What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a way of training the brain and nervous system to function better. It is non-invasive, gentle and has no side effects. Computer technology is used to record the electrical activity of the brain. This activity is analysed to determine how healthy and normal it is. Your brainwaves are displayed back to you on a computer screen and special exercises are set up and monitored by the therapist to help you improve irregular or unhealthy brain patterns. In the same way as physical exercise improves your physique, brain function can be improved over time with neurofeedback.

EEG output for neurofeedback therapy and training

The electricity recorded from someone’s brain is displayed and then an exercise is set up to help the person change some of the waves.

Neurofeedback can be used to enhance brain function by people with specific problems or by those wishing to further enhance high performance. This can include sports, arts and business professionals and is increasingly becoming part of training programmes for professional athletes, dancers, musicians and corporate professionals. 

There are a growing number of scientific studies supporting its efficacy as an intervention for the following issues:

  • attention problems (ADD and ADHD)
  • mood problems (anxiety, anger, obsessiveness, stress, depression)
  • autistic spectrum problems
  • sensory processing issues
  • brain injury (this can include; blunt force trauma, exposure to toxic chemicals, oxygen deprivation and high temperature)
  • trauma (childhood neglect or abuse, sexual abuse, traumatic events)

Whether you are working to overcome a problematic condition, or wanting to give yourself an extra edge in your area of high performance, neurofeedback can hone motor skills, improve cognitive processing, develop imaginative and artistic abilities and strengthen the ability to withstand stress. Neurofeedback and brainwave assessment are both rated as effective by medical authorities.

In 2012 the American Paediatric Association endorsed neurofeedback as a first line treatment for attention disorders in children (ADD and ADHD). In 2013, the FDA (federal drug administration in the United States) approved the used of neurofeedback assessment technology (QEEG) for helping diagnose attention problems. Neurofeedback  practitioners should be qualified, registered mental health or health professionals, as successful treatment requires a blend of technical proficiency and clinical skill. Your symptoms and changes should be carefully assessed and monitored throughout the treatment.

Length of training

Some positive changes will usually be experienced after 5 – 6 sessions. Peak performance improvement for those who are already high functioning can achieved in 10 – 20 sessions. Mental health conditions, learning problems or brain injuries usually require at least 30 sessions. Many people find that coming back for ‘top ups’ once every few weeks is helpful once intensive training has finished.

Please go to the services section for information about schedules and costs for therapy.