Thursday, October 20, 2016

Promoting recovery through Neurofeedback.

Many people suffering from substance abuse disorders also struggle with underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and attention deficits. These co-occurring disorders may increase relapse risk for patients in recovery or prompt patients who are currently in treatment to leave prematurely. When appropriate, Caron uses Integrative Neurofeedback Therapy to address these co-occurring disorders, which in turn helps patients remain in treatment and maintain recovery.

What is Integrative Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback, also called EEG or brainwave biofeedback, is an intervention that involves mapping brainwave patterns and reinforcing healthy brain function in patients who struggle with the co-occurring mental health disorders which often accompany addiction. EEG has been in use for over 90 years and has a rich scientific and clinical history. At Caron, we use state-of-the-art techniques involving advanced statistical and mathematical analyses, known as Quantitative EEG (qEEG) and low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA), to determine whether a patient’s recorded brainwave patterns reflect healthy or abnormal brain function.

What happens during a Neurofeedback session?

Neurofeedback Therapy Treatment Room

Neurofeedback is noninvasive and perfectly safe. During each session, an EEG cap with special electrode sensors is placed on the patient's head. These sensors are applied with a small amount of gel. From the comfort of a private room, patients watch videos that are linked to their electrical brain activity through a computer. When the patient’s brain activity reflects healthy brain function, as compared to a normative database, the video continues to play. When the pattern of electrical brain activity falls outside of this range, the video stops playing. In this way, the video serves as visual feedback of the brain activity being measured. After repeating these neurofeedback sessions over time, patients learn how to regulate their brain function and better manage their mental and emotional state.

What outcomes can be expected from Integrative Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback Therapy has been found to improve a number of clinical symptoms, including:

Managing moods and emotions
Processing anxiety
Reducing levels of general distress and discomfort
Increasing attention and the ability to focus
Adopting new, healthy behaviors and deal with the triggers that may increase relapse risk


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