Frequently Asked Questions - Neurofeedback
How is Neurofeedback Conducted?
The initial session involves a thorough interview and a proper diagnosis. The second session involves testing and assessment. Many clients take the I.V.A., a continual performance test (administered by computer) which measures a client's attention, impulse control and mental stamina.
Once the assessment is complete, the training sites (i.e. where on the head) and protocols (i.e., which brainwave frequencies will be rewarded and inhibited) are chosen. Sensors are then placed on the head and then connected to an amplifier. The amplifier is connect to the computer which in turn displays the client's brainwaves onto the computer in front of them. Once brainwaves are displayed on the computer screen, training is ready to begin. The therapist screen is then switched to the game screen where a video game/movie is displayed that begins to challenge the client to concentrate by offering rewards through the form of visual and auditory stimulation.
What Changes Can I Expect to See?
Typically clients will experience a change during the training session itself. They will report feeling much calmer and relaxed, even tired. It may be the first time they've experienced relaxation. After the session ends, clients usually experience more energy and an improved sense of wellbeing within 20 to 30 minutes.
Generally training effects last from 24 to 48 hours after sessions. Sleep typically improves, anxiety lessens, and clients experience symptom relief.
How long do sessions last?
Sessions are standard outpatient mental health office visits that typically last 50-55 minutes. Setup takes about 10 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of active training/therapy, and about 5 minutes for clean up. The remaining time is used for review of progress and therapeutic interventions.
How many sessions are required?
The standard number of sessions is 40. However, severe cases may take up to 60 sessions, while mild cases may require only 30. The trained therapist will evaluate each client and make a treatment plan during the intake process.
What are the Success Rates?
Success rates are typically 75-80%. The likelihood of success increases with good feedback from the client or client's parents. Neurofeeback is not a "one size fits all" process. With patience and perseverance, success is very likely.
Do the Effects of Last?
In the vast majority of cases. If the effects are not "sticking," there is usually a reason why (e.g., poor nutrition, slow learning style, lack of focus during training). Typically neurofeedback is like learning to ride a bike - once you've learned you never forget.