As the founder of Marietta West Cobb Counseling Center, I first learned about neurofeedback when I met Melissa Hergert of BrainTrain Centers, Inc. over 5 years ago. Melissa introduced me to neurofeedback with the offer of a complimentary Brain Map and follow-up report of findings. It came at just the right time. I spent over four months opening the office and developing processes and procedures to run a multi-therapist group practice. It wasn’t easy and came with many long days and nights of work, research, and negotiation. Stress and lack of sleep did not help. I remember trying to plan a staff meeting and when I went to make a list of topics, my mind was a total blank. Total. Blank. The only thought in my head was, “I have nothing!”
My Brain Map Session
Melissa was very gracious when I arrived at her office. She explained the principals of neurofeedback and explained the process of a Quantitative EEG (QEEG). Then she put something like a bathing cap on my head. This cap had sensors that would measure my brain waves – the electrical current in my brain. The test took about 30 minutes from beginning to end. During the test I simply sat still, first with my eyes closed then with my eyes open. Off came the skull cap and that was that.
I returned to the office a few days later and Melissa reviewed my QEEG and confirmed my suspicions: I was overstressed, my diet wasn’t healthy, and I needed more rest. Here’s how Melissa explained it:
We have 5 major types of brain waves:
- Delta waves are our slowest waves and they predominate during infancy and when we are in deep sleep.
- Theta waves are next slowest and they predominate during meditation and the very relaxed state of twilight between sleep and wakefulness.
- Alpha waves are the next slowes and they predominate during relaxed wakefulness, doing routine work or chores requiring little effort. After you solve a problem and relax, your brain experiences more Alpha waves.
- Beta waves are the next fastest brain waves and predominate when you are alert and working or solving problems.
- Gamma waves are the fastest brain waves and appear when you are intensely focused, alert, and problem-solving
As a rule, think of the brain waves as operating in the brain all the time at varying locations and in varying magnitude, depending on your activity. In my case,the left side of my brain (the problem solver) was in Alpha when it should be in Beta and the right side (the receptive, creative side) was in Beta when it should be in Alpha. I was “switched.”
I will cut to the chase: After about three weeks of watching TV for 1/2 hour per session (Grace and Frankie- had never seen it, very funny), my brain map showed a definite improvement towards normal. I knew neurofeedback was working when, 5 minutes before another staff meeting, I sat down to make a list of topics to discuss and all the information I needed was right there, at the tip of my pen. My brain was working again! I continued to do neurofeedback and I have not had the problem of not being able to think again.
I have referred several clients and friends to do neurofeedback for issues such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, seizures, and PTSD. All have had some pretty amazing results that have helped them progress in therapy. I highly recommend neurofeeback to you and would be happy to tell you more abou it.
If you have any questions or want to know more about neurofeedback, do not hesitate to talk to your therapist or contact me, Terri Abraham. We will be happy to help you learn more and feel better soon.