Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by CrazyinVA, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Has anyone here had any experience with neurofeedback? I recently made a new friend who works with a psychologist who specializes in this and my friend is studying under the psychologist to become certified herself. She says they have had great success treating ADHD, depression, and anxiety. I was thinking of offering to pay for my youngest to be evaluated and treated, if she's willing. This particular psychologist charges on a sliding scale for those that need it, she believes in it so strongly.

    Just thought I'd see if anyone here had looked into it/used it with their kids or themselves.
  2. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    yes, 2 of my kids have used it. difficult child 2 was doing it in the summer and beginning of Fall to help with her anxiety, nightmares, etc. It did seem to help and she enjoyed it. Then she had not done it for a couple of weeks and went back and I guess the setting was too low and she felt bad after it. Then she didn't want to go back. Now she is going to start up again because it does seem to help with the anxiety and also migraines. I noticed she seemed more "grounded" while she was doing the neurofeedback.

    My son (easy child) also was doing the neurofeedback. He has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ADHD. He had been Zoloft and Concerta but eventually did not want to take drugs anymore. As far as I knew he was doing okay but then he had a long talk with me one night (in the summer, he was 23) and told me how anxious he was but he did not like the way the drugs made him feel plus he had no insurance so couldn't really afford them anyway. I suggested the neurofeedback since difficult child 2 was doing it and he wanted to try. It was very successful with him. The practitioner said he was very responsive to it and he did feel much better. He went once a week for a couple of months and then he opened a restaurant and didn't have time for it anymore, plus he was doing so much better.

    I think you go for some intensive work for awhile and then you taper off. My son went back for a session a few weeks ago because his anxiety level was rising again. I think you have to go for "tune-ups" occasionally.

    I guess if I were you I would give it a try. It is supposed to really help with anxiety and I did see a positive result with both my kids as far as the anxiety goes. I think it can't hurt and may help. Also, both kids really enjoyed it--it's pretty neat. I watched a session with difficult child 2 where she had to control a game--you just watch and your brain automatically works to make the game work right. She also watched movies with her practitioner--if your brain is doing the right thing the movie plays correctly, if not it sort of "stutters" til your brain corrects itself.

    Hope this helps--I'm not very good at explaining things in writing!

  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    We never used it but I knew someone who swore by it.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, we used it. I used it for headaches and my son used it for ADHD.
    However, some of it is natural training and some of it is hard work, and if your child is immature and not prone to putting into effect things that s/he has learned, it will not be as successful.
    For example, I used it for headaches, and afterward, when I felt stressed out and felt a headache coming on, I would remember the little white seagulls on the computer screen and immediately relax. Eventually I could forget about the seagulls and just tap into whatever part of my brain that was and relax automatically.
    My son cannot or will not do that.
    But FWIW, it did help a bit. But not as much as the Adderal.
    I am all for a multi-pronged approach--change diet, change behavior, do the medications. Our goal is to get difficult child off medications in a cpls years, and at that point we may start neurofeedback again as a backup.
  5. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    we did it extensively with both our sons, two different practioners. Didn't really see any positive results. With my oldest (the one with the highest anxiety, depression, also extreme silliness) it was actually destabilizing. I think the practitioners were both well trained. we did it as we were reluctant to go right in with medications. But I have to say, the benefits from medications for my oldest have been huge, and nothing has helped my youngest.

    perhpas it works best for those who interested in actually using the techniques out of the office. Neither of my kids has ever had the slightest interest in applying any of the tools they have gained through therapy of any sort outside the therapist's office...but that is just them.

    It may be worth checking out, but I wouldn't abandon all other efforts either. Perhaps it might work better after they are stabilized on medications.

    let us know you experiences.
  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks so much for the replies. My understanding is that it would be done with the OK of her psychiatrist, and medications wouldn't be discontinued. My friend said that many people eventually feel "overmedicated" and that's when they work with the psychiatrist to wean off medications. She told me it's about "reprogramming" your brain .. sounds pretty sci-fi and cool but hey if it helps, and my daughter is willing to try it, I'll willing to help her pay for it. Her anxiety can be pretty crippling at times.

    Thanks again.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    One of the things I've picked up about this is that it is very important that you have the right diagnosis. I remember that there is some problem if the person has....seizures? bipolar? vs ADHD because the brainwaves (alpha, beta, theta, gamma, delta) involved are opposite....or something like that. If you have the wrong diagnosis, you can make things worse.

    I'll see if I can find one of the articles I've read about it.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We just finished 20 sessions (twice a week for 10 weeks) with difficult child 2 through our therapist. The office acquired this special software that uses electrodes attached to the scalp, ear lobes, etc. and it works with a program that my son would interact with.

    He had to stay calm and focused during the various exercises and the electrodes would measure the levels of beta waves which indicated the level of calm/focus (changes color on the screen if he's not within the target range), while the program captured his response times to the various activities (so we can tell if he's able to stay on task, etc.).

    The goal has been to help him become more aware of his emotions and physical state, and to be better able to calm himself and concentrate. He says he enjoys the sessions, so we'll likely start up again in January for another 10 weeks.

    I know that for some people, the goal is to get their child to the point where they don't need medications, but I don't think that's realistic for this particular kid. I do, however, believe it will help him manage his emotions better and be more aware of his level of attention and perhaps be able to more consciously control it.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My friend just sent me what she says is her "favorite" website for info on this, so I thought I'd share it here:

    Thanks again for the info and specific experiences, they are very helpful. I spoke to my youngest yesterday and she is interested.