Neurofeedback Training For Therapists

A woman administering neurofeedback training to a stern man.

Mental health and improving people’s lives is at the forefront of what we do as therapists. There are many methods of providing therapy, whether it is talk therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, or even practicing mindfulness.

One of the other ways that we can target the brain’s activity, and realign this so that it functions in a more positive way is with neurofeedback therapy.

Neurofeedback therapy can change the way you approach mental health issues, and can be highly beneficial for those who struggle to find relief with medication or psychotherapy.

With very few side effects, and many benefits to consider, neurofeedback therapy can be life changing for some clients.

So, if you’re thinking about implementing neurotherapy into your practice, it’s a good time to learn everything about it, and where you can find training for therapists (see also ‘DBT Training For Therapists‘). Read on for more!

What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback can be considered a type of biofeedback, which aims to teach self control over the brain functions by measuring the brain waves and providing feedback via signals.

If the feedback is positive, then it conveys desirable brain activities, but if it is negative, then the brain is working in an undesirable manner.

Neurofeedback therapy is used to assist clients in controlling their brain waves, helping them work towards more positive brain activity.

The purpose of this therapy is to help harmonize the brain waves in a more natural way without the use of medication.

During such neurofeedback sessions, the brain gradually begins to learn how to bring abnormal brain waves into normality, so that it functions more effectively.

For many clients, the process of neurofeedback therapy is very calming and relaxing, they may be asked to sit back and watch a movie whilst a therapist measures the brain waves and its activity during this time.

Most patients and clients will feel relief fairly quickly, but will begin to notice the benefits of neurofeedback therapy after three to four weeks of sessions.

What Are The Benefits Of Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback therapy is only growing in popularity, and the benefits are attractive to many clients.

One of the most interesting aspects of this kind of therapy is that it is a non-intrusive procedure, with minimal side effects. Some of the more common benefits of neurofeedback therapy are that it can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

When someone suffers from anxiety, the brain can go into overdrive, and they may feel restless, irritable, fearful, chronically worried, and they may struggle to sleep. This can make it hard to concentrate and function in their day to day lives. But, not only this, it can lead to health problems and inflammatory responses in the body.

Neurofeedback therapy can help teach the brain to calm itself down, and decrease the symptoms of anxiety and low mood.

In a similar way, neurofeedback therapy can reduce depressive episodes. When someone is depressed, the body is in a state of lowness, and it can be hard to get things done or adapt to change.

Neurofeedback therapy can improve brain function and boost the mind, limiting the symptoms of depression. The brain learns to regulate itself in a more positive way, so that emotional control is not as difficult.

Some of the main advantages of neurofeedback are:

  • Decreased stress levels
  • Boosted mood
  • Fewer triggers
  • Less frequent mood swings
  • Less fear responses
  • Better coping mechanisms
  • Improved sleep patterns
A woman sitting before a laptop self-administering neurofeedback training.

Is Neurofeedback Therapy FDA Approved?

There are many neurofeedback devices on the market, so it’s hard to say if all are approved for medical use and safe under licensing laws. However, in 2018, the FDA designated the NeurOptimal device as a General Wellness product and claimed it is safe for use for individuals wanting to program the brain for wellness. 

In addition, the Low Energy Neurofeedback System, or LENS is now actually Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved as a certified medical device. This means that it is considered a safe biofeedback device intended for relaxation and self regulation. 

Generally speaking, these devices are considered non invasive, FDA approved and safe to use. 

That being said, neurofeedback is typically recognized as safe for use, with minimal side effects, as long as it is administered by a trained professional.

If consumers use these devices themselves without training, then this could increase the risk of side effects. 

Who Can Perform Neurofeedback Therapy?

The only people who should perform neurofeedback therapy are licensed mental health professionals who have been trained, generally provided by mental health professionals such as psychologists, doctors, therapists, family therapists and counselors.

There is a vast amount of equipment and programs that will need to be used during these sessions, so proper training is essential. 

These individuals will work with clients on a one-on-one basis, to provide vital information about their brain activity and offer support. 

Neurofeedback Training For Therapists

Neurofeedback therapy should only be administered by a licensed, qualified and trained professional. As a result, you will need to be trained in this technique. There are various neurofeedback training courses available and certification programs to look into to ensure you do this safely and legally. 

The first place to go is the BCIA. This is the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.

From here, you can look into Neurofeedback courses such as the Neurofeedback Entry Level course, Neurofeedback CPE, Neurofeedback Technician and Neurofeedback Technician CPE. 

You can also look at the Crossroads Institute for information regarding Neurofeedback, or attend a Professional Training Course to become a Neurofeedback Provider. 

The majority of these courses are only intended for qualified, licensed mental health professionals, so you would of course need to have all of the requirements and experience at your disposal to be admitted onto these courses.

Only then can you begin implementing neurofeedback therapy into your sessions to further help your clients.

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