Biofeedback

Carolyn Robertson has earned Certification through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) (#1408).

BrainEEG Biofeedback is employed to modify the electrical activity of the central nervous system including EEG, event related potentials, slow cortical potentials and other electrical activity either of subcortical or cortical origin.  EEG biofeedback is a specialized application of biofeedback or brainwave data in an operant conditioning paradigm.  The method is also referred to as neurofeedback.  The method may serve as the basis for neurotherapy (treatment of a clinical disorder) or performance enhancement (enhancement of normal functioning).

EEG Biofeedback is a learning strategy that enables persons to alter their brain waves. When information about a person’s own brain wave characteristics is made available to him, he can learn to change them. You can think of it as exercise for the brain. EEG Biofeedback is used for many conditions and disabilities in which the brain is not working as well as it might.

An initial interview is done to obtain a description of symptoms, and to get a picture of the health history and family history. Some testing may be done as well. And the person does the first EEG training session, at which time we get a look at the EEG. This all may take about two hours. (The details may differ among the various affiliate offices. In some offices a full brain map, or quantitative EEG, is routinely obtained, which may require a separate office visit. Or more extensive testing may be done.) Subsequent training sessions last about 40 minutes to an hour, and are conducted from one to five times per week. Some improvement is generally seen within ten sessions. Once learning is consolidated, the benefit appears to be permanent in most cases.

The EEG biofeedback training is a painless, non-invasive procedure. One or more sensors are placed on the scalp, and one to each ear. The brain waves are monitored by means of an amplifier and a computer-based instrument that processes the signal and provides the proper feedback. This is displayed to the trainee by means of a video game or other video display, along with audio signals. The trainee is asked to make the video game go with his brain. As activity in a desirable frequency band increases, the video game moves faster, or some other reward is given. As activity in an adverse band increases, the video game is inhibited. Gradually, the brain responds to the cues that it is being given, and a “learning” of new brain wave patterns takes place. The new pattern is one which is closer to what is normally observed in individuals without such disabilities.

EEG-Driven stimulation is an advanced form of biofeedback which has had rather startling effects in alleviating the effects of head injuries, stroke, and other difficulties such as:

  • depression
  • irritability and explosiveness
  • clouding of consciousness
  • low energy during the day
  • sleeping problems at night
  • problems initiating activities
  • short-term memory
  • attention problems
  • movement problems
  • stamina
  • irritability and explosiveness
  • difficulty absorbing verbal and written material
The system, in general, operates by monitoring the patients’s brain waves, analyzing the EEG pattern, and using the ever-changing EEG patterns to continuously make the frequency of the flashing lights relevant to the person in treatment. Instead of evoking seizures, as a possible side effect, EDS has acted as an anticonvulsant, allowing people to safely reduce their medications. The results have been holding for the people finished five years ago, in fact, once they have started improving again, their improvements have continued to evolve.

There is no conscious learning or practice involved. People sit in chairs, eyes closed, and while away from 5 minutes, to 20 minutes on average. Average numbers of sessions for anything except stroke or spinal cord injuries is 25 sessions. Paralysis from stroke or spinal cord injuries does respond, however it may take hundreds of sessions. We can arrange travel plans and concentrated treatment blocks for those visiting from out of town, state, or country.

People who have had functioning problems prior to their head injuries and other traumas take the longest to work with, and with very complex problems it could easily run near 100 sessions. But people who were high-functioning before their injuries, who have mild-to-moderate injuries take around 10-20 sessions.

“I have been a clinician for 30 years and have never seen the progress in people that I have seen using Neurotherapy. This is truly a gift to those who have been told they would not get better or who have not known how to access their superior abilities.”

Carolyn Robertson,
M.A., M.S., CEAP, BCIA EEG Certified #1408