As time goes on, our understanding of the psychological problems that we humans can develop improves. In addition, new therapeutic tools are also emerging, to remedy them.
Among these technological solutions is Neurofeedback, a procedure used in neuropsychology to treat patients with certain emotional or behavioral disorders. Let’s see what it consists of from the hand of experts in the field: the team of psychological health professionals from IPSIA Psychology .
What is Neurofeedback? IPSIA Interview Psychology
On this occasion we talked to the professionals of IPSIA Psychology, a psychotherapy center with a presence in Madrid that is characterized by the use of innovative therapeutic methods and technological tools developed to improve the well-being of their patients. In this case they give us their experience on the use of Neurofeedback , a non-invasive and painless resource based on giving the patient real time information about the patterns of electrical activity in areas of their brain.
How do you explain Neurofeedback to someone who has never heard of it?
I would say that it is a non-invasive way that we have to record brain activity and create a training system that changes the way the brain works. The patient will learn how to be aware of his or her brain activity and how to modify it in order to change that brain activity outside of the psychologist’s office.
What are the problems in which Neurofeedback is most frequently used?
Neurofeedback is well known for its treatment of Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in which it has been endorsed by the American Pediatric Association.
In addition, Neurofeedback has been found to be useful in other problems, such as brain damage, epilepsy, addictions, depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. It has also been shown to be effective in improving performance in high performance sports.
The functioning of this technique goes beyond the conscious strategies of psychological evolution and questioning of dysfunctional beliefs that give rise to the maintenance of a disorder. Why does Neurofeedback work? What makes it effective, almost without the patient realizing what is happening?
Neurofeedback influences the brain in a passive way, through the operative reinforcement of certain brain waves that the psychologist chooses depending on the patient’s problem.
Thus, in a few sessions the person has learned to modify his brain activity by himself, something that is not possible in conventional psychotherapy. If Neurofeedback is combined with psychotherapy, it produces faster changes.
Using Neurofeedback does not mean that the problem is the brain. The functioning of the brain is the cause of the problem; the problem is or has been the different situations and relationships that the person has had, and behaviors that the person has performed to “survive” in his or her world. But by modifying the brain’s functioning we can help the person through cortical regulation to better respond to subcortical impulses and habits.
What types of therapy do you combine well?
Neurofeedback has a behavioral paradigm, but it serves as training to accompany any therapy. In our center we combine Neurofeedback with EMDR, hypnosis, and third generation therapies.
What preparation is needed to apply Neurofeedback in patients?
You need to be a neuropsychologist or have specific knowledge to know the involvement of the brain in different problems.
Once the therapy sessions using Neurofeedback have started, how does the improvement in the well-being of those who come to the psychotherapy centre take place?
Depending on the reason for the consultation, we will consider improving one goal or another, but we agree that most patients feel clearer, in better spirits and more relaxed.
Usually people do psychotherapy at the same time as Neurofeedback, so assessments of the person’s condition are done between the two professionals. In Neurofeedback, every 10 sessions, evaluations of the brain’s activity are made to see how it improves and to propose new objectives; in addition, we ask questions so that people can tell us how they have found themselves