EEG BiofeedbackNeurofeedback, also known as “EEG-biofeedback,” “neurotherapy,” and “brainwave therapy” (among others), is a form of biofeedback that helps individuals to train their brain waves into more functional states. Dr. Fisher, who was trained at the nationally recognized University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab, utilizes a QEEG-guided neurofeedback approach. QEEG-guided neurofeedback requires the patient to undergo a brainmap (quantitative electroencephalography or QEEG) to help identify patterns of dysfunctional brain electrical activity. The patient’s brainwave activity is then compared to a lifetime normative database that provides a valid and statistically reliable method to identify deviant brainwave activity. Additional analysis is performed by a review of the “raw” waveforms to locate other potential abnormal activity. All of this information is used to develop individualized neurofeedback treatment protocols designed to normalize the areas of excessive or deficient energy identified in the brainwave analysis phase.

Who Can Benefit From Neurofeedback?
In over 400 published journal articles, neurofeedback has been shown to be an beneficial treatment for a wide range of disorders in children and adults, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, substance abuse, Autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sleep disorders. The most solid scientific evidence has accumulated for ADHD. In fact, neurofeedback for ADHD received a “Level 5 – Efficacious and Specific” rating – the highest rating of treatment effectiveness as established by the two primary professional organizations (ISNR and AAPB).

Nonetheless, despite a rather vast accumulation of evidence for neurofeedback, it is considered to be an “experiential” treatment for most conditions. The primary reason is that double-blind studies (the “gold standard’ in research design) are methodologically difficult and costly to design for neurofeedback, though researchers are getting more and more creative on how to obtain this standard. Thus, patients are encouraged to consider the benefits and risks of neurofeedback (just as they would any medical or psychological treatment). Dr. Fisher can discuss these with you during your first appointment.

What Is A Typical Neurofeedback Treatment?
During a typical session, a patient will first be hooked up to sensors so that his or her brainwave activity can be recorded by the specialized computer software. Although the wires and sensors can be at first intimidating for some, it is a very safe process and no electricity is being delivered to you (it only receives electricity from your brain). The patient will play simple games, watch video, or even watch their favorite movies during the actual neurofeedback training. The neurofeedback software rewards the brain when it enters into a desired electrical state by allowing your game, video, or movie to play. When the brain does not engage in desired activity, all feedback will stop momentarily. In the behavioral sciences, this is referred to as “reinforcement.” The over-all goal is to teach the person how to better self-regulate their mood and behaviors through more optimal brainwave patterns.

Patients often attend 2 to 3 30-minute neurofeedback sessions per week. The number of sessions will vary dependent on the seriousness of the condition being treated, but many patients can complete treatment in 30 to 40 sessions. As you can see, neurofeedback requires a large time commitment for the patient and psychologist, and thus is also somewhat expensive – these are some of the downsides of neurofeedback. However, neurofeedback can be very rewarding and its effects long-lasting. This means that as the patient meets his or her treatment goals, such as improved mood or greater attention/concentration, the therapeutic gains often continue after treatment ends (unlike many medications), and patients can sometimes reduce or eliminate their medication (with physician guidance, of course) – these are certainly some of the most positive advantages of neurofeedback.

Dr. Fisher can explain the process of neurofeedback to you more thoroughly at your first appointment. Neurofeedback is a complex treatment that involves neuroanatomy, brain electrical activity, sophisticated software, and computerized equipment and can thus be initially difficult to understand; however, Dr. Fisher will answer any questions and fully explain the process as best he can to help you better understand this treatment option.

Other Important Information
You are encouraged to carefully select your neurotherapist as you would any other healthcare professional. Avoid those who make wild claims or state that every patient benefits from neurofeedback (no treatment works effectively 100% of time – this is true in most or all areas of medicine, and neurofeedback is no exception). Look for neurotherapists who have adequate training along with years of clinical experience. Ideally, your neurotherapist will also be Board Certified in Neurofeedback.

To assist in your selection of a qualified neurotherapist, here is a brief overview of Dr. Fisher’s training. Dr. Fisher completed coursework at the PhD level in biofeedback, neurofeedback, and QEEG at University of North Texas (UNT) and University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNT’s medical school). He received 5 years of supervised training in neurofeedback. Dr. Fisher has worked in in-patient and out-patient neurofeedback settings since 2005, and he is Board Certified in Neurofeedback (BCIA). Moreover, he has conducted multiple, peer-reviewed neurofeedback research studies as well as taught a graduate level biofeedback course at UNT. He was also a workshop trainer for professional-level neurofeedback workshops for many years. Please see the About section for Dr. Fisher’s complete background.

Additional Neurofeedback Reading and Resources (external websites)

Introduction / General
What is Neurofeedback? Brainwave Therapy – a basic, layman’s introduction to neurofeedback by Dr. Fisher.
What is Neurofeedback? An Update – a more technical, but thorough discussion of neurofeedback by Corydon Hammond, PhD.
Dr. Edward Jacobs’ “Introduction To Neurofeedback” Video Interview – a 45 minutes video discussion of neurofeedback by an expert in the field.
Biofeedback For Your Brain? FMRI Evidence Suggests ‘Yes’ – a review by Dr. Fisher.
ISNR Comprehension Bibliography of Neurofeedback – an excellent resource to determine the scientific evidence for neurofeedback for various ailments.

Neurofeedback For ADHD Receives A Level 5 – Efficacious and Specific Rating – a review of the effectiveness of neurofeedback for ADHD by Dr. Fisher.
Children With ADHD Realize Significant Benefits From Neurofeedback Training In a Randomized Clinical Trial – a review of a neurofeedback/ADHD study by Dr. Fisher.

Neurofeedback For Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Promising Results In A Small Sample – review by Dr. Fisher.
A One Year Follow Up of Neurofeedback For Autistic Spectrum Disorders – a review by Dr. Fisher.

Chronic Pain
A Clinical Outcome Study Of Neurofeedback And Biofeedback For Migraine Headache – review by Dr. Fisher.
Neurofeedback Eliminates Migraine Headaches In More Than Half Of Participants With No Side Effects Edited Press Release by Dr. Fisher.

Substance Abuse
An Overview Of Alpha-Theta Neurofeedback And Its Treatment Effectiveness For Substance Abuse – a review by Dr. Fisher.

Neurofeedback Benefits People With Treatment Resistant Epilepsy – a review by Dr. Fisher.
Classic Neurofeedback / Seizure Study Now Available Online For Free – review by Dr. Fisher with links to other resources.

Sleep Disturbance
Neurofeedback Significantly Improves Sleep In A Small Group Of Insomniacs – a review by Dr. Fisher.

Neurofeedback Improves Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia In A Randomized, Controlled Study – a review by Alan Fisher, PhD.

Personality Disorders
Patients With Anti-Social Personality Disorder Benefit From Extended Neurofeedback – a review by Dr. Fisher.

Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain Injury: Methods and Treatments Part One
Brain Injury: Methods and Treatments Part Two

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