A randomized controlled study recently published in PLOS One suggests that neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback is an effective treatment for the core symptoms of chronic PTSD in adults.
The study compared neurofeedback treatment with treatment as usual in the community. The participants were individuals with chronic PTSD who had at least six months of trauma informed treatment.
After 24 half hour neurofeedback sessions, a significantly smaller proportion of the neurofeedback group still met criteria for PTSD compared to the control group. Only 6 out of the 22 participants who received neurofeedback still met criteria for PTSD, compared to 15 of 22 who received the usual treatment.
The neurofeedback group also showed significantly reduced severity of emotional regulation problems, reduced tension reduction symptoms such as self-injury, sexual activity, and food bingeing, and reduced emotional instability.
The size of these improvements is comparable to that reported for the most effective evidence-based treatments for PTSD. It is important to note that compared to these other more established forms of treatment, the neurofeedback treatment process itself is much more easily tolerated. Most participants enjoy the sessions and find them calming.
This study was a follow-up to an earlier pilot study I co-authored that showed comparable results.
At the NeuroDevelopment Center, we have been providing neurofeedback for over 17 years and have worked with many children and adults with trauma. We measure treatment outcome using symptom rating scales before and after every 20 sessions of neurofeedback. We have obtained very successful outcomes with this new approach to treatment.
Read here for more information about our work with neurofeedback for PTSD or developmental trauma.