What was your path to becoming a neurofeedback technician? What inspired you to choose this profession?
After struggling with complex PTSD for five years and seeking every form of recovery possible, I eventually began receiving a type of treatment called neurofeedback. It wasn’t until these specific treatments that I was finally able to regain full control of my life. As I personally experienced this profound change, I began to refer friends, family members, and colleagues to receive neurofeedback treatment. Watching them change, seemingly before my eyes, I was inspired to study this advanced form a therapy. After becoming a neuro-technician, I was offered a rare opportunity to open my own clinic. Since then, I’ve enjoyed witnessing the life changing results that my clients have also experienced from neurofeedback.
What does a typical session with you look like?
Neurofeedback therapy compliments other forms of therapy. Unlike most other forms of therapy, neurofeedback does not require dialogue between the therapist and the patient. Instead, our patients sit in a chair in front of a computer screen where we place a cap on their head. The cap is equipped with sensors that transmit signals from the brain to the software associated with the cap. The patient then watches a movie or a brain training game for around 35-40 minutes. As the patient’s brain responds to the movie/game the brain’s response is transmitted to the software. During this time the software is training the brain to respond to the movie/game in a healthier way. Over time, the brain becomes trained to respond to environmental stimuli in a more functional and healthy manner on a permanent basis. When the session is over, the patient is asked to close their eyes for a few minutes while their session comes to a close. The cap is then removed, and the session concludes. We use aromatherapy in conjunction with our treatments, leaving clients feeling relaxed and soothed after treatment.
How have your personal experiences helped your work with your clients?
Neurofeedback changed my life. I worked for years to improve myself. Despite engaging in talk therapy, in-patient treatment, and numerous different support groups, I still wasn’t able to fully overcome my trauma. I would bury myself in shopping, work, and other forms of self-soothing as a way to escape any pain I was still experiencing. When I came across a doctor who offered neurofeedback and began this as a treatment, that’s when things really started to change for me. Combined with other forms of self-improvement, this therapy culminated all of my hard work. I am always happy to share my story with my patients because they often find comfort in being able to relate, knowing they aren’t alone. When I tell them about my own journey with neurofeedback therapy it also gives them confidence in the solution. When I first meet with a patient, they often remind me of where I was when my journey of healing began. As they share their pain and their fears, it gives me a deep sense of fulfilment to know that I am going to be a part of their journey of change and hope.
How do you approach the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy?
The stigma surrounding mental health continues to impact our society, one generation at a time. It isn’t until someone in the family decides to break the cycle of abuse, dysfunction or ignorance that change can finally happen. By educating my patients as to how their traumas have impacted their brain development and brain health, we can then begin to answer questions that may have clouded them for years. With our neurofeedback brain mapping technology, we are actually able to show our clients scientific evidence to support the symptoms they are experiencing. I think seeing this evidence with their own eyes gives many patients a sense of relief, knowing that there is a medical reason behind the way they’ve been feeling. We are then able to develop a treatment plan, giving our patients relief from many mental health conditions that arise from childhood trauma and other serious life events including but not limited to PTSD, CPTSD, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression, memory disorder, tinnitus, Asperger’s and schizophrenia. I look forward to joining my colleagues in changing the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy, one success story at a time.