Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Focus & Motivation

Focus & Motivation

Distractibility... Leaving things until the last minute, drawn to thrills
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Social, Behaviour & Anger

Social, Behaviour & Anger

Boundaries, cues, impulsiveness, aggression/ anger
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Personalised Neurofeedback

Fast, individual solutions

Neurofeedback

individual assessment, personalised training fast results
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Daniel Webster has successfully helped many children and adults with ADHD symptoms or diagnosis.  Presenting in a wide range of forms,  his personalised approach based on a brain map and individualised neurofeedback training is highly effective and achieves lasting results in a short period. 

Behavioural challenges have been fixed within a one-week intensive, and developmental issues within a few months.  Training is enjoyable while watching movies of choice. 

Find out more… 

Neurofeedback Helps Change Trajectories​

With neurofeedback training we can help change trajectories in a short time period: 

Distractibility hinders school development as well as personal relationships.  The social brain gets deprived of interaction and self confidence is affected.  During formative school years, we need the opposite to happen:  A sense of involvement in a group, social sphere and community.  

With neurofeedback training we can help improve focus, reduce social anxieties, address impulsivity and aggression, and strengthen the sense of self.  We are resetting trajectories at important stages. 

The process is fast, and we have achieved strong results within one-week intensives and weekly training over the course of only a few months.

Components of ADHD

Daniel Webster offers the most advanced neurofeedback methods as home visits and intensive courses, in the UK and internationally.  

ADHD as defined in the DSM-V can comprise a variety of different behaviour components, expressed in different magnitudes.  

Motivational, focus and planning, energetic, social behavioural, motor, learning and language and speech issues (e.g. dyslexia / dyscalculia) are included, and often comorbid with mood control, sleep, anger, rage, impulse control and aggression.  Some are more prononounced than others, achieving sub-clinical manifestations for other diagnoses, and the picture soon becomes more complex. 

With a brain map, we can assess vulnerability to a host of other possible issues, and then address these with neurofeedback training in a personalised manner.  Furthermore, we have a chance at promoting structural improvements, such as prefrontal brain maturity.  

Personalised Brain Training helps reset trajectories.  Improved social and academic function can create new positive feedback loops, as better integration consolidates behaviour patterns.

Motivation: having sufficient drive, optimism, persistence and endurance to implement plans and overcome setbacks.  

We often avoid things to do until the last moment, or are simply not motivated to take on tasks, especially complex ones with less immediate gratification.  Once we are engaged, we can dedicate our attention intensely to an activity, often something repetitive.  

There are brain areas governing our dopamine pathways, as well as monitoring and evaluating cost of effort vs. reward.  We can train these with neurofeedback.

Self-esteem, an understanding of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to self-soothe, that is, to rationalise thoughts, are also affected behavioural components.

 

A core issue of ADHD, Distractibility, is dealt with here: 

– Planning and Organisation: understanding goals, working back to the present and structuring a workflow conducive to achievement, seeing the bigger picture and dividing projects into tasks, prioritising these and being flexible. 

The ability to form an overview of the task at hand, break this down into smaller, manageable steps, and sequence these accordingly, can be trained. 

 – Concentration: the ability not to be distracted and maintain attention on the relevant task at hand.  Distractibility is a function of spatial awareness, and there are brain areas dedicated to this task.  When they are dysrythmic, we become easily distracted. 

 – Motivation: having sufficient drive, optimism, persistence and endurance to implement plans and overcome setbacks.  Self-esteem, an understanding of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to self-soothe, that is, to rationalise thoughts, are key to this.

Each of these three components is governed by a different brain area.  When one or more of these regions is dysrhythmic, we are vulnerable to focus issues. 

With neurofeedback, we can train the brain.  This is evidence-based, non-invasive, medication-free and enjoyable.

 

Dyslexia and motor issues, such as with coordination and fine motor movements or their memory, are common comorbidities in ADHD.  This can range from messy handwriting, to reading and language impairment.  Some exhibit a lack of ability to project or anticipate.  Speech recruits further brain areas which we can train.  

Neurofeedback training one week intensive course restored healthy and stable brain function out of psychosis

Behaviour issues include impulsive aggression when things don’t work out as expected, extending to protracted rage and obstinacy.  Anger management and self-control are governed by brain areas which we can train.  We have seen impulse and mood control improve substantially within a few sessions.  Sleep onset is often a cormorbid issue which we have fixed, as well as improving sleep architecture.

Self-other differentiation, the ability to empathise and anticipate, synchronising with others, respecting social and personal boundaries are key developmental milestones which are governed by specific brain areas.  We can assess vulnerabilities with a brain map and then train these with neurofeedback. 

We have seen impressive transformations within ten sessions of neurofeedback.  Another quality we can assess for is relational thinking, where the person feels as though all sensory stimulus is directed at them and hence unable to take on different perspectives.  Flexibility is the key virtue we strive for. 

Two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD have one or more other mental health or neurodevelopmental conditions, beyond distractibility and/or hyperactivity.  46% show a learning disability, 26% conduct disorder, 18% anxiety, 14% depression, and 12% speech problems.  Activity restriction, school problems, grade repitition, poor parent-child communication, and lower social competence scores that are sometimes interpreted as ASD-like are more common.  

With a brain map, we can assess dysrhythmia of brain areas that contribute towards various aspects of functionality, and then address these with neurofeedback training in a personalised manner.  

Rather than addressing a specific pathology – brain maps do not provide diagnosis – we help improve overall brain function.  Furthermore, we have a chance at promoting structural improvements, such as prefrontal brain maturity. 

Neurofeedback and ADHD Medication

We have successfully helped children and teenagers reduce or discontinue stimulant medication treatment of ADHD where this has become undesirable, under supervision of the prescribing entity.  

Individuals may offer motivations to change stimulant medication use to alternate forms of therapy, including ambiguity concerning long-term use and reduction of symptom-severity effectiveness at the cost of growth (height).  Many are considered “prohibited substance” in competitive sports, being listed as Schedule II / Class B substances when obtained without prescription.  Possible sleep problems are documented. 

There appears to be a range of conclusions in studies regarding the effect of psychostimulants used to treat ADHD on mood, anxiety, emotional reactivity, substance abuse, psychiatric conditions, cardiovascular implications, tics and other dyskenisias, among other, and these vary considerably in sample size, duration and scope.

 

 

The idea that people with ADHD have lower dopamine levels has been debunked over ten years ago in a study by the University of Cambridge.  It was found that both ADHD and ‘healthy controls’ both improved their focus with psychostimulants.  Dopamine levels are therefore not considered biomarkers for the affliction, nor are they generally measured as part of a diagnosis.  

Rather, the study found a grey matter reduction in the frontal pole, among other, which lends credence to the concept of neuromarkers characterising this pathology.  A Kaiser Neuromap provides non-specific indications of functional connectivity impairments; it allows us to see beyond the limitations of a subjective diagnosis and address brain health as a whole.  

Chemical imbalance therefore appears to be a less probable cause than altered functional connectivity, or ‘wiring’. 

A study with over 130 participants showed that neurofeedback can be used effectively in combination with pharmacological treatment, enhancing results. 

 

Neurofeedback Training is Evidence-Based

research shows neurofeedback is a safe, effective and long lasting treatment for ADHD

Neurofeedback training for ADHD is evidence based and produces lasting results:

Attention deficit:  Efficacy is well-documented – there are over 370 research reports on Neurofeedback and ADHD on PubMed.  

In line with AAPB and ISNR guidelines for rating clinical efficacy, neurofeedback can be considered “Efficacious and Specific”, the highest level (5), with a large effect size for inattention and impulsivity in this study.

large-scale study showed that neurofeedback is effective in remediating attentional dysfunction.  Significant clinical improvement in one or more of attentiveness, impulse control, and response variability was observed in 85% of participants after 20-40 training sessions.

Impulse control and attention improved through neurofeedback training, producing “patient outcomes equivalent to those obtained with stimulant drugs”

Neurofeedback “appears to have more durable treatment effects, for at least 6 months following treatment.” 

Neurofeedback was shown to be an effective method to enhance cognitive deficits, reduce ADHD symptoms and behaviour problems in children.  The effect was maintained in a follow-up six months later. 

There are numerous academic studies confirming the efficacy of EEG biofeedback (another name for neurofeedback) with sustained performance gains. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics bases its conclusion that there are “no significant contraindications” to its use on these studies. 

ILF / Othmer Method neurofeedback training was shown to reduce ADHD symptoms, specifically distractibility and impulsiveness, in a study involving 251 children over a course of 30 neurofeedback sessions. 

Training specific brain areassuccessfully activated error monitoring networks in ADHD patients, associated with symptom improvements.  Dynamic functional connectivity was found to be maintained in a follow-up 11 months later.

Another study attested improved response control and attention in ADHD post Neurofeedback.  

Mood regulation and Motivation:  see here

Working Memory: see here

Sense of Self:  With Personalised Brain Training, we work on the Default Mode Network, the neural basis of self. 

Case Study

Julian, just turned 11, introduced himself with “I’m Julian.  I have ADHD”.  His self-esteem was on the floor. 

Shy and well-behaved, his demeanour contrasted with the behaviour issues his mother deemed most pressing.  Her altercations with Julian were daily, prompted by incidences where things didn’t go as imagined or hoped for by him, and turning into a self-fuelling rage that would spoil the entire weekend.  His focus was poor, conversations marred by distractions (“jibberish”, in her words), relative maturity low for his age group and he fortunately attended a school that catered for his academic performance and social needs.  

A year of psychotherapy almost landed him with an autism assessment, and he hated the various other therapeutic procedures he had to endure that aimed at helping his physical coordination issues. 

 

Young Person depressed looking down at the ground

Within two weeks, or four sessions, his behaviour had taken a turn; in his mother’s words:

"I wanted to mention that we have noticed improvement with Julian.  

He is calmer, less reactive and when he gets frustrated he manages to calm himself down.  

Not sure if it's a temporary thing, but this weekend was all right :)"

Continued Training from Sessions 5-20

Far from temporary, his maturation accelerated noticeably in the following weeks.  

A family trip was described as “the best vacation we’ve ever had!” by his mother.  While on holiday, he learned to scuba dive, and his parents noticed that he was asking coherent, thoughtful and relevant questions during the instruction.  Anxieties and fears dropped noticeably, attention and focus improved, childish behaviour – such as “class clown” attempts at drawing attention – ceased, and he became involved in extracurricular school activities.  

Functional connectivity improves with neurofeedback training as measured with a brain map

Julian’s brain maps confirmed the transition he was going through.  He had skipped years of physical maturation that should have taken place, especially in his prefrontal cortex.  Functional connectivity of brain areas responsible for behaviour, focus and sense of self had improved substantially, as – notably – had his motor skills.  Julian’s trajectory has changed from spiralling into lower depths of special needs diagnoses, to establishing a confident, engaged and healthy risk-taking personality.  With these new acquired powers, he is able to shape his own future in a way that helps sustain his progress. 

Child behaviour improved after neurofeedback

Does it last?  Yes.  A year later Julian is thriving at school and socially.  

We all evolve, and life throws us challenges.  Key to improvement is being equipped with the right tools – cortical maturity and functional connectivity in this case – that help us create positive feedback loops within our environment.  

Twenty sessions helped liberate this young man immensely.  With neurofeedback training we can address developmental issues.

Neurofeedback for Children and Teenagers​

With a Kaiser Neuromap we can assess brain maturation in various ways.  See link below for more details.

Core Components of ADD / ADHD

We now describe the various symptoms of ADHD and their neural correlates.  The progression of symptoms is illustrated in a declining manner; not everyone exhibits these as we are all different, and many can live with certain challenges.  

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Distractibility

The primary identifying feature of ADD / ADHD is distractibility.   

This is a sensory processing issue.  The way our environment captures our senses is not filtered adequately by the processing regions in our cortex.  As a result, we become overwhelmed and find it difficult to prioritise inputs.  Our attention is diverted constantly and we become highly distractible.  This affects our ability to listen and communicate too, and our social interactions suffer. 

We are also unable to attach the correct amount of valence or importance to the engagement we perceive.  Reward is what drives us, and not knowing which pursuit is optimally gratifying, we let the environment take charge.  Pressure, deadlines and thrill become the primary motivation, at the expense of subtlety.  Our attention is polarised into the extremes of hyper-focus and apathy.  

There are many contributing and aggravating factors to distractibility.  Diet and sleep are important, both for daily activity and recuperation and neural development.  Screen-time and pace of social interactions aggravate the phenomenon.  A mature brain is able to develop effective discipline and level of engagement.  With neurofeedback we can train this.  

Susceptibility to ADD / ADHD is partially genetic, and the likelihood of a parent or guardian being affected by it is relatively high.  This can influence the child, and treatment results are optimal when both parent and child / teenager engage in neurofeedback training. 

Distractibility can sometimes also result in sensory overload.  We feel that everything is directed at us, and our perspective shrinks.  This is stressful and anxiety-inducing.  

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can detect vulnerability to distractibility and sensory integration issues, and then train the brain with neurofeedback.

 

In ADHD we become distractible and lose focus. Neurofeedback is an effective treatment for ADHD

Planning and Organisation

A seemingly related, but distinct phenomenon is planning and organisation.  How we attribute mental, physical and emotional resources to tasks, parcel this into time allotments, prioritise and monitor progress plays a complementary role to attention and focus.  

Structure in our time and environment serves efficiency in our social interactions, and our productivity.  Both are important reward drivers.  This completes the positive feedback loop that serves reinforcement

There is an episodic, or time component to this, and it helps us disengage from overwhelm and regret by fitting the moment into its place as a determinant of the future.  Clarity can be comforting and calming.  It also helps us understand, preconsciously, how distractions fit into our reward monitoring, and thus prioritise inputs.  Gaining control of our time is a core component of actively living our lives.

Improvements in planning and organisation can help to break cycles of distractibility and mood dysregulation, as well as improving positively reinforcing social interaction. 

Planning and organisation is mainly a domain of the prefrontal cortex.  It is an important component of executive function, with many dedicated brain areas.  With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can detect inefficiencies in prefrontal control and then train the brain with neurofeedback.

Planning and organisation is a function of the prefrontal cortex and we can train it with neurofeedback. Tidy room with messy clothes and organised wardrobe

Motivation and Inhibitory Control​

Motivation and inhibitory control are governed by still other brain areas.  We are reward driven by nature.  Associating actions and outcomes with real or observed rewards is an important function of our prefrontal cortex.  It is strongly implicated in our ARAS, and also plays an important part in exerting inhibitory control.  

When brain areas controlling our dopaminergic centres are dysrhythmic, we become prone to extreme behaviour with regard to risk-taking and reward acquisition.  This can range from hyperactivity to underarousal and apathy.  We want a healthy balance, and stability.  

Many interventions target mechanisms related to this aspect of ADHD.  With neurofeedback, we address this as well as its many other possible manifestations, and as such take a more holistic approach.  

Our ability to self-soothe, that is, to rationally assess a situation before entering emotional spirals predicated on immature judgements, is what prevents us from acting out and enables us to strategise, or behave more tactically. 

Motivation and Inhibition with skier doing trick is a prefrontal cortex control domain and can be helped with neurofeedback training

Physiological Arousal

Physiological arousal is the level of excitement or activity of our nervous system in response to or preparation for stimuli by the environment.  On the one extreme, we are calm and asleep, with our heart at resting rate (during most sleep phases).  On the other is fight, flight or freeze, which is associated with an activated sympathetic nervous system and primes us to the present for the purpose of survival.  In between these poles is where we ideally spend most of our day.  We want to automatically find the right and appropriate level of activation for the situation, and be stable there.  

When this is not the case, we are either understimulated by our environment, reflecting back apathy and disengagement, with its anti-social effects; or we are using our energies inefficiently.  Indeed, sometimes hyperarousal becomes an addictive state which individuals seek to preserve, at the expense of mental and physical health. 

Our ARAS, the Ascending Reticular Activating System, governs our state of physiological arousal.  Subcortical nuclei regulate our dopamine pathways, which extend through our prefrontal cortex.  There are multiple connection points between our cortex and our thalamus, as well as to our amygdala and hippocampus.  This gives us the ability to train our ARAS, that is, its ability to optimally self-regulate in response to stimuli, with neurofeedback. 

The effect of training these brain areas with neurofeedback has shown transformative improvements in children and adolescents with behaviour issues, enabling them to remain calm or regain their composure quickly and engage rationally.  

Physiological Arousal curve as a function of Ascending Reticular Activating System, ranging from sedation to fight or flight. This can be trained with neurofeedback

Action Planning, Spacial Awareness

As our ability to engage in social exercises is being undermined by qualities originating from or lack of focus and attention, our sense of social space suffers too.  Our brain manages our sense of personal and social boundaries.  These same brain areas are closely implicated in action planning, spatial awareness and implementation.  When they become dysregulated, we are at risk of developing physical coordination issues.  Communication impairments can be part of this, including speech and verbal interpretation, e.g. dyslexia (which has a 25-40% comorbidity with ADHD). 

Reading, dyslexia, math computation and focus are governed by prefrontal and parietal areas of the human cortex and can be trained with neurofeedback

Personal and Social Boundaries​

Our social boundary is someone else’s personal boundary.  A brain map indicates whether someone is vulnerable to being socially invasive, or whether the other person is likely to be recruitable.  Both qualities can be professional strengths.  Film directors are often prone to invasiveness, where this serves to repurpose the cast into roles and actions envisaged by this individual.  Actors on the other hand are likely to be highly recruitable – this reflects their seemingly innate skill of blending into situations.  Ideally, we would like to be flexible with regard to both qualities.  There are situations where these immaturities are highly effective – namely on set – while in other scenarios they can cause friction, such as at home with family or when left to one’s own devices.  With neurofeedback, we can detect these vulnerabilities and then train this flexibility. 

Brain with supernova in the background for neurofeedback and adhd

Impulsive Aggression and Self-Harm​

Immature personal boundaries can also lead to impulsive aggression and self-harm.  When we are easily led and thus become vulnerable to not living our own desires, we can become frustrated at outcomes not matching our expectations.  These insights can crystallise instantaneously, and it’s important to understand that this impulse happens preconsciously.  We rely on conscious control to inhibit aggressive actions, be they directed at others or ourselves.  While often contained or internalised, the impulse is unhealthy and we can detect its potential presence with a brain map.  Neurofeedback lets us train brain areas responsible for self-harm, aggression and boundaries.  We can teach our brain to manage expectations more maturely.  

Anger and behavioural issues in children can be resolved with neurofeedback training for ADHD and autism

Inclusion​

Many ADHD symptoms cause friction with our environment.  We are unable to present our strengths in a way that they can be fully appreciated.  This way we are depriving ourselves from positive feedback and encouragement.  When perpetuated, and combined with clashes, we lose self-confidence and ultimately our sense of self suffers. 

Conditioned not to fit in and denied productive social contact, we no longer feel part of something bigger.  There are distinct brain areas that respond to a feeling of being part of a community and that govern pro-social interaction.  When these become dysregulated, or lack an opportunity to mature, we see feelings of abandonment balanced by extreme risk-taking, and habits designed to perpetuate loner qualities evolve.  

At this point, healthy personality development at a crucial age is under severe threat.  

Neurofeedback and ADHD is effective at restoring a sense of belonging to a community and works against borderline personality disorders

Anxiety​

Anxiety emerges in a number of ways, and there are neural correlates for each, which we can detect with a brain map and train with neurofeedback.  Our social maturation is challenged by the difficulty in engaging interactions.  Brain areas assessing social complexity aren’t trained with the same rigour by our everyday life, and we develop social anxiety.  Disengaged from our environment, our sense of autobiographical self can become detached.  How we fit into a scene loses its definition.  An emotional form of anxiety ensues.  

Meanwhile our ARAS dysregulation will amplify unwanted extremes of responses, manifesting in physical ways, up to panic attacks.  

 

Anxiety can have multiple facets, including intrusive thoughts and social anxiety, and the feeling of everything coming at oneself all at once

There are multiple types of anxiety, each correlating with one or more brain areas being dysrhythmic:

Sensory overload: our brain interprets all sensory stimulus as directed to ourselves.  We lose the ability to discern what is directed at us, and which matters or interactions are of no concern to us.  This sets us up for panic attacks and ultimately psychosis.  It also means we become singular in our perspective, unable to take on other points of view

Loss of narrative: Our episodic understanding of the situation, how we got there and what happens next, is impaired, and we are unsure of where we are and where we’re going.  This hyperactivates our amygdala, and the sensation is highly emotional

Auditory sensitivity: we become prone to overly interpreting the emotional content of words and sounds, creating an air of prickliness and pushing people away without knowing it

Social anxiety: misunderstanding social complexities, social emotions and dynamics in a situation with others

Hypervigilance: as a result of avoiding a bully or abuser

Activation: Our ARAS is responsible for setting the right level of physiological arousal, or wakefulness, for the situation, and to remain stable there.  When this is on overdrive, we are pushed further into fight-or-flight mode than necessary, thus heightening sensory sensitivity.  Panic attacks are an extreme manifestation.  Our ability to calm down quickly is reduced.

Trauma: an inability to self-nurture – creating an emotional safe-space around us – and self-soothe – being able to talk ourselves down rationally from a situation, thus resulting in mood instability.  This can also manifest in dissociation and heightened pain perception.  We ruminate about the past and worry about the future, instead of being able to enjoy the present. 

Intrusive thoughts: Self-criticism overshadows motivation and confidence, and we become self-aware and distracted by negative thoughts and feelings.  Some use acquired habits to distract from this.  Others become attached to the reward circuitry triggered, and sustained by feeding obstructive, self-deprecating thought content.  Our confidence, motivation and social interaction suffer as a result.

Trauma

Unable to fulfil one’s potential, struggling with our environment and expectations, we feel judged.  This makes us emotionally hypersensitive to how things are said or done to us, creating another invisible boundary towards others.   Being ‘prickly’ is something we radiate, and other can sense this, thus priming them toward avoidance.  Again, this can contribute to further social isolation. 

Essentially traumatised, we feel unable to expand, and start ruminating about the past and worrying about the future.  Sleep quality can suffer, and we enter another cycle of functional decay.  Emotional numbness sets.  We are no longer feeling part of anything and are burdened by our waning sense of optimism.  This shreds the remains of our self-confidence, and our sense of self. 

We also become at risk of developing relational thinking.  This is when we feel that all sensory stimulus is directed at ourselves.  We’re essentially cornered, and our perspective shrinks.  This is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for psychosis.  Ideally, we want to feel a healthy sense of detachment and be able to take on different point of views, free to develop our own.  Stimulant abuse and self-medication can exacerbate this.  With a brain map, we can detect this vulnerability and then restore healthy function with neurofeedback training. 

Intrusive thoughts can occur, as our internal dialogue becomes self-critical and we prioritise negatives over achievements.  

 

Neurofeedback for Various Symptoms

A brain map lets us look into our brain – how the different parts communicate with eath other.  With neurofeedback, we can train optimal integration.  

The following tabs describe how Personalised Brain Training can help resolve many mental health issues in a holistic, non-invasive and medication-free manner. 

(Scroll down on mobile)

ADHD, Focus & Planning

ADHD as defined in the DSM-V can comprise a variety of different behaviour components, expressed in different magnitudes.  Motivational, focus and planning, energetic, social behavioural, motor, learning and language and speech issues (e.g. dyslexia / dyscalculia) are included, and often comorbid with mood control, sleep, anger, rage, impulse control and aggression.  Some are more prononounced than others, achieving sub-clinical manifestations for other diagnoses, and the picture soon becomes more complex. 

With a brain map, we can assess vulnerability to a host of other possible issues, and then address these with neurofeedback training in a personalised manner.  Furthermore, we have a chance at promoting structural improvements, such as prefrontal brain maturity.  The core issue of ADHD, Distractibility, is dealt with here:

Focus and Productivity have three core components: 

 – Concentration

 – Planning and Organisation

 – Motivation

 

Each of these three components is governed by a different brain area.  When one or more of these regions is dysrhythmic, we are vulnerable to focus issues. 

 – Planning and Organisation: understanding goals, working back to the present and structuring a workflow conducive to achievement, seeing the bigger picture and dividing projects into tasks, prioritising these and being flexible. 

The ability to form an overview of the task at hand, break this down into smaller, manageable steps, and sequence these accordingly, can be trained. 

 – Concentration: the ability not to be distracted and maintain attention on the relevant task at hand.  Distractibility is a function of spatial awareness, and there are brain areas dedicated to this task.  When they are dysrythmic, we become easily distracted. 

 – Motivation: having sufficient drive, optimism, persistence and endurance to implement plans and overcome setbacks.  Self-esteem, an understanding of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to self-soothe, that is, to rationalise thoughts, are key to this.

 

research shows neurofeedback is a safe, effective and long lasting treatment for ADHD

Researchers conclude that neurofeedback training can be considered “Efficaceous and Specific” (Level 5) for ADD / ADHD.  Neurofeedback training was shown to produce significant improvement in attentiveness and impulse control.  It was shown to produce outcomes equivalent to those obtained with stimulant drugs.  The effects were shown to be long lasting.

Neurofeedback and ADHD Medication

We have successfully helped children and teenagers reduce or discontinue stimulant medication treatment of ADHD where this has become undesirable, under supervision of the prescribing entity.  

Individuals may offer motivations to change stimulant medication use to alternate forms of therapy, including ambiguity concerning long-term use and reduction of symptom-severity effectiveness at the cost of growth (height).  Many are considered “prohibited substance” in competitive sports, being listed as Schedule II / Class B substances when obtained without prescription.  Possible sleep problems are documented. 

 

There appears to be a range of conclusions in studies regarding the effect of psychostimulants used to treat ADHD on mood, anxiety, emotional reactivity, substance abuse, psychiatric conditions, cardiovascular implications, tics and other dyskenisias, among other, and these vary considerably in sample size, duration and scope.

A study with over 130 participants showed that neurofeedback can be used effectively in combination with pharmacological treatment, enhancing results. 

See here for more information.

 

Neurofeedback training for ADHD is evidence based and produces lasting results:

Attention deficit:  Efficacy is well-documented – there are over 370 research reports on Neurofeedback and ADHD on PubMed.  

In line with AAPB and ISNR guidelines for rating clinical efficacy, neurofeedback can be considered “Efficacious and Specific”, the highest level (5), with a large effect size for inattention and impulsivity in this study.

large-scale study showed that neurofeedback is effective in remediating attentional dysfunction.  Significant clinical improvement in one or more of attentiveness, impulse control, and response variability was observed in 85% of participants after 20-40 training sessions.

Impulse control and attention improved through neurofeedback training, producing “patient outcomes equivalent to those obtained with stimulant drugs”

Neurofeedback “appears to have more durable treatment effects, for at least 6 months following treatment.” 

Neurofeedback was shown to be an effective method to enhance cognitive deficits, reduce ADHD symptoms and behaviour problems in children.  The effect was maintained in a follow-up six months later. 

There are numerous academic studies confirming the efficacy of EEG biofeedback (another name for neurofeedback) with sustained performance gains. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics bases its conclusion that there are “no significant contraindications” to its use on these studies. 

ILF / Othmer Method neurofeedback training was shown to reduce ADHD symptoms, specifically distractibility and impulsiveness, in a study involving 251 children over a course of 30 neurofeedback sessions. 

Training specific brain areassuccessfully activated error monitoring networks in ADHD patients, associated with symptom improvements.  Dynamic functional connectivity was found to be maintained in a follow-up 11 months later.

Another study attested improved response control and attention in ADHD post Neurofeedback.  

Mood regulation and Motivation:  see here

Working Memory: see here

Sense of Self:  With Personalised Brain Training, we work on the Default Mode Network, the neural basis of self. 

Challenging Behaviour, Anger, Aggression, Rage

Lack of mood regulation, self awareness,  and inhibitory control contribute to anger management and behavioural issues.   These complicated behaviour patterns have a neural basis and vary by individual.   With a Kaiser Neuromap we can detect vulnerabilities and train these with neurofeedback.

Excessive obstinacy, misunderstanding social cues and general overwhelm and anxiety are frequent characteristics of autistic children.  With neurofeedback training, we have had success in remediating these symptoms.

Multiple brain areas contribute to impulsive aggression, self-fuelling rage, physiological arousal, ‘acting out’ and conversely calming down and rationally understanding one’s behaviour and even showing regret, remorse, understanding and insight, or not as the case may be.  

 

A Kaiser Neuromap shows us possible vulnerabilities to such behaviour patterns, and can help us form a more nuanced understanding of a person’s preconscious drivers, that is, their ‘wiring’.  There are multiple contributors which we can address: 

 – impulsive aggression, e.g. in response to being denied something

 – rage, a continued unconsolable stage

 – lack of empathy or understanding of others’ feelings

 – inability to see different perspectives

 – turn taking, self/other differentiation, shared authority

 – monitoring and understanding consequences of actions

With neurofeedback training we can work on these preconscious processes, which occur before a person is able to apply conscious control or inhibition.  The aim is to reduce or eliminate the person’s propensity to exhibit such adverse and undesirable behaviour in the first place, freeing up the mind to enjoy the moment in constructive synchrony with others.  

Neurofeedback helps us stabilise the Default Mode Network, and reduce impulsive aggression and physiological arousal control.  We have seen success within a few sessions in clients from 8-15 years of age.

Anxiety and Fear

There are many manifestations of anxiety, including social anxiety, panic attacks, excess body awareness (body dysmorphia), emotional hypersensitivity, fears and phobias.  Autistic children generally present with a variety of these, all contributing towards an energy-consuming heightened state of vigilance.  Stress and defensive behaviour results.

Neurofeedback is an established, evidence-based treatment for anxiety. 

It was found that neurofeedback training for anxiety and depression “results in enduring improvements approximately 80% of the time” 

Confidence and social integration tend to improve accordingly, resulting in a positive feedback loop that helps shape new trajectories.  

A brain map will reveal overactivity of brain areas responsible for monitoring consequences of actions (timidity, general fright and reticence); watching out for an abuser (bully); body and face awareness; and excessive self-monitoring.  This helps us understand the potential presence of real threats and fear factors.  We can also detect possible tendencies to develop unhealthy body awareness.  Neurofeedback training lets us address this issues.

Anxiety can have multiple facets, including intrusive thoughts and social anxiety, and the feeling of everything coming at oneself all at once

There are multiple types of anxiety, each correlating with one or more brain areas being dysrhythmic:

Sensory overload: our brain interprets all sensory stimulus as directed to ourselves.  We lose the ability to discern what is directed at us, and which matters or interactions are of no concern to us.  This sets us up for panic attacks and ultimately psychosis.  It also means we become singular in our perspective, unable to take on other points of view

Loss of narrative: Our episodic understanding of the situation, how we got there and what happens next, is impaired, and we are unsure of where we are and where we’re going.  This hyperactivates our amygdala, and the sensation is highly emotional

Auditory sensitivity: we become prone to overly interpreting the emotional content of words and sounds, creating an air of prickliness and pushing people away without knowing it

Social anxiety: misunderstanding social complexities, social emotions and dynamics in a situation with others

Hypervigilance: as a result of avoiding a bully or abuser

Activation: Our ARAS is responsible for setting the right level of physiological arousal, or wakefulness, for the situation, and to remain stable there.  When this is on overdrive, we are pushed further into fight-or-flight mode than necessary, thus heightening sensory sensitivity.  Panic attacks are an extreme manifestation.  Our ability to calm down quickly is reduced.

Trauma: an inability to self-nurture – creating an emotional safe-space around us – and self-soothe – being able to talk ourselves down rationally from a situation, thus resulting in mood instability.  This can also manifest in dissociation and heightened pain perception.  We ruminate about the past and worry about the future, instead of being able to enjoy the present. 

Intrusive thoughts: Self-criticism overshadows motivation and confidence, and we become self-aware and distracted by negative thoughts and feelings.  Some use acquired habits to distract from this.  Others become attached to the reward circuitry triggered, and sustained by feeding obstructive, self-deprecating thought content.  Our confidence, motivation and social interaction suffer as a result.

The effectiveness of neurofeedback training for anxiety was first recorded four decades ago in 1978.  Since then, there have been over 120 peer-reviewed research papers published on neurofeedback and anxiety.  Academic interest in this application of neurofeedback has picked up notably during the last three years.    

Dr. Corydon Hammond finds in his 2005 paper, “Neurofeedback Treatment of Depression and Anxiety” that neurofeedback training results in “enduring improvements approximately 80% of the time”, with most perceiving a difference after between three and six sessions; a “very significant improvement” after 10-12 sessions, and more so after over 20 sessions.  

Improving emotional regulation with neurofeedback represents a “novel intervention to control anxiety”.   Just a single session resulted in a statistically significant improvement in anxiety.  

Contamination anxiety was improved in a lasting way in this study .

Twenty sessions of neurofeedback training led to a significant improvement in sleep, anxiety and depression evaluations.  The same disorders plus inattention showed significant improvements when conducting ten or more sessions in a naturalistic setting.  Anxiety was reduced in Canadian Aboriginals during seven days of two hour training.   Fifteen sessions reduced GAD symptoms. 

Neurofeedback improved depressive symptoms in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) patients, with significant decrease in anxiety and clinical illness severity noted as a result of the training.   Cognitive depression was reduced here.  Anhedonia and comorbid anxiety in MDD where also improved in this recent study.  Increased happiness ratings and decrease in anxiety was documented with related increased activity in specific brain areas.  

Post-operative depression and anxiety, pain, difficulties sleeping and attention and memory problems were resolved in 20 neurofeedback sessions.  The 45-year old female was able to return to work subsequently.  Postcancer cognitive impairment (PCCI) sufferers (a substantial subset of breast cancer survivors) found strongly significant reduction in anxiety, as well as somatisation and depression, after twenty neurofeedback sessions.  Anxiety, as well as depression and tinnitus were greatly reduced during stroke rehabilitation, plus improvement in speech fluency, word finding, balance and coordination, attention and concentration. 

Ten neurofeedback sessions improved symptoms of pain and fatigue, anxiety and depression in fybromyalgia patients.  Neurofeedback was also found to reach maximum effect within four weeks.

Multiple Sclerosis sufferers saw depression, fatigue and anxiety reduced, and the results were maintained at a 2-month follow-up.

Alpha Theta neurofeedback training reduced anxiety in competitive ballroom dancers, as well as increasing cognitive creativity. 

Neurofeedback provided benefit to high functioning ASD with regard to anxiety.  

Alcohol Dependence Syndrome patients found a significant reduction in cognitive deficits, anxiety and depression; noticeable improvement in memory and neurological functioning, and significant reduction in alcohol intake on follow-up.  Impulsivity, anxiety and depression were improved in long-term abstinent delinquents.   Sharp reductions in self-assessed depression were found in alcoholic outpatients, as well as reduction in anxiety, after twenty Alpha-Theta sessions.  

The physical basis of how neurofeedback training can be applied to reduce maladaptive rumination and anxiety was confirmed here.  

Neurofeedback for Autism

Autism is a spectrum disorder characterised by social integration issues and developmental delays that can be both physical and emotional.  With a Kaiser Neuromap we can identify individual weaknesses, and train these with Personalised Brain Training in a non-invasive, medication-free manner.  Improvements are evidence-based and impressive.  

Neurofeedback can positively impact trajectories of children and young adults

There are distinct brain areas that interpret the respective sensory input, and through various convergent processing stages – multi-modal association areas – the brain constructs a scene, and understands where we are with respect to our environment.  When any of these brain areas becomes dysrhythmic, our interpretation becomes distorted, for example, we can become hyper- or hyposensitive, as is seen in various symptoms of autism. 

With neurofeedback, we can train the brain areas relevant for efficient sensory processing and integration.  Personalised Brain Training uses the most advanced qEEG brain map interpretation method to form an individualised training plan.  Our neurofeedback method applies the most effective training protocols with an enjoyable feedback process, watching movies of choice.

Sensory interpretation areas of the brain which can be trained with neurofeedback

Sensory processing is a well-researched process that involves many dedicated brain areas, and their interaction to produce an impression of our environment, and how it relates to us.  Higher integration of ensuing awareness leads us into the realm of “what is consciousness”:  

Science shows that our brain is engaged in a constant process of modelling, or predicting, our environment, both with regard to space and time.  It does so on the basis of previous sensory information, as well as recent and consolidated memory.  Predictions are then matched with reality, and the process begins again.  This is an important distinction from the idea that we are merely reacting to our sensory input.  It introduces the theory that we essentially anticipate the next moment, and then update our model of our environment, continually. 

 Autism can be viewed as an impaired capacity to efficiently engage in this predictive process.  The theory easily explains the insistence on sameness and inflexibility with regard to changing routines, embracing novelty, interacting with moving objects, reduced appreciation of humour and even Theory of Mind, which is essentially the creation of a model of another person in one’s own mind.  An unpredictable world becomes overwhelming, explaining the fear and anxiety we so often witness with the condition, and resorting to self-stimulation (stimming) is an anxiolytic response.  As a result of reduced modelling and predictive capacity, repetition is favoured, and this can turn into a strength as replicative behaviours enhance certain skills or narrow areas of focus. 

 

We can think of autism as brain dysregulation in multiple functional areas.  This results in many comorbidities, which we implicitly address with neurofeedback training as part of a holistic approach.

Some of the challenges we have seen to improve with neurofeedback training include:

 – lack of bodily awareness, motion control and speech, spatial awareness
 – an inability to express, understand and convey emotions and physical needs
 – increased frustration at not being understood, whether on a basic survival needs level or in more emotional / intellectual areas
 – impulsive aggression, potentially morphing into self-fuelling rage and violent behaviour, sometimes self-directed
 – perceived lack of empathy and regard for the needs of others
 – generally being ‘misunderstood’, to the detriment being able to fully develop strengths and talents

With neurofeedback training, we can address these ultimately self-harming divergences and bring out the incredible potential in all of us. 

 Neurofeedback training has been shown to be a safefeasible, and effective therapy approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder across all ages

Multiple studies confirm:

– improved cognitive function in social, thought and attention domains

 – improved cognitive flexibility

 – lasting improvement in executive function, working memory and processing speed

– improved facial recognition

– better behaviour, including being less aggressive, more cooperative and better at communication

– improved functional connectivity in the social brain regions

 – a 40% reduction in ASD symptoms among 89% of participants, and associated changes in cerebral functional connectivity 

 – lasting improvement in ACC / DMN flexibility, crucially linked to Theory of Mind

 – significant improvements in general and non-verbal communication and social interaction 

 – lasting, and increasing improvements past the training period, in attention control, cognitive flexibility, planning, communication and social interaction

9 point improvement in IQ was reported in a large-scale study, alongside decreased ASD symptoms including attention, anxiety, aprosodias, social functioning, as well as academic and intellectual functioning. 

Sensorimotor behaviour (posturography) improved in children. 

Neurofeedback training has proven calming effects

Research evidence for comorbidities, e.g. ADHD, dyslexia, depression, anxiety, seizures, sleep and behaviour is shown under the relevant tabs below.  

Emotional Balance is a core necessity for enduring, controlling and dominating the rollercoaster that competition provides.

Neurofeedback is an established method for treating anxiety.  

Athletic training and competition involves a lot of changing gears when it comes to physiological arousal.  From warm-up to competing, cooling down and waiting for the next stage, gearing up again and performing, and repeating this possibly multiple times in a day or session, flexibility and stability is key.

We can train our brain to be more flexible and stable, in particular with respect to having the right, and steady level of physiological arousal for the situation.  

Fears, setbacks and even easy wins can impair our judgement and performance.  Having a strong sense of emotional safety, and the ability to self-soothe, are instrumental in ensuring reliable performance.  

Neurofeedback takes a holistic approach to emotional balance.

 

Neurofeedback training for better emotional self-regulation

Over-attentive with regard to bodies, shapes and faces, and excessive monitoring of our own in relation to others, our self-confidence and social interactions suffer.  There are neural correlates for this which we can train. 

Studies have shown that there are neurological differences in people with Body Dysmorphia Disorder.  By identifying neuromarkers, we can assess vulnerability using a qEEG brain map (Kaiser Neuromap), and then train the affected brain areas accordingly using neurofeedback.

The condition affects higher order visual processing areas, which relates to the emphasis on face and body recognition and the over-attention to detail. 

Also, prefrontal areas pertaining to self-monitoring, risk-taking and empathy are activated differently in BDD. 

Sub-cortical structures involved in reward processing see similar activations. 

BDD has many comorbidities, including anxieties, social phobia, depression and OCD.  Impulsive aggression (violence) and suicidal ideation are also common, as are intrusive thoughts.  

From our experience, these issues, among other, show up as vulnerabilities on a Kaiser Neuromap, and we have successfully resolved body dysmorphia issues in clients using Personalised Brain Training, besides many other comorbidities.

Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is another application of neurofeedback training.  

We have found neurofeedback to be highly effective in assisting physical rehabilitation.  With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can detect areas of hypometabolism that respond hemodynamically with neurofeedback training.  There are neuromarkers for mTBI, as well as Alzheimer’s Disease, though these are non-specific (necessary, not sufficient conditions) and should not be seen as diagnosis.  General (rather than focal) lesions in neurodegenerative conditions appear to form first in the corpus callosum, a fibre bundle linking the two brain hemispheres; altered functional connectivity has been visible there on a brain map too, in our experience, at an early stage.

There is evidence that neurofeedback supports myelination, improving the important sheathing of axons, which is a critical part of the physical recovery process. 

With a brain map, we can detect areas of hypometabolism, some of which are characteristic of mTBI / concussion.  Using the most advanced neurofeedback protocols, we have reversed these, indicating the positive hemodynamic effects of neurofeedback training.  

 

Pain perception has neural correlates – there are brain areas that govern our attentiveness to the signs our bodies are giving us. 

In the first instance, these signs are real messages that something is wrong and needs dealing with.  Medical attention should provide solutions to this.  

Sometimes, pain perception can become irrational in this context, and with neurofeedback training we can help the brain establish a more reasonable approach to interpreting such stimulus.  

 

Neurometabolic Cascade post concussion indicates higher demand on energy against lowered blood flow in the first four minutes, with acute recovery effects lasting days

Immediately following concussion / mTBI, there is an increased demand on energy (glutamate) in the brain, at the same time as cerebral blood flow is constrained.  

This effect is most pronounced during the first four minutes following impact; other neuromodulatory impairments last for days, and it is estimated that cerebral blood flow is only normalised after around ten days.  The blood brain barrier is temporarily disrupted in the first few minutes leading to a complex inflammatory response in the hours and days following injury, and microglia can remain activated for many years.

There are numerous neuromarkers of mTBI, ranging from reduced prefrontal activation to impaired Default Mode Network functionality; while these are non-specific – necessary, but not sufficient conditions – some are highly unusual and show up on a Kaiser Neuromap.  With neurofeedback, we can train these, while restoring general functionality of our neural basis of self (the Default Mode Network).  We have seen impressive recoveries, both with regard to client feedback and before/after brain maps.  

Concussion / mTBI increased the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by 50% and shares similar mechanisms of promoting tau / amyloid pathology.  TBI also increases the risk of Parkinson’s Disease and is capable of producing a prion-like spread of self-seeding proteinopathy.  Moderate to severe TBI adds around five years to measured brain age, relative to chronological age.  

– Alpha-Theta neurofeedback training has a “beneficial effect on symptom reduction as well as perceived stress.  It also has a beneficial effect on levels of serum cortisol” involving a significant reduction during acute recovery

 – neurofeedback training was shown to be effective with Postconcussion Syndrome (PCS) 

 – efficaceous treatment for chronic posttraumatic headache sustained in military service

 – neurofeedback therapy showed significant changes in structural and functional connectivity in young TBI patients, with cognitive scores and concussion symptoms improving significantly

 – neurofeedback is shown to be an effective intervention for auditory memory

 – deemed “probably an excellent complementary technique” that produced clear benefits in divided and sustained attention, visuospatial skills and the processing speed of motor-dependent tasks in persons with severe TBI

 – beneficial outcomes in upper limb stroke rehabilitation

 – neurofeedback training can lead to a learned modulation of brain signals with associated changes at both neural and behavioural level

 – modulation of premotor cortex and associated motor control areas can be achieved with neurofeedback training

 – improvements in TBI / PTSD in Vietnam Veterans across domains of cognition, pain, sleep, fatigue, mood/emotion, PTSD symptoms and overall activity levels

 – patients report improvement in a wide range of neuropsychiatric symptoms in TBI following neurofeedback training

 – result of 40 neurofeedback sessions included significant improvements in several motor tasks

The recent rugby player study by the Drake Foundation showed that 23% of players (10 out of 44) had axonal or diffuse vascular injury.  This contrasted with athletes in non-collision sports.  

Mild traumatic brain injuries are common in rugby, with an incidence rate of 20.4 per 1,000 player match hours (14.8 per 1000h in Australia).  

In addition to mTBI, repeated head impacts can lead to neurodegeneration that becomes progressive.  This increases the risk of dementia

Trauma, (C-)PTSD

Trauma and abuse leave scars.  

When the viability of our existence has been subjected to threat, our behaviour adapts.  We become primed for hypervigilance, sensitive to triggers, and our physiology responds accordingly.  A heightened sense of awareness now confers safety, and we can even become addicted to this.

 

Trauma and Abuse can be detected by a brain map and treated with neurofeedback

Our brain keeps the score:  Areas responsible for defence and vigilance are activated, even when there is no objective reason.  Sensory stimulus is amplified, and we dedicate value energy resources to the monitoring of others’ intentions.  Anxieties are rekindled, and the strain on our system leaves us exhausted while unable to switch off and effectively recuperate.  Our focus and productivity drop, as does our self-esteem.  We can feel detached from our bodies, dissociating.  Our social capacity is impaired.

Neurofeedback helps us break this cycle:  we equip the brain to get over it, to get on with it, re-establish our sense of self-worth, and the ability to constructively engage with our environment.  We gain a healthy sense of detachment, which allows us to process the past more efficiently and look forward to the future. 

With a brain map, we can identify which parts of our system are being particularly stressed.  Neurofeedback training helps us bring these brain areas into better alignment.  

Typical Symptoms of Trauma and PTSD

 The first indication that we are experiencing trauma / PTSD is when we find ourselves not living in the present.  Enjoyment of the moment and social interaction is clouded by constant ruminations about the past, and worries about the future.  We are unable to ‘let go’, relax, and grasp opportunities as they present themselves in the Now.  

We are plagued by intrusive thoughts that bring us back to events in the past, which needn’t even be related to a traumatic event, but which remind us of some inadequacy and amplify our self-doubt.  Feelings of shame and guilt come into the picture as well, further eroding our self-confidence.  “How can I be happy and enjoy this after what has happened?”.  Similarly, our perception of the future is shrouded in worry and fearful anticipation.  Uncertainty is our greatest foe, our perception of safety is unhinged by any doubt as to what could happen next.  

The absence of a plan becomes a concern, the lack of clarity as to what’s around the corner a burden.  Negativity associated with the past deprives us of hope.  We are thus unable to see uncharted territories ahead as an opportunity, and much rather dwell on impending threats.  

Indeed, our system is primed to protect us, and we are in survival mode.  This process becomes self-feeding as we become addicted to the hyper-arousal our sense of fear induces.  Our sense of joy and looking forward to fun becomes clouded to the extent we forget and no longer yearn it.  Detachment sets in, further isolating us from feelings that previously motivated us.  This process can even start slow and subtly, yet the cycle is self-fulfilling and deprives us of the necessary perspective to break and get out.

In Personalised Brain Training, our definition of trauma is wider.  We include for example perceived loss of social standing, which can be either the cause or the consequence of a traumatic event or development.  The perceived loss of social position results in us feeling judged.  We become hypersensitive to how people approach us, talk to us, deal with us.  

This is a subjective concept, as it should be, given that trauma should be recognised as an issue of perception by the affected person, rather than a concept being ‘awarded’ by an unrelated party, though external affirmation can help and medical advice should be sought in any event.  As humans, social recognition is a critical component of our biological drive to propagate.  Attraction relies on this, which ultimately leads to bonding.  

Consequently, there are numerous brain areas devoted to, or involved in, the assessment of our position with regard to others.  When our self-perception is assailed, or even the viability of our self is questioned, we are naturally shaken.  Various brain areas become dysrhythmic.  These include areas responsible for our body control and awareness, and many therapies focus on engaging the body and somatosensory system with a view to inducing cerebral changes.  

However, this is only a part of the picture – there are many, arguably more powerful neuronal centres in the brain that are affected by trauma, and with a Kaiser Neuromap and Default Network Training (together, Personalised Brain Training), we can assess the issues more accurately, completely and efficiently, as well as then successfully training the brain to overcome trauma and setting ourselves on course for a positive trajectory.  

Another consequence of trauma is that we may feel unable to rationally assert a sense of safety.  This is different to self-nurture, or an emotional sense of safety.  When we are unable to talk ourselves down from a situation we lose the ability to effectively regulate our moods, to switch off when we need to, and ultimately can become excessively paranoid.  

There are neural correlates for this behaviour, and we can asses this with a Kaiser Neuromap.  Safety and assurance are core needs we are programmed to seek to fulfil.  Authority and role models help us in this quest.  When we become dysregulated in our ability to self-soothe, we are also compromised in our ability to find paternal guidance.  As a result, we tend to over-idolise figures who seemingly exude strength and power, or disobey completely and become unnecessarily rebellious – both immature behaviour patterns.  Resetting this balance is crucial to achieving calming, regulated emotions, reduced hypervigilance and controlling impulsiveness.  Personalised Brain Training lets us achieve this. 

When hypervigilance persists untreated, we face further problems.  

Physically, our heart beats faster and harder, more of the time, which is a clear stress on our system.  

Mentally, we become prone to developing intrusive thoughts, even when we are able to relax, and more so when we are stressed, where these can take on third-person character, a voice in our head.  This can have a destabilising effect, not least because we are now spending energy ‘defeating’ other perspectives we are internally engaged with, and thus distracting us from the ‘now’.  Being on hyper-alert can also make us more susceptible to feeling relational to sensory input, in that we feel that everything is directed at us, which can set us up for psychosis.  

As we lose our ability to enjoy the moment, our social interactions suffer.  Exercising our social brain keeps us alive and forms the basis for sound mental health.  Our brains are adaptive, and we need to provide stimulus to maintain connections and sustain flexibility.  Isolation deprives us of many necessary exercises.  For example, brain areas that deal with face recognition also respond to affective interactions and the ability to discriminate between emotional content of faces.  We need to keep training these brain areas through social interaction in order to maintain emotional recognition – it is not a surprise that perpetual mask-wearing heightens our social anxiety (aside from adverse physical effects).  

Social recognition, a key component of our biological need to attract and bond, is driven by sensory interpretations.  Again, we need to exercise brain areas that contribute to this, including language and speech generation and comprehension, auditory sensitivity, and monitoring rewards for actions, both directly and vicariously.  Our mirror neuron system contributes towards learning from others’ mistakes or examples, and consequently the storage of social rules necessary for constructive functioning in a society.  

Inclusion is imperative to establishing a healthy self-image or sense of self.  This in turn is crucial to forming stable relationships with friends, family and forming healthy alliances necessary for personal and professional progression.  When we lose our sense of belonging to a group or cause, we may become unstable in our self-perception and our relationships with others.  The effect may snowball into perceptions of abandonment, feelings of emptiness and dissociation; this in turn correlates with mood dysregulation, impulsive and often dangerous behaviours, intrusive thoughts and potential self-harm.  

With Personalised Brain Training, we can assess vulnerability to these traits as they manifest in functional brain area dysrhythmia that shows in a Kaiser Neuromap; with Default Network Training, an advanced form of neurofeedback, we can train these brain areas and networks in a holistic manner to help re-establish balance.  This enables us to reconnect with our environment and re-enter a positive feedback loop.

Sleep is adversely affected by trauma.  First, the mind needs to ‘let go’ in order to enter deeper sleep cycles, which is a challenge for many.  Excessive rumination and intrusive thoughts can hinder this, as does the loss of our ability to rationally calm ourselves down.  The depth of our sleep is governed by our ability to self-nurture and create an emotional ‘safe space’.  Homeostasis during various sleep stages is governed by other parts of our brain, some still involving the cortex.  With a Kaiser Neuromap we can detect dysrhythmia in the relevant brain areas and train these accordingly with Default Network Training (together, Personalised Brain Training).  

Focus and organisation suffers as a consequence of sleep issues.  This time, different brain areas are affected, which we can also train.  When we are unable to concentrate and produce our best output, we become demotivated and our mood and sense of self suffer.  Again, there are brain areas responsible for these aspects of being, for which we can again detect dysrhythmia and provide neurofeedback training.  The process is holistic – many components have to work together effectively for us to function optimally. 

Mood regulation suffers when we lose social integration, sleep and focus. Neurofeedback training found to significantly help 80% of people with depression by aiming to restore motivation, improving sleep and focus, and reducing anxiety.  

There are numerous potential cortical contributors to depression, and with a brain map we can see vulnerabilities.  

Neurofeedback training lets us address these as well as establish a generally improved sense of well-being in a holistic manner.  he positive effects of neurofeedback training have been shown to be lasting.  Neurofeedback is non-invasive and medication-free.

There are multiple types of anxiety, each correlating with one or more brain areas being dysrhythmic:

  • Social anxiety: When we’re in a situation with other people and our understanding of the social dynamics and complexities is overwhelmed. 
  • Sensory overload: our brain interprets all sensory stimulus as directed to ourselves.  We lose the ability to discern what is directed at us, and which matters or interactions are of no concern to us.  This sets us up for panic attacks and ultimately psychosis.  It also means we become singular in our perspective, unable to take on other points of view
  • Loss of narrative: Our episodic understanding of the situation, how we got there and what happens next, is impaired, and we are unsure of where we are and where we’re going.  This hyperactivates our amygdala, and the sensation is highly emotional
  • Auditory sensitivity: we become prone to overly interpreting the emotional content of words and sounds, creating an air of prickliness and pushing people away without knowing it
  • Activation: Our ARAS is responsible for setting the right level of physiological arousal, or wakefulness, for the situation, and to remain stable there.  When this is on overdrive, we are pushed further into fight-or-flight mode than necessary, thus heightening sensory sensitivity.  Panic attacks are an extreme manifestation.
  • Trauma: an inability to self-nurture – creating an emotional safe-space around us – and self-soothe – being able to talk ourselves down rationally from a situation, thus resulting in mood instability.  This can also manifest in dissociation and heightened pain perception.  We ruminate about the past and worry about the future, instead of being able to enjoy the present. 
  • Intrusive thoughts: Self-criticism overshadows motivation and confidence, and we become self-aware and distracted by negative thoughts and feelings.  Some use acquired habits to distract from this. Our confidence, motivation and social interaction suffer as a result.

The primary issue of trauma affects brain areas that are activated during empathy and forgiveness.  With these two qualities impaired, our emotional life suffers, as do our social capacities.  With neurofeedback training, we can restore functionality of these brain areas.  Another reason this is important is because we do not want to become oppressors ourselves.  As we lose our sense of emotional investment in our surroundings, we become careless with regard to others’ feelings and needs.  

Implicitly, we are now capable of unintended yet real behaviour patterns that can harm others, as we become deaf to feedback.  Not only has trauma affected us, it now makes us perpetrators that pass it on. 

Besides reduced social interaction and a less meaningful emotional life that is now more self-centred – and with the wrong type of therapy, becomes self-indulgent and self-perpetuating – we can experience a physical withdrawal from our environment.  Dissociation can be momentary and intense, or subtle and ongoing to the extent that we are not even cognisant of it.  Either way, our bodies retreat from sensations, analogous to our emotional withdrawal.  

Many therapies aim to revive our sense of ownership of our bodies, and thus ultimately our life and future, by training our body awareness in various ways.  Realising that our bodies are steered by our mind, specifically our cortex, we can train the relevant brain areas that govern our body perception and movement execution.  

Neurofeedback training effectively complements these approaches by directly treating the areas involved in perception and interaction with our surroundings.

One of the first manifestations of trauma is in our bodies.  Aside from heightened physiological arousal, a form of paralysis can override our natural motions and postures.  Stress, and pain ensue, which can often be felt all around the body.  Fibromyalgia is a variant of this phenomenon, as are headaches, chest pains, and chronic fatigue.  

There are many techniques for combating this form of physical dissociation.  Neurofeedback complements these by training the brain areas that instruct the body to behave in this undesirable way.  It is a holistic approach, and we restore overall calming while providing the brain with rational and emotional capacity to overcome its challenges.  

An inability to self-nurture – creating an emotional safe-space around us – and self-soothe – being able to talk ourselves down rationally from a situation, thus resulting in mood instability.  This can also manifest in dissociation and heightened pain perception, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.  We ruminate about the past and worry about the future, instead of being able to enjoy the present.  

Our autonomic nervous system is primed to produce sympathetic nervous system responses, or fight-flight-freeze mode.  This wears us down, as it is more energy intensive, our recuperation periods are shortened and we can even become used to the adrenalinergic buzz of being in hypervigilant overdrive.  It becomes a safe space.  Our pain perception is altered and fluctuates between numbness and hypersensitivity.  Deprived of a ‘calm’ reference state, we become vulnerable to overattributing emotions to sensations.    

Dissociation is another phenomenon that can ensue, and this can be subtle and paroxysmal.  Engagement of defensive mechanisms is triggered pre-, or subconsciously.  This can compromise our ability to rationally self-soothe – the role of our prefrontal cortex.  Instead, our limbic system is primed.  We also lose our emotional sense of safety.  The integrity of our Default Mode Network is challenged, as is the natural transition between its activation and that of the Task Positive Network.  We are less able to regulate engagement with our environment and the neurological basis for our sense of self is under threat.

There are distinct brain areas regulating pain, physical sensations and our self-awareness, and we can train these with neurofeedback.  We can also train brain areas with strong connections to sub-cortical structures that regulate our autonomic nervous system, including the amygdala and our reticular activating (or limbic) system.  Our brain is ultimately in charge of trauma response, and with neurofeedback we can assess vulnerability to its various submodalities, and address these with training.  This is evidence-based and effective. 

See here for more information on Neurofeedback and Trauma.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia often presents together with ADD/ADHD and other behavioural issues.  With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can assess vulnerabilities, and then train these with Personalised Brain Training.

Dyslexia is an impaired ability to understand written and printed words or phrases and affects 10-20% of the population in both males and females.  The disorder can result in learning difficulties, poor academic performance, stigmatisation and ensuing behavioural issues.  

While often classed as a disability, there are associated strengths:  creativity, the ability to solve complex problems, unorthodox approaches to ideas and projects, and a more detached ability to apply logical thinking are some of these.  Nonetheless, the condition can impair school and social functioning, slow maturation and significantly affect self-confidence and -esteem.

“Picked up a book and started reading! Unheard of before, I could never get her interested in reading for herself.”​  – Mother of Anna (9)

There are multiple types of dyslexia and neurofeedback can help with many aspects

There are neural correlates with dyslexia which we can train with neurofeedback.  

Reading and comprehension involves multiple brain areas as well as their seamless communication.  We have Wernicke’s area for comprehension, and Broca’s for speech generation.  Additionally, there are regions involved in sequencing, visual recognition, focus and attention, and contextualisation or syntax recognition of subject matter along with various memory-related areas. 

It is important to note that there are different types of dyslexia.  A brain map shows us which brain areas are dysrhythmic.  

With neurofeedback, we train brain areas involved in visual and auditory processing; memory; focus and attention; syntax and context; sequencing and organisation.  We also train the connections between these areas.  The approach is holistic:  we work on core networks, and their integration with each other.   

Research on Neurofeedback and Dyslexia

Research has shown that neurofeedback training can improve reading ability and phonolocigal awareness deficit in children with reading disabilities, as well as improvements in spelling.  

For a summary of 18 neuroscientific research studies on language learning impairment produced until 2015, see here

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is often linked to trauma and presents with other symptoms such as anxiety, mood dysregulation and sleep issues.  Neurofeedback is an evidence-based treatment for many of these comorbidities.  

The elusive source of pain in fibromyalgia can result in misdiagnosis, and often skepticism from medical professionals, compounded by a lack of specific treatment options.  This can further erode the sufferer’s self confidence, as they are faced with doubt and misunderstanding.  With neurofeedback, we take a holistic approach by stabilising the Default Mode Network, thus re-establishing a healthy sense of self; helping with exacerbating factors such as sleep and motivation issues, and anxieties.  Neurofeedback has been shown to be effective in trauma and PTSD.  

Fibromyalgia patients report significantly improved pain severity and interference, fibromyalgia symptom severity, sleep latency and sustained attention following eight weeks of neurofeedback training.  

A separate study finds significant improvement in cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, pain, sleep, depression and overall activity level in fibromyalgia sufferers,  further illustrating the debilitating comorbidities of this condition. 

Fibromyalgia patients saw an 82% reduction of fatigue, depression and anxiety, and an increase in social and physical functioning; these effects were upheld.  Another fibromyalgia study with different neurofeedback protocols achieved a 39% improvement, and another found a 55% improvement.  Neurofeedback training improved functional connectivity in somatomotor areas leading to reduced impact of fibromyalgia and pain symptoms and improved quality of life.

Chronic pain sufferers of Spinal Chord Injury found immediate and lasting effects on pain intensity from neurofeedback training. 

Self-criticism overshadows motivation and confidence, and we become self-aware and distracted by negative thoughts and feelings.  Some use acquired habits to distract from this. Our confidence, motivation and social interaction suffer as a result. 

With a brain map, we can identify vulnerability to various mechanisms of self-deprecation, ranging from thought, habits and mood regulation to actions and self-acceptance.  With neurofeedback, we train core networks responsible for our sense of self, as well as brain areas related to adverse behaviour and sensory interpretation. 
Clients report feeling more grounded, calm and optimistic.  Neurofeedback takes a holistic approach, and we are usually also working on areas related to productivity and motivation. 

Menopause

Menopause can have adverse cognitive and mental health symptoms.  This is a particularly difficult time when raising children with strong emotional needs as they enter puberty contemporaneously.  Ideally, we would like to be grounded and able to offer support while going through a transformative period ourselves.

Neurofeedback training has been shown to be an effective, non-invasive, medication-free treatment for many mental health issues precipitated or exacerbated by menopause..  

It is a complementary therapy and evidence presented is based on general applicability, rather than being menopause-specific. 

The menopausal transition is often accompanied by mood, memory and sleep issues.  

Managing symptoms becomes important to avoid cumulative effects resulting in  cognitive impairments

Symptoms experienced during menopause include: 

 – weight gain and body awareness issues

 – anxiety 

 – depression 

 – sexual dysfunction and impaired sense of self

 – sleep disturbance 

 – brain fog: attention and working memory issues

 – vasomotor irregularities: hot flashes, night sweats

Personalised Brain Training aims to restore a healthy sense of self by working on brain areas that are core to our individuality, and addressing areas contributing towards anxiety, mood regulation, sleep, memory and physiological self-regulation. 

The process is enjoyable – while watching a movie, we obtain a real-time measurement of a particular brain area’s performance.  Feedback is given via small changes in volume, which our preconscious mind understands and uses to adjust it’s behaviour, thus learning to be more efficient.  The result is a feeling of calm and self-assurance, with improvements in focus, motivation and sleep. Responsiveness can usually be assessed within a few sessions.

Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Mood Regulation and Motivation

There are numerous contributors to depressive tendencies from a neural perspective.  A brain map lets us identify possible cortical contributors, and we can train important neural hubs that affect our ability to regulate mood.

In this sense, neurofeedback is a next-generation treatment for depression.  We seek to avoid reliance on medication, especially from an early age.

The effectiveness of neurofeedback training in treating depression is well-documented.  Effects have been shown to be strong and lasting.  Working on depression helps us re-establish our sense of safety in the world, and often correlates with our ability to fall asleep. 

 

There are multiple contributors to Depression, and neurofeedback has been shown to help with each: 

 – mood regulation and stability

 – motivation and productivity

 – sleep and effective recuperation

With Personalised Brain Training we take a holistic approach:  Key neural networks responsible for our sense of self, for focus and productivity, and for mood regulation are addressed during neurofeedback training.  The process is non-invasive and medication free, as well as enjoyable as we use movies to embed the feedback.

Bipolar disorder affects one in five people with depression.  Again, we can address brain areas responsible for maintaining stability, and help calming, particularly important during manic episodes, thus seeking to avoid psychosis.  Also, given that more than two-thirds of bipolar disorder sufferers are misdiagnosed initially, identifying the presence of non-specific neuromarkers can aid (but not replace) the diagnosis process.

Neurofeedback helps motivation by training dopamine pathways in the cortex

The US National Library of Medicine records over 140 peer-reviewed research papers on neurofeedback and depression, with a significant recent rise in research attention to this non-invasive, drug-free treatment method.  Here are some excerpts of the scientific evidence supporting neurofeedback for depression.  Note the diversity of brain areas involved, suggesting that depression need not have a single nor consistent source, and the comorbidities often found: 

Dr. Corydon Hammond finds in his 2005 paper, “Neurofeedback Treatment of Depression and Anxiety” that neurofeedback training results in “enduring improvements approximately 80% of the time”, with most perceiving a difference after between three and six sessions; a “very significant improvement” after 10-12 sessions, and more so after over 20 sessions.  

Twenty sessions of neurofeedback training led to a significant improvement in sleep, anxiety and depression evaluations.  The same disorders plus inattention showed significant improvements when conducting ten or more sessions in a naturalistic setting.   

Neurofeedback improved depressive symptoms in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) patients, with significant decrease in anxiety and clinical illness severity noted as a result of the training.   Cognitive depression was reduced here.  Anhedonia and comorbid anxiety in MDD were also improved in this recent studyCognitive impairment during MDD is recognised and neurofeedback treatment advocated.  Its effectiveness on a variety of cognitive functions in MDD such as working memory, attention and executive functions is established.   

Neurofeedback is recognised as a next-generation treatment for Major Depressive Disorder. 

Increased happiness ratings, mood improvements and decrease in anxiety was documented with related increased activity in specific brain areas.  Cognitive-affective brain areas as neural targets for treating depression are recognised here, while higher-order visual areas are implicated in this study that recognises that neurofeedback training can reduce depressive symptoms by over 40%.   Further success in treating MDD with comorbid anxiety symptoms was documented here, training specific brain areas.

Sub-threshold depression was improved in college students and recommended as an effective new way for college students to improve self-regulation of emotion.  

Rumination, a maladaptive emotional-regulation strategy, was found to have a neurological basis that was successfully reduced while ameliorating depression.  The tendency to preferentially attend to negative stimuli in the world and negative thoughts in mind during depression was found to be controllable with neurofeedback.  Ruminative processes and avoidance when dealing with autobiographical memories were attributed to specific brain areas and recognised as contributing to Major Depressive Disorder, promoting neurofeedback training as a depression treatment.  Similar brain areas when trained with neurofeedback resulted in improvements in self-esteem.   

Training brain areas responsive to negative stimuli decreased negative cognitive biases in MDD, showing greater decrease in self-reported emotional  response to negative scenes and self-descriptive adjectives.  Neurofeedback training is also able to improve processing of positive stimuli in MDD patients.  Another recent study achieved significant improvements in reducing the severity of depression and rumination in MDD training a different brain area.  Lasting effects of reinforcement learning of better brain habits on rehabilitating emotion regulation in depression through neurofeedback were found.  Depressive symptoms were alleviated consistently

The treatment resistance of recurrent depression is linked to rigid negative self-representations during an identity formative period in adolescents, with potential lifetime repercussions.  The study finds neurological evidence for which it recommends neurofeedback interventions.  Significant and lasting improvements following neurofeedback training were discovered in another study on Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD).  Significant reduction in depression symptoms were reported after four neurofeedback sessions in patients showing no response to current pharmacological or psychological therapies for depression.  

Post-operative depression and anxiety, pain, difficulties sleeping and attention and memory problems were resolved in 20 neurofeedback sessions.  The 45-year old female was able to return to work subsequently.   Cancer patients found non-invasive, drug-free neurofeedback to ameliorate pain, fatigue, depression and sleep.  Chronic Stroke victims found neurofeedback therapy to reduce anxiety and depression level while improving motor, verbal and cognitive skills. 

Opiate addicts treated additionally with neurofeedback showed greater improvement in depression and somatic symptoms, and relief from withdrawal, as did cocaine addicted individuals. 

Multiple Sclerosis sufferers saw depression, fatigue and anxiety reduced, and the results were maintained at a 2-month follow-up. 

Elderly patients found a significant improvement of their depression condition following neurofeedback treatment.   

Surgery Residents with burnout and depression saw a return to a more efficient neural network following neurofeedback training. 

Neurofeedback has been shown to improve sleep quality and sleep onset as early as 1982, with substantially more research interest confirming this in recent years, also in relation with pain and seizures.

Neurofeedback was shown to additionally benefit patients undergoing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. 

 

Motor Issues, Dyspraxia, Tics, Stutter, Tourette's

Our brain controls our movements.  Functional connectivity dysregulation in autism can affect many of the brain areas involved in planning and executing motor actions.  With neurofeedback, we can train these areas to improve symptoms in an evidence-based manner.

There are various cortical, and sub-cortical brain areas involved in motor coordination.  With neurofeedback, we are training the cortex.  Many cortical areas have deep connections to the basal ganglia and cerebellum, and it appears that we are training these deeper structures implicitly. 

In our experience, the following issues can resolve with neurofeedback training:

 – motor issues, such as dyspraxia and lack of coordination

 – stutter and speech production

 – facial tics

 – uncontrolled, compulsive movements and actions. 

Before and after brain maps corroborate these findings; research has so far focused on neuromarkers for these phenomena, and suggest neurotherapy as an adjunct to traditional therapies. 

Tourette’s Syndrome can involve many of the above issues, as well as lack of executive control, again an aspect we have seen improve substantially with neurofeedback training.

 

Neurofeedback can help with stutter, motor coordination issues, facial tics and dyspraxia

Before and after brain maps corroborate these findings; research has so far focused on neuromarkers for these phenomena, and suggest neurotherapy as an adjunct to traditional therapies. 

Tourette’s Syndrome can involve many of the above issues, as well as lack of executive control, again an aspect we have seen improve substantially with neurofeedback training.

Neurofeedback is an effective, evidence-based method to reduce migraines

The source and phenomenon of migraines is elusive.  Elements in the brainstem that form part of our reticular activating system are suspected to be generators.  Neurofeedback training seeks to calm this. 

Studies have found cortical differences in migraineurs, which gives us the opportunity to train relevant brain areas.  Notably these comprise parts of the Default Mode Network, which we aim to strengthen with neurofeedback. 

Personalised Brain Training takes a holistic approach and we look for comorbid symptoms such as PTSD, sleep issues, mood regulation, focus and attention, and anxiety to improve.  Neurofeedback is an evidence-based approach to these challenges.  

Migraines can respond quickly, though often the process can be extended; secondary symptoms such as sleep, mood regulation, focus and anxiety should respond meanwhile.  This usually becomes clear within the first few sessions. 

Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder

Obsessions and Compulsions are behaviour patterns we may observe, and which in themselves appear to be pathological or non-conventional.  What underlies their motivation however can be far more sinister than what meets the eye.  It is often a way for a person to manage or attempt to expunge an internal thought process, which they may or may not be conscious of.  We look to break the cycle: Both the internal spiral and the physical manifestation (obsessive / compulsive behaviour patterns), which in themselves can precipitate further mental health issues and social problems.  

There are different neural correlates for various OCD behaviours, confirming that this is not a unitary pathology.  With a brain map, we can detect dysrhythmia, and train the relevant areas with neurofeedback.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined in the latest handbook of psychopathologies, the DSM-5, per below.  For the purpose of seeking help and treatment with neurofeedback, a complementary therapy method, we are less interested in whether to fit someone in a basket – huge overlap may exist with other defined pathologies, which include depression, anxiety, body awareness issues, psychotic behaviour and the autism and schizophrenia spectrums.  

Rather, we look for vulnerabilities as expressed in a Kaiser Neuromap and train these accordingly. 

Comorbidities of OCD

OCD most commonly presents with a number of other mental health issues.  With neurofeedback we can address most of these symptoms in an evidence-based, medication-free manner.

Around two-thirds of OCD sufferers also present with depression.  One fifth have anxiety or panic disorder.  Mood regulation, ADHD, trauma and substance abuse affects ten percent, as do body awareness disorders.  Tics and autism can affect one in twenty. 

OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and has significant overlap with many mental health comorbidities, such as ADHD, anxiety, body dysmorphia, tics, depression, autism and schizophrenia, and we can threat these with neurofeedback training

DSM-5 Definition of OCD

The presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both  AND the obsessions or compulsions are time consuming (e.g., take more than one hour per day) or cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning AND the disturbance is not due to the direct physiological efects of a substance (e.g. drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition AND the disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder

(1) Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive, unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress; and (2) The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges or images, or to neutralise them with some thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).

(1) Repetitive behaviours (e.g. hand washing, ordering checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to the rules that must be applied rigidly; and (2) the behaviours or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however these behaviours or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralise or prevent or are clearly excessive.

 

Behaviour patterns we can seek to address with neurofeedback training include the following: 

 –  excessive worriesintrusive thoughts and ruminations

 – guilty ruminations and negative outlook

 – preoccupation with self and appearance

 – substance abuse issues

 – inappropriate risk taking, impulse-control and lack of inhibition

 – social awareness and invasive behaviour

 – hallucinations, delusions and excessive internal dialogue

 – repetitive restrictive behaviour

 – letting go – emotional and physical hoarding.

Pain perception has neural correlates – there are brain areas that govern our attentiveness to the signs our bodies are giving us. 

In the first instance, these signs are real messages that something is wrong and needs dealing with.  Medical attention should provide solutions to this.  

Sometimes, pain perception can become irrational in this context, and with neurofeedback training we can help the brain establish a more reasonable approach to interpreting such stimulus.  

 

PoTS - Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) was first described in the 1940s, refined in 1993 and finally received a specific diagnostic code in October 2022.  It is characterised by exercise intolerance and near syncope upon standing upright, elevated pulse (tachycardia) by 30-40bpm within 10 minutes of standing up, fatigue, anxiety and light-headedness.  Often misdiagnosed as chronic anxiety or panic disorder, the group of symptoms comprised by PoTS has a biomarker and increasingly considered an autoimmune disorder, rather than only autonomic nervous system dysfunction.  Specifically, increased levels of cytokines and chemokines characteristic of an innate immune condition were found, similar to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). 

The condition affects females five times more frequently than males, mainly between 15-25 years of age, with over one million affected in the US alone.  PoTS symptoms can persist for years, though half of patients find that orthostatic symptoms and functional impairment subside within five years, and of thost most within 1-2 years.  It is estimated that 2-14% of Covid sufferers go on to develop PoTS, while 30% of long Covid patients, especially women, meet the diagnostic criteria.

A client presenting with PoTS like symptoms, recovered within three months of starting neurofeedback training, to the extent that the tachycardia was fully under control and anxieties had subsided substantially.  Clinical studies will have to prove correlation.  Notably, physical symptoms became manageable, from being previously incapacitating, in a relatively short period of time.  This result is encouraging, especially with regard to the speed and extent of recovery, and neurofeedback has been shown to be effective for anxiety.  Also, in this person, other neurological issues could be detected with qEEG.  

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) affects about 5% of the population.  It is a serious, chronic condition characterised by a painful urge to move the limbs.  This is only relieved by walking, and can affect the ability to fall asleep, as much as concentration during seated tasks, like office work.

Treatment often involves medication that affects dopamine or norepinephrine levels.  These are considered strong, regular and indeed permanent interventions by many.

Neurofeedback, in our experience, has woked in reducing and eliminating restless leg symptoms in many clients.  In fact, while optimising training frequency during a neurofeedback session, the symptom has been observed to stop when this was found.  A subsequent small deviation would restart the symptom, only to subside again upon return to the optimum training frequency.  This suggests that restless leg syndrome is highly sensitive and susceptible to neurofeedback training.

To have a chance at permanency, it is recommended to do twenty sessions of neurofeedback.  The cost of this compares very favourably to the irritation the untreated RLS causes.  This includes lack of sleep, resulting irritability, loss of productivity, and the potential for side effects if a medication route is chosen.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia comprises a wide range of thought disorders, which ultimately affect an individual’s ability to share a reality with others.  Causes can be trauma, emotional or physical; drug use; stress; genetics.   

With neurofeedback training we aim to restore a healthy sense of self; flexibilise the social brain; and ameliorate comorbidities such as intrusive thoughts, mood disorders, focus and attention issues, paranoia and anxieties; and psychosis

Neurofeedback training can improve functional connectivity and strengthen white matter tracts, both of which are impaired in Schizophrenia.  

Each person is different:  with a Kaiser Neuromap we assess individual vulnerabilities and train these with neurofeedback.  Personalised Brain Training enables the person to unfold their genius in a socially reciprocal manner.  

Neurofeedback is medication-free, non-invasive and evidence-based. 

Schizophrenia fMRI Brain shows diminished Default Mode Network Difference
Diminished Default Mode Network functionality in Schizophrenia per fMRI

While there are certain commonalities between sufferers of schizophrenia, no two brains are the same.  On the basis of a brain map we can identify particular vulnerabilities and work on these specifically. 

Neurofeedback training can help restore the integrity of the Default Mode Network, the neural basis for ‘self’, as well as switching between self-referential states and active modes (the Central Executive and the Salience Networks). 

Emotional self-regulation can be improved and anxiety, depression, sleep and focus issues alleviated.  

Neurofeedback can calm the brain and help manage the ‘Voices’, as well as other regions prone to over-priming external agency.  Significant reduction in Auditory Verbal Hallucinations (AVH) has been achieved with neurofeedback training. 

Psychosis is a state that can occur, and recur, in persons diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Trauma and neurodegenerative conditions.  Note however that it is not a necessary condition for any of these.

Daniel Webster of Neurofeedback London-Brighton has extensive experience working with Schizophrenia patients.  Research and experience have shown effectiveness of neurofeedback training for Schizophrenia and its various comorbidities (see other tabs)

Psychosis

A feature of psychosis is a state of mind where all sensory stimulus is interpreted as being directed to oneself.  

While it is natural for infants and children to interpret the world this way, we grow out of this mode between the ages of 3-5.  We can assist this important maturation step with neurofeedback training.

As we mature, we start to learn that not everything that’s happening in the world is directed at ourselves.  

Feeling as if everything is directed at us results in anxiety and / or deep depression, and clouds our interactions with others.

It also reduces our ability to take on other perspectives, consider different views and be accommodating of others’ stances.  This reduces people’s self-awareness and thus insight into the need for change and improvement, providing another obstacle to betterment.

Shocks, such as trauma, drug use (in particular, cannabis and cocaine) and isolation (such as lockdowns) can cause us to revert into this child-like state, without us noticing. 

Psychosis is a state that can occur, and recur, in persons diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Trauma and neurodegenerative conditions.  Note however that it is not a necessary condition for any of these. 

Schizophrenia comprises a wide range of thought disorders, which ultimately affect an individual’s ability to share a reality with others.  Causes can be trauma, emotional or physical; drug use; stress; genetics.   

With neurofeedback training we aim to restore a healthy sense of self; flexibilise the social brain; and ameliorate comorbidities such as intrusive thoughts, mood disorders, focus and attention issues, paranoia and anxieties; and psychosis.  

Each person is different:  with a Kaiser Neuromap we assess individual vulnerabilities and train these with neurofeedback.  Personalised Brain Training enables the person to unfold their genius in a socially reciprocal manner.  

Neurofeedback is medication-free, non-invasive and evidence-based. 

Schizophrenia is an elusive term: its definition allows for wide subjective interpretation, and resembles almost an ‘other’ category for mental health disorders not elsewhere defined more strictly.  Whether overlap and/or comorbidity, the following addresses the phenomenon resulting from dysrhythmia of key Default Mode Network nodes and thus a disintegration of the neurological definition of ‘self’.  Labelling can have deleterious consequences for a person’s self-esteem, and it risks association with worse symptoms and manifestations than experienced.   

In Schizophrenia, the formation of a neural basis for a ‘self’, the Default Mode Network, is impaired, as is its ability to anti-correlate with the Central Executive Network.  Key nodes of these networks are often dysrhythmic, impacting the ability to self-sooth and self-nurture.  

Thought disorders, delusions or hallucinations are signs of not engaging sufficiently with the outside world.  These have neural correlates which we can detect with a Kaiser Neuromap and then train with neurofeedback.   

Many other pathologies ensue, including trauma, mood dysregulation, sleep and focus issues, and other personality disorders are at risk of developing as the social brain breaks down. 

With neurofeedback, we aim to restore social functionality, launching the person back into a virtuous cycle of affirmation and productivity with others.  

Daniel Webster has done week-long intensives with clients, where substantial progress was made in reducing psychosis and trauma symptoms.  This was ascertainable with before and after Kaiser Neuromaps, corroborating positive functional connectivity changes.  These were confirmed cognitively by the clients and their families. 

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and works alongside medication and psychotherapy, as well as calm-inducing approaches aimed at re-socialisation and maximising of interpersonal function.  

Seizures and Epilepsy

One of the first discoveries made in the exploration of EEG, fifty years ago in 1972, was the ability to improve seizure resistance through neurofeedback. 

An analysis of studies indicated that 82% of subjects demonstrated significant (more than 30%) seizure reduction, with an average value of 50%.  

A 2009 review of studies established that EEG operant conditioning was found to produce a significant reduction on seizure frequency.

Barry Sterman was able to cure a 23-year old female epileptic from seizures using his SMR-biofeedback training over the course of two-and-a-half years. 

Another pioneer of the field, Joel Lubar, reached similar results.  

In our experience, neurofeedback has improved seizure resistant in many cases, and has always been beneficial in the treatment of secondary mental health effects.  Medical attention should always be sought, and sources can be diverse and elusive.

Self-Harm

Impulsive aggression can become self-directed at times.  This irrational urge is often triggered when an autistic child doesn’t get what they want, or feels misunderstood and frustrated.  Self harm can also take the form of resignation, accepting less than one’s worth, and thus denying oneself recognition and opportunity.

Neurofeedback calms the mind and we can address brain areas contributing to self-harming ideation and intrusive thoughts. 

We look to improve sense of self, reduce anxieties and strengthen inhibition levels while reducing self-directed impulsive aggression. 

‘Self-harm’ can take many forms, and beyond physical manifestations (e.g. cutting, suicidal thought or even action) it can be more subtle: 

 – Accepting less than what we’re worth, overly and unnecessarily acquiescing to the perceived demands of others when not at all in our own self-interest, self-deprecation 

 – an inability to defend one’s own stance and needs are often overlooked and can be very harmful to a person’s development, especially when repeated and consolidated into a character trait.

With a Kaiser Neuromap we can detect vulnerability to such behaviour, including suicidal tendencies or ideation.  

This is not diagnosis and it is non-specific in that dysrhythmia of the brain area(s) responsible for this is a necessary, but not sufficient condition.  Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile finding that can help prevent worse outcomes by prompting awareness and intervention.  

With neurofeedback training, we have helped self-harming adolescents transition from ‘cutting’ and dissociation to becoming engaged young individuals who are able to stand their ground, maturely deal with setbacks and embrace the sense of being part of a community.

Neurofeedback is a complementary therapy and medical attention should be sought in cases of self-harm.

Our brain interprets all sensory stimulus as directed to ourselves.  We lose the ability to discern what is directed at us, and which matters or interactions are of no concern to us.  This sets us up for panic attacks and ultimately psychosis.  It also means we become singular in our perspective, unable to take on other points of view. 

Ideally, we would like to have a healthy sense of detachment and the ability to take on other perspectives while being free to develop and defend our own.  This contrasts with a state where we feel that every sensory stimulus is aimed at us.  It is also different to dissociation, where we don’t feel part of the situation or even our body.  Rather, it is about being able to discern between what is directed at us, and which are other dynamics in the room that don’t concern us.  We also want this process to be instinctive, that is, pre-conscious and efficient, so we don’t have to waste conscious resources, and time that takes us away from the moment.  

 

An extreme example is when we feel that too much is going on around us and we respond by having to turn the music down, explode at our environment or, potentially worse, retreating into tacit acceptance and self-deprecating thought.  We can even feel that people are talking about us, and are convinced that we are the centre of every situation.  This is highly stressful, resulting in anxiety and often deep depression.  It can also lead to psychosis, for which this state of mind is a necessary, but not sufficient condition.

With neurofeedback, we can restore the brain’s ability to self-regulate efficiently. 

Sleep

"I felt so calm last night! And slept like there were magnets between me and the bed.  10 hours straight."
"Slept like a log."
"Since I started neurofeedback training, my dreams have come back!"
Client testimony.

Sleep is where we recover – physically, mentally, emotionally.  

It is a complex process whereby the brain enters different behaviour patterns in various stages.  Slow wave sleep is where our body recovers; REM sleep is where we digest the day’s experiences, consolidate what we’ve learned and let our brain process memories and impressions.  

Ideally, we would like to be able to switch off once comfortable, enter a deep sleep and wake up restored and energetic.  If our sleep suffers, so do our concentration, productivity, physical abilities and emotional flexibility. 

Neurofeedback has been shown to improve sleep quality and sleep onset as early as 1982, with substantially more research interest confirming this in recent years, also in relation with pain and seizures.  

Brain areas and connections identified in research to be dysrhythmic in clients with insomnia respond well to neurofeedback training, in our experience, helping to restore REM sleep and depth of recovery.

 

Neurofeedback improves sleep and restoration, both REM and slow wave sleep

Sleep is adversely affected by trauma and anxiety.  First, the mind needs to ‘let go’ in order to enter deeper sleep cycles, which is a challenge for many.  Excessive rumination and intrusive thoughts can hinder this, as does the loss of our ability to rationally calm ourselves down.  The depth of our sleep is governed by our ability to self-nurture and create an emotional ‘safe space’.  Homeostasis during various sleep stages is governed by other parts of our brain, some still involving the cortex.  With a Kaiser Neuromap we can detect dysrhythmia in the relevant brain areas and train these accordingly with Default Network Training (together, Personalised Brain Training).  

Focus and organisation suffers as a consequence of sleep issues.  This time, different brain areas are affected, which we can also train.  When we are unable to concentrate and produce our best output, we become demotivated and our mood and sense of self suffer.  Again, there are brain areas responsible for these aspects of being, for which we can again detect dysrhythmia and provide neurofeedback training.  The process is holistic – many components have to work together effectively for us to function optimally. 

Neurofeedback has also been successful in treating other sleep disorders, such as somnambulism (sleepwalking), obstructive sleep apnea (to the extent the cause is not physical), confusional arousals, sleep terrors, nightmares, nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting), delated sleep phase disorder, insomnia and restless leg syndrome.  Evidence is provided at practitioners’ conferences and has yet to be manifested in published research.  The above disorders have EEG correlates, which provides an intuitive basis for understanding that we have a chance at treatment with neurofeedback training. 

Different neural hubs are responsible for sleep onset and depth of sleep.  We can identify vulnerabilities with a brain map, and train these with neurofeedback to help restore healthy sleep hygiene.  

Sleep is usually one of the first things to normalise during neurofeedback training.  

We have also seen improvements in other sleep conditions, such as enuresis and sleep apnea.

Speech & Language

One in four persons with ASD are non-verbal, and 40% of all children referred to an autism clinic have significant speech delay, regardless of diagnosis.   

Infants begin to understand and produce single words and gestures in the context of playful interaction from 12 months of age; between 18-24 months there is a rapid expansion in vocabulary and knowledge of rules regarding conversational exchange.  Typically developing children will use language for social interaction; this contrasts with ASD children who are more likely to use words to regulate their environment (demands, protest), rather than with communicative intent.  Despite the range of language abilities, articulation skills are generally spared.  There is a strong link between language and social skills in autism.

Speech development has numerous components, all of which have neural correlates, meaning there are brain areas contributing towards language comprehension and generation, which have to mature and work together efficiently.  This means we have a chance to improve speech generation by training the brain, and both research and experience confirm this.  The research below illustrates how we can assist with improving necessary building blocks that contribute to a person’s development of speech and language capabilities. 

Speech and language development are also a function of social reciprocity, both with regard to initiation and reception.  It should therefore not be seen in isolation, and rather as an accompanying component of improving effective synchrony with the social environment.  

Personalised Brain Training takes a holistic approach to improving social integration by way of training various features of cognition and consciousness, including sense of self, joint attention, Theory of Mind, focus, mood regulation, behavioural challenges and communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

PET activation of the brain in different word tasks, showing differential activation of various language and speech networks, which we can train with neurofeedback

Research on Neurofeedback and Speech

Neurofeedback training was shown to improve speech-in-noise perception and auditory discrimination that was applicable post training and long-lasting.  This shows that we can positively affect neural encoding of acoustic inputs in the auditory cortex, a frequent issue with autistic individuals. 

In ADHD children, neurofeedback training improved visual memory, enhanced auditory short-term memory and auditory working memory.  

Biofeedback produced better and more lasting effects than traditional therapy in behavioural dysphonia.  

Neurofeedback was shown to improve the ability to identify emotional prosodic intonations

Phonetic recognition and reading skills have been shown to improve with neurofeedback training, another important component of speech and language acquisition (see “Dyslexia”).  

Personalised Brain Training is a holistic approach; we also train brain areas relating to focus, motivation and sense of self, as well as sequencing and motor skills, all of which contribute to the development of speech.  

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training Explained

Brain Maps expose Individual Vulnerabilities

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify character traits, vulnerabilities and strengths. 

Different brain areas and networks govern our behaviour.  For example, there are parts of our brain which control mood regulation; spatial distractibility; physiological arousal; our sense of self; self-critical thoughts; anger and emotional attachment; and there are various sources of anxiety.

A brain map shows us which brain areas are behaving immaturely, and thus expose us to vulnerabilities or mental health issues.

Rather than fitting people into categories – diagnosis – we can assess vulnerability to behaviour patterns.  Every brain is different.  A brain map provides a more granular approach to understanding our strengths and weaknesses.

Personalised Brain Training with Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback lets us train dysrythmic brain areas. With sensors comfortably fitted to the brain areas we want to train, we detect brainwave patterns real-time while watching a movie. When these patterns are inefficient, the volume drops momentarily. This is the feedback we are giving our brain, short and instantaneously.

The brain area we are training recognises this – while our conscious mind is focussed on the movie – and adjusts its behaviour to restore the normal volume. With repetition, throughout a session, learning occurs.

Meanwhile our conscious mind is solely focussed on the movie; the training process is passive in this sense.

The drop in volume is subtle, so we continue to understand the flow of the movie. No current or electrical stimulation is fed to the brain; sensors simply read brainwaves and the feedback is purely audio-visual.

Neurofeedback is preconscious brain training aimed at enhancing our mental, emotional and spiritual health

Neurofeedback trains our Pre-Conscious Mind

Rather than engaging the conscious mind, which slows us down, we are training preconscious processes

This equips us with the ability to live in the moment and attain our potential (if we have to resort to conscious control, we are not living in the moment).

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis.

Personalised Brain Training is an advanced qEEG brain map-based approach to neurofeedback training developed by the founders of the field. Taking Othmer Method / ILF training methods further, it employs Default Network Training protocols as developed by David Kaiser.

Neurofeedback is evidence-based complementary therapy with over 2000 PubMed peer-reviewed research reports

Neurofeedback is Evidence-based

Neurofeedback training is an evidence-based complementary therapy.  Its efficacy was first demonstrated some 50 years ago, and with advances in technology, training protocols have become more efficient and the feedback method – watching movies – thoroughly enjoyable. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  It’s first application was discovered in 1971 when it was used to resolve intractable epilepsy. 

There are over 2,000 peer-reviewed research reports on PubMed demonstrating efficacy across a number of pathologies. 

In the US, it is an accepted complementary treatment for many challenges. 

Distractibility, fidgeting, lack of focus, disorganisation, low motivation…. 

As we can’t get things done and unfinished projects abound, our mood and self-confidence drops.  Things aren’t going as expected, neither by ourselves nor our environment.  This leads to further frustration, often vented on others and spiralling into self-fuelling rage.  Or we accept less from ourselves, internalise, or even self-harm.  

Social interactions suffer, and we no longer feel part of something bigger.  Feelings of abandonment follow, and trauma symptoms ensue.  Diagnoses abound, as more pathologies are added to explain the lack of social development.  

Witnessing talented people unable to unfold their skills and personality is sad and frustrating.  

Neurofeedback is a safe and effective, evidence-based complementary therapy for ADHD / ADD that is non-invasive, medication-free and enjoyable. 

ADD / ADHD starts in the brain.  There are numerous contributors to the symptoms attributable to ADHD, and subsequent developmental issues.  Our brain has dedicated areas related to: 

 – sensory processing: stimulus prioritisation and awareness

 – planning and organisation 

 – motivation and reward monitoring

 – physiological arousal regulation: finding the right level of activation and staying stable there

 – action coordination: implementing plans and mature management of expectations

 – sense of self and risk-taking

 These are all relevant brain areas when we are disaggregating the symptoms of ADD / ADHD, as they present in very varied forms across individuals.  

A Kaiser Neuromap lets us see which of over 40+ brain areas are behaving immaturely, thus potentially contributing to ADD / ADHD.  With neurofeedback, we can then train these brain areas in an organic manner – we are letting the brain discover more efficient behaviour, and form new connections when these are useful.  Neurofeedback is effective and evidence-based. 

ADD / ADHD is a result of dysregulated brain activity.  This can evolve during life, abate in young adults, and respond to neurofeedback training.  Brain plasticity makes this appear as a fundamentally curable phenomenon.    

Neurofeedback is a complementary therapy that lets us see which brain areas are dysrhythmic and thus potentially contributing to symptoms, and then train the brain to develop more efficient behaviour.  Large-scale studies have demonstrated the efficacy of neurofeedback training with ADD / ADHD, and the process is simple and enjoyable.  

With neurofeedback, we read EEG-electrical activity on the surface of the head and analyse this in real-time.  Our conscious mind is absorbed by a movie of choice.  When the brain area we are training is behaving efficiently, the volume and picture-size stay normal.  As the brain exhibits less efficient behaviour, the volume is dropped slightly, and momentarily, or the picture size shrinks.  This is sufficient information for our pre-, or subconscious mind to register and correct its behaviour in order to restore the volume and frame.  It happens without us consciously thinking about it, while we’re enjoying the movie.  

With repetition, the brain learns new, more efficient behaviour. 

This helps restore focus, planning, organisation, mood and temperament control, motivation, sleep and social integration.  We are resetting a trajectory that becomes self-reinforcing for good. 

Per the DSM-5 definition, ADD / ADHD presents as inattention and/or hyperactivity.  

Popular literature expands the list of symptoms somewhat to include motivation, impulsive aggression, behaviour issues, sleep onset and quality, emotion and mood regulation, flexibility, working memory and sense of self.  

When viewed this way, ADHD becomes a very broad pool of symptoms.  Everyone is different.  Some present with concomitant behavioural issues, others don’t.  This calls for a differentiated treatment approach, and key to selection is a deeper understanding of individual issues, ideally at a level of brain network interactions.  

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify brain areas that may show vulnerability to each of these additional component pathologies.  This way, we recognise individuality and personalise the treatment process: 

– Following a qEEG brain map, we can target relevant brain areas.

– a holistic approach to bringing out flexibility and ingenuity: optimising performance. 

– Personalised Brain Training for ADHD lets us address a person’s individual challenges

 

Every person is different.  DSM labels for mental health issues are often not aligned with specific patterns of brain activation.  With Personalised Brain Training, we take a bespoke approach to understanding the underlying dynamics at play for a particular person.  By analysing individual brain wave activity with a qEEG brain map, we can identify dysrythmic brain areas and provide a more granular and differentiated view of vulnerability to various psychopathologies.

Neurofeedback training provides us with a non-invasive, medication-free method of helping individuals mature cortically and attain balance and optimum performance.  This procedure is enjoyable – we watch movies – and evidence-based.

Children and young adults in particular exhibit delayed maturation of prefrontal areas, and with neurofeedback training we have seen this accelerate within as few as eight sessions.  This effect is noticeable both empirically and cognitively.   

The label “AD(H)D” has come to apply to a combination of behavioural issues beyond the core definition of inattention and hyperactivity.  

Distractibility has a signature in brain activity patterns as measured through qEEG.  So indeed do the other presenting issues, including impulsive aggression, mood regulation, sleep onset and quality, flexibility and motivaton.  

With a Kaiser Neuromap we can identify vulnerability to each of these issues, and more, as they pertain to an individual.  

Neurofeedback training lets us address the issues in a personalised manner.  We have achieved transformational turnarounds in children and adults’ behavioural patterns in under three months. 

 The ‘chemical imbalance’ model of mental health issues has long been debunked.  Neurofeedback training is a medication-free complementary therapy approach to Attention Deficit Disorder. 

It is suitable at all stages of development: 

– Children are able to gain the confidence and discipline to optimise their social and educational development.

– Teenagers and adolescents learn focus and self-esteem at a critical stage.

– Adults better manage the responsibility and stress of career and parenting.

Importantly, sufferers of attention deficit present with different stages of brain development.  ADHD has been associated with weaker function and structure of prefrontal brain circuits.  

Neurofeedback for ADD / ADHD is evidence-based – see here for more research links – :  In line with AAPB and ISNR guidelines for rating clinical efficacy, neurofeedback for ADD / ADHD can be considered “Efficacious and Specific”, the highest level (5). 

ADD / ADHD usually presents with a number of other issues beyond the narrow medical definition of inattention and hyperactivity, including:

– distractibility, organisation and planning

– sleep onset and quality

– impulsivity

– aggression and rage

– behaviour issues: opposition, defiance, conduct problems

– tics and habits 

– inability to make and maintain friendships

– perceived learning disability

– anxiety and panic disorder

– mood regulation: depression and mania (bipolar)

– emotional regulation

– risk of psychosis

– self-esteem and sense of self

– dependence and/or abuse of legal and illegal substances

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis.  In our view, and experience, symptoms resolve when our system is balanced.  Key to this is the stability of core neural networks, including the Default Mode Network.

Neurofeedback lets us train cortical areas that play important roles in our sensory interpretation of our environment and our responses. 

In 1909 the various functional areas of the brain were identified by Brodmann.  Since then, increasingly powerful tools such as fMRI have allowed researchers to determine what functions these areas fulfil, by themselves and in networks with each other.  This research is ongoing and enables us to identify biomarkers, or neuromarkers, for behavioural patterns and vulnerability to pathologies, or mental health issues.

Personalised Brain Training and the Kaiser Neuromap uses the most up-to-date knowledge to apply neurofeedback training as required by the individual.

Kaiser Neuromap based Personalised Brain Training using neurofeedback and brain maps including Brodmann areas and spectral plots

Complementary Measures to Help the Dysregulated Brain

Needless to say that stress and any other physical debilitation will negatively affect the Will Power fuel tank.  This includes the use of alcohol and recreational drugs, and of course illness.  It therefore seems logical that a ‘clean’, healthy lifestyle helps preserve powers indeed increase the resource pool.  Diet plays a role as much as exercise.  De-stressing activities such as yoga and meditation (though often seen as boring by ADD sufferers!) can help.  

To preserve willpower and indeed apply the available pool as efficiently as possible, it is useful to establish routines.  A key issue is that the ADD brain is structurally reward deficient due to its lower dopamine production.  It’s often observed that homework or housework tasks seem impossible to attract the attention of an ADD sufferer, while they have no problem playing computer games for hours on end.  Tasks they can hyperfocus on are typically ones that provide immediate reward, which indeed computer games do.  The trick in capturing focus therefore is to closely link reward with actions, in a sense, increasing accountability in the moment.  

Breaking projects down into smaller tasks, with clear hurdles to clear and consequences if achieved (or not), achieve this mimicking of a computer game ‘flow’.  This is where external help is beneficial – dividing up the task, relating the timing, and administering the reward.

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

The Process Explained

Step 1: Brain Map

A qEEG recording takes about 45minutes for a 20 minute recording.

A cap with 19 sensors is is fitted to our head and gels inserted to ensure connectivity.  The sensors only read – there is a tiny voltage on the surface of our head that these pick up.  The gels are easily washed out later.  This is also the last time we wear the cap (until a remap after ten sessions); training is done with single sensors. 

We analyse the data with Kaiser Neuromap software which gives us a unique view into character traits and vulnerabilities.  

Findings are presented in a separate one-hour conversation where we discuss the key elements.

Step 2: Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback process explained, illustrating real-time analysis of brain waves and feedback given

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  

Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs. 

Volume changes are slight, not stop-start, and the process is enjoyable. 

Key is that we are interested in the movie – our conscious mind is engaged with the content, which forms the reward, and our preconscious mind – without our conscious effort – changes its behaviour in response to the feedback.

Capturing the ultradian cycle with neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training using Kaiser Neuromap

A two hour training session allows us to do 90-110 minutes of neurofeedback training during which we can work on various brain sites. 

This captures an entire ultradian rhythm cycle and corresponds to the approximate duration of feature film movies.  

We can start with shorter sessions as appropriate, mainly with children. 

Ideally, we do two or more sessions per week to start with.  

We would expect to see responsiveness within the first few sessions and remap after twenty hours or about ten sessions.  

Generally, we would expect to doing twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary substantially. 

We can also accommodate intensives, where we do two sessions per day over a number of days, and have had good results with these.