The Hummingbird Centre is pleased to offer neurofeedback as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG feedback, is a research-based treatment that has been used for a number of decades for a range of conditions which appear to be associated with irregular brain activity. These conditions can include (but are not limited to) ADHD, depression, anxiety, behavioural difficulties, stroke, and trauma spectrum disorders. Neurofeedback emerged in response to neuroscience research and the health needs of people seeking non-invasive interventions and/or for those whom psychostimulants are not effective. This intervention has also shown promise with sleep problems, enuresis, mood disorders, pain, and executive dysfunction associated with traumatic brain injury and seizure disorders.
What happens in NeuroFeedback?
Neurofeedback training should only take place under the supervision of a properly trained professional. A professional assessment of symptoms and history is undertaken in order to enable the neurofeedback practitioner to identify the appropriate neurofeedback training for the individual.
Frequencies at which our brains fire underlie every thought, feeling and behaviour, and brain dysregulation underlies emotional, cognitive, and behavioural disorders. The brain is remarkably adaptable or ‘plastic’ and capable of learning, and it can learn to improve its own performance when given cues (feedback) about what to change. Neurofeedback is a learning technology that enables a person to alter brain waves. When information about a person’s own brain wave characteristics is made available to them, they can learn to change them. When the brain is doing a good job of regulating itself, the person will feel calm, alert and attentive. Each session challenges the trainee to maintain this “high performance” state. Gradually, the brain learns, just like it learns everything else, and with sufficient training it typically retains the regulation it has gained.
Neurofeedback requires the placement of surface electrodes on the scalp for the purpose of recording EEG and the use of this signal to provide video displays and audio signals.
Sessions are usually 50 minutes in duration, inclusive of consultation, set-up, training time and clean up. Physical touch is required during the set up and clean up stages of the treatment, when clinician will need to prepare training sights on your head and ears and clean these sites after training. In the early stages of Neurofeedback training, two sessions per week are preferred and then gradually reducing sessions until intervention is no longer necessary. The average length of training programs varies depending on the presenting problems; indications of progress, however, can usually be seen within 10-20 sessions. Developmental trauma can require over 100 sessions, but the trainee will know that the treatment is helping long before all symptoms remit. The estimated length of treatment should be discussed with your clinician.
Nearly all clients benefit from some additional counselling to address various social, emotional, behavioural and occupational (academic) concerns. Clients will benefit from focused psychological strategies and supports beyond their neurofeedback program.
What is Neurofeedback? How Brain Training can Benefit Kids, Families and Adults:
Neurofeedback and ADHD: A mum with a VERY Out of Control Boy:
Fight or Flight: Using Neurofeedback to Treat PTSD and Substance Abuse by Share Change
For further information or to request the referral paperwork, please contact reception on
02 4946 0919, or via our contact us form.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can a successful outcome be predicted?
It is not possible to predict with certainty that training will be successful for a particular individual. The effectiveness of the training, however, can usually be assessed early on in the course of training. Adverse effects are rare, and when they do occur, they can be reversed because Neurofeedback promotes brain elasticity.
- Why does Neurofeedback work?
The brain is amazingly adaptable or ‘plastic’ and capable of learning. It can learn to improve its own performance, when given cues- feedback – about what to change. All learning actually depends on feedback, and the brain is the part of us that is the most devoted to learning. By making information available to the brain about how it is functioning, and asking it to make adjustments, it can learn to do so. When the brain is doing a good job of regulating itself, the person will feel calm, alert and attentive. Each session challenges the trainee to maintain this “high performance” state. Gradually, the brain learns, just like it learns everything else, and with sufficient training, it typically retains the regulation it has gained.
- How long does training take?
EEG training is a learning process, and therefore, results are seen gradually over time. Indications of progress, however, can be seen usually within 10-20 sessions. Developmental trauma can require over 100 sessions, but the trainee will know it is helping long before all symptoms remit.
- How frequently should training sessions occur?
In the initial stages, the sessions should be regular, optimally two times a week. Think of learning to play the piano. After the brain begins to consolidate its new learning, sessions can be less frequent. There is no way to anticipate how many sessions an individual will need.