How Does A Neurofeedback Therapy Session Work?

Disclaimer - The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

If you took a test and didn’t get the results back, how would you know how you did? You’d need to get the test back in order to review your results and know what to work on. When you’re working on improving your mental health, it’s also important to measure what’s happening. Then you’ll know where you need to focus your efforts.

In some ways, neurofeedback therapy is like a test for your brain waves, only you don’t have to wait to find out how you did. You immediately get the feedback you need to make the changes you desire. The therapy is noninvasive, and there are a wide range of conditions that may potentially be treated, including addiction, anxiety, ADHD, depression, and insomnia. To learn more, check out BetterHelp’s neurofeedback therapy guide to see how it works.

About Neurofeedback Therapy,

If neurofeedback therapy sounds a little like biofeedback, that’s because it is. Biofeedback is defined as a technique that can help someone learn to better control involuntary bodily functions, such as breathing, muscle tension and heart rate. Once we are aware of a bodily process, we may be able to consciously alter it. A simple example of biofeedback is becoming aware of shallow breathing, and then consciously making a decision to change your breathing to become more deep.

In the case of neurofeedback therapy, it’s a biofeedback treatment designed to help a person more effectively learn to regulate their brain.

What Does Neurofeedback Therapy Look Like?

How a neurofeedback therapy session works will vary amongst providers and therapists. Generally, the person attending the session will have electrodes attached to their head to measure their brain waves during the session. Sometimes patients will wear a cap or a headband that is dotted with tiny electrodes.

The electrodes are then attached to a monitoring device, which allows the therapist conducting the neurofeedback session to monitor a person’s brain waves. A trained therapist will then be able to observe the electrical activity of a person’s brain through a monitoring device. In some cases, the therapist may use an imaging device that shows the different activity in the brain lighting up as different colors. For example, the more active parts of the brain could show up as lighter colors and the less active parts could be darker colors.

During the session, the neurofeedback therapist will observe the patterns going on in your brain waves. The therapist will then provide immediate feedback on what they see to help guide the person receiving treatment to alter their brainwaves. Depending on what the person is receiving treatment for, the therapist may give feedback to the person to be more alert or relaxed.

And different people need different kinds of brain waves to improve their mental functioning. For example, if someone is being treated for anxiety, the neurofeedback therapist may try to guide them to more relaxing brain waves. Conversely, if someone is being treated for ADHD then their therapist may guide them to activating more alert brain waves to aid in focus.

How Many Sessions Does Neurofeedback Therapy Last?

Generally, people follow a course of six to 20 sessions of neurofeedback therapy before concluding treatment. A professional neurofeedback therapist will track your improvement to make sure you’re benefitting from the treatments.

In Conclusion

Seeking out ways to enhance your mental wellbeing is a healthy step. But don’t hesitate to seek out therapy with a licensed professional if your condition becomes overwhelming. There is help out there, and you don’t have try to manage a mental condition all on your own.

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