Neurofeedback for anxiety
Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a research proven way to help you improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology is complex, the process is simple, painless, and non-invasive. It is just learning. You learn to alter your brain activity the same way you learn every other skill. You learn through feedback and practice. What is new in neurofeedback is that you are guided by a form of feedback that was previously not available to you. You get instantaneous information about changes in your brain’s electrical activity. Every half second, your brain activity is compared to your targets for change. You get a signal and “reward” when you meet the goal. No signal or reward when you do not.
In 20 neurofeedback sessions, with feedback every half second, you get 72,000 chances to learn. That’s a lot of repetition and practice. Brain science has shown that repetitive exercise of brain networks reshapes the brain. Neurofeedback allows you to reshape anxiety networks in your brain. Learn more.
Research on neurofeedback for anxiety
Several small studies have been done showing that neurofeedback for anxiety is effective. In each of these studies, neurofeedback training resulted in reduced anxiety. Much more and better research needs to be done. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, we have found neurofeedback for anxiety to be consistently helpful. We recommend neurofeedback for anxiety whenever better proven methods of treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy have not been successful. We also strongly recommend that neurofeedback be done together with individual or family therapy. The quieting of anxiety networks in the brain from neurofeedback often makes progress faster in individual or family therapy.
See the problem, then correct it.
Neuroscience is increasingly showing the basis in the brain for anxiety disorders. Medications just treat the symptoms and do not correct the source of the problem in the brain. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, our approach is different. We measure brain function with a quantitative EEG brain map
, so that you can see the reason for your difficulties. The image below is from the qEEG analysis of one of our clients with an anxiety disorder. The area in red shows excessive activation in part of the fear network in the brain. Once we see the source of the problem, we target that area for change through neurofeedback brain training. This allows you to reshape your brain, not just mask your symptoms.
““It is hard to believe that a year ago my family was living in Hell. My daughter was so scared of everything in life and my husband and I didn’t know what else to do for her. The level of stress, fear, and sadness was unbearable. Her anxieties and panics were becoming mine. It is unbelievable the change that has occurred with neurofeedback. The confidence she has built in herself and in facing her fears is remarkable.””
Meet Stacey. After neurofeedback for anxiety, she gets the grades. Without all that stress.
Stacey needed a new treatment approach. She was a terrific student and athlete. Straight A’s. Star on the track team. A very hard worker, she drove herself. Way too hard. She could not stop worrying about her tests and grades. She studied obsessively. Her anxiety became so severe that she was placed on two medications. These helped somewhat, but she continued to struggle with near-crippling irrational worry about her performance in school. Stacey also had lots of psychotherapy, with little relief. Stacey’s mother came to us after investigating neurofeedback for anxiety.
Stacey did well with neurofeedback training. After ten weeks and 20 neurofeedback sessions , she was no longer taking the anti-anxiety medication and had reduced her anti-depressant dose by half. Her mood was good and her anxiety minimal. Stacey continued with neurofeedback for several additional months and was able to stop taking both medications. She continued to perform well at school, but without the intense pressure and distress. Her teacher’s rating of her anxiety before and after 10 weeks of neurofeedback showed huge reductions in anxiety, with all scores in the normal range after ten weeks of treatment:
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