qEEG and Neurofeedback

One of our most important goals at LEP is to improve outcomes for clients for whom traditional interventions have failed.  As a result, the practice has evolved into an integrative approach that uses a broad range of supports to improve the lives of our clients.  Biofeedback, qEEG and neurofeedback have proven invaluable to supporting our clients with resolving chronic anxiety or depression, addressing the impacts of traumatic stress and achieving peak performance.  

What is qEEG?

Quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) or brain mapping is specialized form of assessment.  This assessment involves recording the same type of EEG brain wave patterns that a neurologist might use.  However, for behavioral health, the EEG is analyzed to produce a brain map.   This map provides a great deal of insight regarding the individual such as levels of stress, rigidity of thoughts and behaviors, depression, difficulties with focus, insomnia, anxiety, TBI, psychological trauma and an array of other variables.  

Biofeedback taps into your body's potential to heal itself.  Specialized equipment is used to measure important biological metrics such as heart rate or finger temperature.  These measurements are projected onto a computer screen or similar device for monitoring.  The individual gradually learns to modify these signals in a manner that promotes health.  

Why do people get a qEEG brain map? 

Many people get a brain map in preparation for neurofeedback (discussed below).  In such cases the qEEG literally functions as a map that guides the design and provision of neurofeedback.  Others request a qEEG to gain insight regarding behavioral challenges or in preparation for peak performance training.  While this map is NOT used to make a diagnosis, it is very useful in confirming a given diagnosis and guiding interventions.  


Cannot Relax

This individual stated concerns regarding being unable to relax even when on vacation.  Her partner noted concern regarding her regular drinking of alcohol which was a source of conflict between the two as alcohol was one thing that was sure to create relaxation.  The brain map clarified both difficulties.  The green and blue indicate lower than expected amounts of four types of brain waves (delta, theta, alpha, low beta).  These slower waves are necessary for adequate relaxation and sleep.  Alcohol intake produces an increase in alpha waves – an essential brain wave for calm state.  The map reduced conflict between the couple as it provided a biologically based understanding of the client’s difficulties. 

 The map also pointed the way towards effective intervention, in this case, a combination of lifestyle changes aimed at supporting relaxation, mental health nutrition interventions and neurofeedback.  Had the client gone to her PCP or other prescriber, there is a chance she would have received a script for Ativan or another anti-anxiety drug.  This would likely have provided the desired relaxation response while missing the underlying deficiencies in brain waves.  In the long run, the medication may have worsened her difficulties as anti-anxiety drugs have an additive effect with alcohol.  These medications also produce an increase in high beta waves which the brain maps shows were higher than is optimal without the medication (as indicated by the yellow on the hiBeta map).  

Would you like to know if and how qEEG and neurofeedback can help you? Please contact me for further information.

What is neurofeedback? 

Like qEEG, neurofeedback focuses on the brain wave patterns that are produced by the firing of brain cells.  These patterns of firing change in response to the time day, shifts in attention and behavior as well as our emotional state.  For example, during deep sleep our brain waves are relatively slow.  When we are anxious, we get the opposite with patterns very fast and relatively slow brain waves.  Can you image what happens when these fast anxious waves are present during the middle of the night when one should be sleeping?  What is these anxious waves are not just the result of stressful day but instead are present every night?  Or in classic ADD, slower waves associated with drowsiness are present in the front of the head during time when faster waves are needed - worse, for some individuals these slower actually increase when they try to concentrate!  Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, medication free treatment that allow the individual to literally train away unhealthy brain patterns.   

How does neurofeedback work?

For neurofeedback, special sensors are applied to one's scalp (like a stethoscope for the brain).  These sensors read brain waives which are then projected onto a computer screen.  In cases, I monitor the brain waves while my client plays a video game.  Unlike traditional video games, this game is controlled by my client's brain.  When brain waves shift towards a healthier pattern, they earn points or some other reward such as the brain controlled avatar flies through a target.   If the healthier pattern is maintain, the avatar continues successfully.   With practice the brain learns to maintain the healthier brain wave patterns without the use of the game or other equipment.  

Video:  What is Neurofeedback

Video:  Neurofeedback for ADD and Anxiety (Shows individuals receiving neurofeedback.)

Would you like to know if and how qEEG and neurofeedback can help you? Please contact me for further information.

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Psychotherapy   Neurofeedback    Biofeedback  Mental Health Nutrition    Coaching     

  LE Essentials 

  Greenwood Village, CO

Hanover, MA (teletherapy only)

[email protected]


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