Neurofeedback training has become an effective tool for thousands of mental health professionals and other clinicians. It is becoming more commonly used among medical doctors and nurses as well. If you seek to incorporate neurofeedback training into your patient practice, there are courses available through specialized schools and professional organizations.
Neurofeedback training, sometimes called biofeedback training, is helpful for clinicians who treat disorders such as panic attacks, anger management, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorder, learning disabilities, bipolar disorder and reactive attachment disorder. It has also been found useful for stroke, migraines, chronic pain, sleep disorders autism, substance abuse and epilepsy. Because neurofeedback therapy is helpful for such a broad range of conditions, it is gaining popularity with many different types of clinicians.
Neurofeedback training helps clients learn how to control their own brainwaves and neural functioning. Neurofeedback techniques show the client how to modify the type of electrical brainwave activity within particular areas of the brain. This is accomplished by using computerized feedback systems that measure electrical brainwave activity and provide instant feedback to the client.
The client learns self-regulation by seeing the functioning of his or her brain in real time. As the student learns to control the Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta brainwaves to achieve optimal brain functioning, various types of feedback systems reward the student when he or she reaches the desired brainwave pattern.
You can learn neurofeedback training in a short class, often lasting only four days. Classes are offered by professional organizations and biofeedback machine retailers. In these classes, clinicians learn practical techniques for helping clients train their brains. Neurofeedback courses should include demonstrations, group discussions and hands-on practice.
In the class, you will learn how to apply electrodes to the client’s scalp and listen to brainwave activity. You will also master how to use various types of biofeedback devices. The class will teach you to process signals using computer software and extract information about key brainwave frequencies. You will see the ebb and flow of neural activity and help the client change the brain’s activity level towards the desired frequency.
The types of equipment used in neurofeedback training can vary greatly. Peripheral biofeedback devices are used by monitoring the client’s skin temperature. The more relaxed a client becomes, the closer the skin temperature becomes to 94ºF or 34ºC. This provides a simple biofeedback measure with which patients can learn to control stress levels. Other equipment includes heart rate variability devices, muscle tension devices and EEGs.