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Frequently Asked Questions
For what kind of complaints does Neurofeedback (NFB) work?
Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, ADHD/ADD, TBI, Sleep, OCD, Addictions, Developmental Trauma, Seizure Disorder, Stroke all have clinical and/or research support for differing levels of efficacy with traditional Neurofeedback training. Active Neurofeedback training has enhanced the efficacy of the traditional approach.
Are the results of Neurofeedback training lasting?
Whenever post-intervention results are tested after a period of time, whether a year or several, results support the assertion that the improvements are lasting. This has been seen with addiction, alcoholism, depression, and attention issues. With ADHD/ADD, it has been shown that client symptoms continue to improve over a two year period after treatment has ended and remain stable. Lubar who conducted early research with ADHD has reported that results hold for decades.
What is the success rate of Neurofeedback?
Other sources state that Neurofeedback succeeds in approximately 75-80% of the clients. But it depends on the study, the setting, the symptoms addressed, the complexity of client symptoms, the processing speed of client brain, other client variables: inflammation, sleep, diet and whether the training protocols were based on EEG/qEEGs or simply followed a cookie cutter model. We are aware of these variables and work hard to support optimal conditions for optimal outcomes.
Success rates in published research for depression, for instance, show success rates between 75% and 85%. But if you compare that rate with medications such as SSRIs, not only is the success rate much higher for NFB, medications are palliative: only experienced while on the medication, whereas the results continue after the completion of NFB treatment. For this reason alone, neurofeedback rates of success are more significant than medication. Across the board NFB has a better track record than psychotherapy.
Do I need a referral from the GP to get treatment?
No. You do not need a referral from a physician to get treatment, though if you are seeking insurance reimbursement, they may require that you have it. Check with your insurance company to see if this in necessary.
Do I need a diagnosis to get neurofeedback treatment?
Our focus is on client symptoms rather than diagnosis. We are addressing the underlying neurological dysregulation that correlates with symptoms as determined by research or clinical experience. EEG research shows that symptoms and underlying brain patterns of activity support a phenotype approach rather than a diagnostic characterization of the client. Neurotherapy mitigates or removes symptoms.
Who can undergo neurofeedback?
We have worked with children as young as 6 and adults as old as 86.
Why is the brain assessment (EEG/qEEG) necessary?
Neurotherapy addresses the patterns of brain activity known to underly specific symptoms or symptom sets. With anxiety, there can be eight different underlying anomalies requiring different neurofeedback approaches. Similarly, there can be several different conditions causing symptoms of ADHD (if medication is used, each requiring a different medication).
It is necessary to obtain a map of client’s brain to identify the target of treatment so that treatment is efficient and not chasing down the wrong target because the clinician is following a one size fits all approach. This is a waste of client time and money, and a waste of an opportunity to help a client who is coming in for help, often having exhausted other approaches. There is the issue of client safety. In our experience with ADHD a percentage of clients have had EEGs in which epileptiform activity is occurring, which, if not treated properly with NFB or if employing the wrong medication, can present the risk of being exacerbated, increasing possibility of clinical seizure.
How many sessions are needed?
On average 40 sessions are needed to achieve symptom reduction or elimination, and to stabilize the changes so that the improvements last. However, the real answe is that it depends on the client’s symptoms. We use a protocol for medication resistant depression that consists of approximately seven sessions with an 85% success rate. We have had success addressing sleep issues with seven sessions. There is a general depression protocol that takes about 27 sessions. If the client has a complex set of symptoms, or a slower alpha range, treatment can take longer than 40 sessions.The best effect of NFB will be reached when doing 2-3 sessions a week. Our use of active neurofeedback technologies produces noticeable improvements in the first few sessions. With traditional neurofeedback training alone, we would expect to see a noticeable effect within 10-20 sessions.
Can I continue using my medication during treatment?
During treatment with Neurofeedback you can use your medication.
Can I reduce medication during the treatment?
Medication can be reduced with prescribing physician’s supervision. It is important to monitor the effects of medication during NFB treatment to watch for increase in medication effectiveness due to the training. Some clients start to experience side effects as treatment progresses and need to reduce dosages according to physician advice.
Is Neurofeedback reimbursed by the insurer?
There is an insurance code for biofeedback, under which Neurofeedback is covered. And there are codes for combining psychotherapy with biofeedback / neurofeedback. However, coverage for chronic mental health concerns is rarely adequate in the United States. We will provide a list of questions and code numbers for you to go over with your insurance company in advance of treatment and will provide you with a superbill to obtain reimbursement if your insurance company allows it.