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Neurofeedback Therapy

WHAT IS NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY?

Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive, drug-free way to retrain brain function and restore optimal functionality. Through a series of sessions, most girls will find relief from symptoms such as: behavior disorders, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, depression, insomnia and trauma. When used within a larger therapeutic context such as ours, it is particularly effective.

NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY: KEY FACTS

  •  Neurofeedback is a way of training brain waves that alters the structure and function of the brain.
  •  Neurofeedback is focused on helping the brain return to a normal pattern of brain wave activity.
  •  Reasons that normal patterns can become disrupted include: the use of substances, poor nutrition, trauma, stress and organic variations of the brain structure.
  •  Studies have shown that the learning that occurs is permanent as new pathways are formed in the brain.
  •  Most people find relief from symptoms such as: behavior disorders, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, depression, insomnia and trauma.
  •  Neurofeedback has increasingly shown promise as a means of dealing with the dysregulated nervous system of young people that have experienced attachment disruption and/or trauma
  •  When used within a larger therapeutic context such as Greenbrier’s, it is particularly effective.

HOW DOES NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY WORK?

Neurofeedback therapy involves a computer-based program that provides immediate feedback on brainwave activity. It uses a reward-based system through video and sound to steer brainwaves toward a more desirable state.

After completing several assessment tests and a brain-mapping session with your daughter, we can correlate specific brainwave patterns to likely symptoms. During treatment, we target those patterns by rewarding the desired state until it becomes second nature.

For example, if your daughter suffers from anxiety, we will see specific activity in the related brainwave activity through her brain-mapping session and assessment tests. We can then use her favorite movie as a training device in the neurofeedback loop. As the sensors pick up more controlled activity in the associated brain wave, the movie will start to play. If the pattern steers off course, the movie will become darker, the sound lower, or it may stop playing altogether until the more desired patterns restart.

Over the course of several sessions, your daughter will learn to self-regulate her brainwave pattern automatically. Like any exercise, it takes practice for it to become second nature. Once it does, studies have shown the changes are permanent as new pathways have been formed in the brain.

Neurofeedback Therapy at Greenbrier Academy

HOW WILL NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY HELP MY DAUGHTER?

When used as an adjunct therapy to our immersive therapeutic program, neurofeedback therapy is a powerful tool for change.

At Greenbrier, your daughter is immersed in a supportive community of sisters and a therapeutic model that connects her academic, therapeutic and residential life. Her entire experience at Greenbrier revolves around identifying, removing and replacing the false beliefs that are the root cause of her symptoms.

Neurofeedback therapy allows her to actually target and re-train the brainwaves associated with these false beliefs.

IS NEUROFEEDBACK A REQUIREMENT OF THE PROGRAM?

Our neurofeedback program is not required, but we strongly suggest adding it to your daughter’s experience with us at Greenbrier. As stated above, we have added this element to our program as a way to enhance and guide her already transformative journey.

“Neurofeedback should play a major therapeutic role in many different areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used.”

– Dr. Frank H. Duffy, Professor and Pediatric Neurologist, Harvard Medical School

THE HISTORY OF NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY

Neurofeedback therapy began with the work of Dr. Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago and Dr. Barry Sterman at UCLA in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.

While studying consciousness, Dr. Kamiya discovered that patients could alter their brain activity by using a simple reward system. Dr. Sterman ran a similar experiment using cats that learned to control their brainwaves in order to get a treat from a simple machine.

Years later, Sterman used some of the same cats during an experiment for NASA that tested the effects of exposure to lunar landing fuel. Most of the cats experienced drowsiness and headaches, followed by hallucinations, seizures and ultimately death. However, the cats that had participated in his earlier experiment were immune to the effects. Through this early neurofeedback therapy, they had learned to stabilize their brain waves to repel the seizure-inducing effects of the landing fuel.

As a result, NASA trained their astronauts to control their brain’s sensory motor rhythm using Sterman’s technique. To this day, NASA continues to use neurofeedback as part of their training.

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