skill. Advancements in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis understanding, support the fact that the brain has the ability to change.
How Does the Brain Train?Sensors are placed on the scalp in unique and individualized areas based on a careful assessment of reported symptoms. The sensors then digitalize your brain wave activity found in the EEG (nothing is put into your brain). The neurofeedback computer system processes the brain waves and extracts specific data. The ebb and flow of your brain waves and the detailed information obtained from them are immediately shown back to you (feedback) in the form of a movie or video game using visual, sensory, and auditory means. When observing your brain wave activity in real-time on advanced computerized equipment, you can see what is happening to your brain as your state & awareness change. We show you your brain activity and help you change it by rewarding shifts toward a more functional and stable brain state. It is a gradual learning process. It essentially is brain exercise (training) for better overall brain functioning.
Is Something Being Put Into My Brain?No. Neurofeedback is not electricity to the brain. Sensors are attached to the scalp with EEG paste to record your brainwaves. It is painless and does not involve applying any voltage or current to your brain, so it is entirely non-invasive. Much like a stethoscope allows the user to hear the heart beating and measure the heart rate, the sensors enable the software to measure the brain activity and convert these brainwave patterns onto a computer monitor. The EEG digitalizes the brain waves. It is painless and does not involve applying any voltage or current to your brain, so it is entirely non-invasive.
What Can I Expect in a Session?A qualified neurofeedback practitioner does an initial interview to obtain a description of symptoms and get a picture of the health history and family history. Then a careful assessment of your chief symptoms and neurofeedback goals will be completed. Your symptoms will continue to be reviewed at the beginning of each session. Your participation is key so that the clinician can monitor for the effects of the training. For younger clients, a parent or a guardian will be included in the assessment. You will sit in a comfortable chair, and sensors will be placed on the scalp using a special paste. The location of the sensors on the scalp is based on assessment findings according to protocols. It is important to be reassured that no electricity passes to the person being trained. The sensors simply measure brain waves. Through a computer program and based on the individual's unique training plan, brain waves are then shown to the brain to make corrections and self-regulate. This usually involves watching a movie that is included in the software abilities.
How Long Does a Session Last?Neurofeedback training sessions last about 40 minutes to an hour. The duration may change depending on the unique characteristics of your brain and how it is responding. Although neurofeedback is training, it is not like going to the gym, where more extended training is often helpful. Neurofeedback requires that we respect how and where their brain likes to be trained, so duration is not the emphasis of the training.
How Often Should I Attend Neurofeedback Sessions?Ideally, appointments are scheduled one to three times per week for maximum benefit. This is not always possible due to schedules, but a minimum of once-a-week sessions is highly recommended. Some changes can be experienced in as few as one to five sessions, but more treatments are usually necessary for the change to be long-lasting. To acquire the basic self-regulation skills and allow for meaningful change, the average number of sessions is usually 20. Many clients chose to continue training. As each session progresses, self–evaluation with you, the client, is utilized to re-evaluate the treatment plan. Sessions run in length from 40 to 50 minutes (clinical hour). Services at Self Matters are paid on a fee-for-service model.