Neurofeedback for PTSD

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 quite sophisticated, 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 – 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 – 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 our brain. Learn more.

Research: neurofeedback for PTSD

Multiple studies have been completed looking at the effectiveness of neurofeedback for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults.  A recent controlled study showed that 24 sessions of neurofeedback signficantly reduced PTSD symptoms. One study has been completed with children. These studies all suggest that neurofeedback is a very promising approach to treatment.  This is especially important because existing treatments can be quite difficult to tolerate
and have limited effectiveness for many individuals with PTSD.

Our clinical experience and that of other experts in PTSD treatment shows that neurofeedback is often very helpful with PTSD.  Ten weeks of neurofeedback has consistently resulted in significant improvement in children and adults with PTSD.  We have provided training and consultation in the use of neurofeedback to four residential treatment centers for children with trauma related difficulties.  Each of these programs has found neurofeedback to be very helpful to their kids. After an initial period of evaluation, each center decided to add neurofeedback to the treatment regimen in the residence.

If you continue to suffer from the symptoms of PTSD despite treatment with medication and or psychotherapy, the results of this early research suggest that you consider neurofeedback.

Recommended by leading doctors:

'Neurofeedback is a powerful treatment for traumatic stress. - Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical School, Medical Director, The Trauma Center at JRI, Brookline, MA.'

See the problem, then correct it.

Neuroscience is increasingly showing the basis in the brain for PTSD. Multiple qEEG studies have been published showing excessive cortical activation with PTSD. However, every person with PTSD does not have the same brain profile. That’s why we measure brain function with every neurofeedback client using 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 PTSD. 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 get to the root of the problem and reshape your brain, not just mask your symptoms. Learn more.

PTSD qeeg

Real Stories of three clients’ experience with neurofeedback for PTSD

woman PTSDAs a little girl, Janet had been severely bitten in the face by a dog.  She had PTSD symptoms her whole life. She had tried psychotherapy numerous times, but found little relief.  She had also tried virtually every medication, also with little relief.  Janet had an important job with many responsibilities, but her near-constant anxiety took an extreme toll.  She was depressed. She could not focus. Her attention was so poor that she simply could not sit down and read a book!

Tests done before Janet started treatment showed severe anxiety, moderate depression, and severe difficulties with attention. Twenty session of neurofeedback resulted in huge improvements for Janet, as shown below. She reported only minimal depression and anxiety. Her attention was normal. Janet is doing well now. She loves reading. She enjoys her job. She enjoys her life.

neurofeedback for PTSD treatment

Adorable boyThomas was only a preschooler. But he had witnessed his father beat his mother, many times, badly. Even after his mother left his father, Thomas continued to show severe behavior and emotional problems. He was diagnosed with PTSD. Thomas could not be helped in counseling, even by a very experienced child trauma therapist. He threw severe tantrums and trashed her office at every visit. Finally his Mom gave up on therapy for him. Until her therapist mentioned neurofeedback.

We used proven tests to measure the severity of Thomas’ symptoms before and after 20 neurofeedback sessions. Below are the results of tests completed by his teacher. After ten weeks and 20 sessions of neurofeedback, Thomas was doing much better.  His teacher rated his behavior as normal! Two years later, Thomas was still thriving. His mother wrote us: “Speaking with Thomas’s teacher today, she was happy to tell me that Thomas is a fabulous kid and that he is at the top of the class, the smartest kid and an absolute pleasure to have in her classroom.”


Robert fought in Vietnam. Experienced countless horrors there and continued to suffer them, on a daily basis, for more than forty years. He had severe, chronic PTSD. When he felt safe, he was the nicest of guys – friendly, outgoing, thoughtful. But any event he perceived as a threat catapulted him back into the war zone inside. It would feel “like life or death” to him. He could be dangerous, and he said so. Ten weeks of neurofeedback made all the difference to him. He was calmer, less vigilant, less likely to react emotionally. He said that the treatment “gave him a window between an event and his emotional reaction that allowed him to think and decide”. It allowed him emotional control, for the first time since his combat.

Neurofeedback has been approved by the FDA for relaxation.

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You probably have questions about neurofeedback for PTSD. We are happy to answer them.

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