Neurofeedback Therapy/Brain Training
Neurofeedback Therapy/Brain Training is an evidence based, research-proven, and drug-free method for teaching the brain to function in a more balanced and healthy way. Neurofeedback Training is an advanced technology that adapts to your brain activity, reading the brainwave pulses at a rate of 256 times per second. It works like a mirror for your brain, through feedback and practice, providing the information it needs to self-adjust (relearn) and come back to a place of comfort. And Neurofeedback Training has been proven to be just as effective as medication treatment processes, for a wide variety of issues in people of all ages.
This advanced technology is a safe, non-invasive approach to brain training that takes place over a series of sessions. It turns down your stress response and uses the process of natural/organic neuroplasticity (your own reprogramming of the brain responses) to help you feel relaxed and safe again. It helps people achieve optimal brain health and experience the quality of life that they deserve by doing 3 things:
It balances the electrical activity of your brain in order for it to work more efficiently;
It regulates your nervous system, helping it to come back to a state of calm and rest, which is the optimal state for healing;
It achieves peak brain performance, whatever your starting point is, so you can cultivate the life you want.
Neurofeedback Training is effective for people of all ages (Tacit provides this service to teens and adults alike). Some of the types of issues it helps address include:
Long COVID (brain fog, impaired memory, lethargy and headaches)
Loss of Motivation/Interest
All human activity is dependent upon the flow of information through neurons producing the wavelike electro-chemical discharges (brainwaves) that we work with in Neurotherapy. Neurofeedback Training is designed to enhance brain function by improving the brain’s ability to switch states. That is, neurofeedback is used to “teach” the brain to increase its production of “situationally healthy” brainwaves and decrease the production of “situationally unhealthy” brainwaves. Over a bit of time, the brain adapts, resulting in greater flexibility, resiliency and self-regulation.
There are many, well-controlled studies show that Neurofeedback Training is an effective treatment support for a variety of conditions. In October 2012, the organization that researches treatments for the American Academy of Pediatrics elevated Neurofeedback Training to the highest level of evidence-based support for treating ADHD. This means that Neurofeedback Training meets the same scientific criteria as stimulant medication for treating ADHD. The same efficacy level exists for epilepsy. A recent controlled study demonstrated its effectiveness in treating PTSD. Research supporting the effectiveness of Neurofeedback Training for many other issues is also readily available.
Neurofeedback Training can be quite effective in many cases, but it is important to remember that there is about a 15% non-response rate and its effectiveness with certain cases (i.e. brain damage, stroke, etc.) will be less than that typically seen for a healthy brain that is having some cognitive/mood issues (like ADHD, depression, anxiety, migraines). Furthermore, ongoing life challenges, family issues, and other factors can influence a person’s symptoms. That’s why it is important to treat the entire person from what is called a “biopsychosocial” perspective, which sometimes includes regular “talk” therapy strategies and support.
Neurofeedback Therapy/Brain Training FAQ’s
Dynamical Neurofeedback® Therapy/Brain Training (NFT) is a non-invasive procedure which provides the brain with an opportunity to train itself differently. Sessions are typically 50 min in length (unless they are combined with Talk Therapy support – in which case they will be 70 minutes in length). When you first arrive, your therapist will greet you and there will be some small talk. You will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire. And then you will be hooked up to the Neurofeedback Training equipment and left alone for about 33 min.
During your session, you will be sitting on a comfortable couch with 5 sensors attached to your head and ears. These are designed to measure your brain’s electrical activity. You may also choose to wear ear buds that will allow you to listen to a relaxing soundtrack designed to give your brain the information (or feedback) that it needs to self-adjust and optimize it’s functioning. No electricity is put into your brain. The sensors just read what is happening by picking up the electricity produced by your brain, like a microphone picks up sound. In some circumstances, you may be offered the option to also watch fractal images moving on the screen – but it is entirely your choice if you wish to use this additional piece of brain training feedback during the session.
Your brain waves are recorded, amplified and sent to a computer that processes the signal and provides readable feedback that is shared with you in real time. The way this happens is through the use of music that will be playing throughout your session (there are also opportunities to watch images dancing on the screen – with notice, we can prepare videos for you to watch as well). You don’t have to consciously do anything during your session, as this technology works effortlessly on its own. You are welcome to read or just relax – many people actually fall asleep. At the end of the session, you will be asked to complete another short questionnaire. And then it will be time to leave (or to begin the Talk Therapy portion of your session).
When you listen to the feedback from the electrical impulses in your brain, the program converts the data into breaks in the soundtrack of whatever music/video is playing. The equipment itself does not send any information to the brain; the equipment merely reads the electrical signals from your brain and gives the feedback through your auditory receptors. Your brain chooses how it will respond to that feedback and makes any shifts it feels are best. Once this new learning is consolidated, the new pattern of regulation stabilizes. The changes begin to be permanent and continued Neurofeedback Training becomes unnecessary.
This sophisticated brain training tool was designed by a team of clinical psychologists and it has been used for 30 years. The NeurOptimal® system (used by Tacit Knowledge) is a dynamical (non-linear) system that measures the differences in the electrical signal emitted from the scalp. This electrical signal is mathematically measured 256 times per second, by voltage changes, and is read through the NeurOptimal® software program which initiates a feedback interruption in the audio/video stream sent to the client, as it detects when a change/shift is about to happen in the brain. This small minute interruption is enough for a client’s brain to notice and to respond, by changing the pattern to a more comfortable, relaxed one instead. Neurofeedback Training allows a client to observe their brain activity and optimize their mindset.
No, not at all. It is a simple, painless and non-invasive treatment process. Many people read or doze through their sessions. You will be able to relax and will likely feel quite refreshed at the end of each session. For many, the most uncomfortable part of the Training is trusting that their brain is figuring out what to do without their ‘control’.
Chronic activation of the protective response can make a person respond to routine events as if they were life-threatening. That protective system was not designed for such vigorous and regular use and it can get burned out, stuck or otherwise begin to be dysfunctional.
Neurofeedback Training focuses on observing the lowest frequencies in the brain. The earliest research on these ultra-slow waves suggests that Neurofeedback Training works by regulating the autonomic nervous system function – the flight, fight or freeze response. More importantly, Neurofeedback Training regulates the activation of brain areas linked in chronic autonomic stress by helping the brain communicate between the autonomic and emotional networks. This in turn helps separate the regions responsible for emotion from the autonomic distress signal.
Since it is a training process, it does take a number of sessions for your brain to organize itself more efficiently. In 6-8 sessions you will most likely notice a change in some areas of your life. By 15 sessions, your brain will be able to hold the changes and operate from a new level of functioning. Consistency is key for efficient results. We recommend that clients try to attend the sessions regularly (once or twice each week, at first), as this allows the process to be most effective.
Every person is unique. It can be hard to say how many sessions will be needed, but your Assessment session will help us decide what might be best. Some of the issues that you wish to address may be more deeply entrenched, and you may decide to keep going with sessions for a longer period of time (or come back for maintenance sessions when needed). You will decide yourself how many sessions you think you need based on the feelings of change and stability that you experience throughout the process. You can stop the therapy at any time.
Most people participate in this therapy because they are able to reach real, sustainable changes in functioning in just a few short weeks or months. You will know Neurofeedback Training is working when you notice subtle changes in your ability to move through life with more ease. Clients have said that this therapy helps them feel calmer, more focused, able to handle their life circumstances better and able to access more joy in life.
Since each person’s starting point and symptoms are different, the progress will look different as well. Close loved ones often notice changes in the client before they see it in themselves.
You should check with your employer and/or benefit provider to confirm your coverage before you begin this type of therapy/training procedure. You may be able to use your Health Spending Account or Personal Spending Account for your sessions. You can also be able to deduct the costs of your Neurofeedback Training sessions on your income tax return each year. We will provide you with a detailed receipt that you can use for reimbursement. We do not offer direct billing for this service.