Neurofeedback counselling for managing symptoms of psychological and emotional complex trauma

Neurofeedback target Trauma symptoms the effective and safe way…

 

 

  • Regulating brain functioning, maximising cognitive potential and enhancing mood, by utilising Neuroplasticity.

  • Highly effective at altering brain dysregulation without the risk of harmful side-effects

  • Programs are personalised and adaptable to suit your needs.

  • Treat the underlying causes of conditions rather than solely treating the symptoms.

  • Manage symptoms of trauma including anxiety, depression, hyper vigilance, nightmares, dissociation, intrusive thoughts, mood swings, issues with concentration and memory, ruminative thoughts, emotional reactiveness, sleep issues, brain fog etc
     

'Neurofeedback is a powerful treatment for traumatic stress.” 

- Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical School, Medical Director, The Trauma Center at JRI, Brookline, MA.'  (Author of the Body keeps the score)

Addressing trauma by regulating a hyperaroused system first. The nature of trauma is reflected in their complex impacts. We recognise the need to address this through the use of comprehensive treatment models. Client centred and culturally informed, these approaches encompass a psychological, social, biological and neurological model. Neurofeedback, focuses on the neurophysiological impact of trauma in children and adults.

In order to be successful, psychotherapy requires that the client have a capacity to change and learn from experience. The persistent overarousal that is characteristic of chronic PSTD undermines flexibility and new learning.  It is next to impossible to change, learn and adapt when the brain’s only priority is survival.

Neurofeedback can be used to regulate the fear circuitries in the brain. Regulation of fear may, in fact, be the single most important contribution that Neurofeedback makes to the treatment of severe conditions such as PTSD, attachment disorder and personality disorders.

Neurofeedback is used in conjunction with psychotherapy  to address symptoms caused by trauma, like hypervigilance, anxiety, sleep issues, nightmares, depression, pain, racing thoughts, feeling “stuck”, concentration issues or emotional regulation issues. 

By regulating the nervous system through Neurofeedback the brain learns how to regulate or control it’s own brain states, which relates to how  a person thinks, acts and feels, emotionally and physically.

 

Better Brain integrates clinical expertise with the best available research to address behavioural, cognitive and subjective functions related to brain activity.

 

How frequent shall Neurofeedback training sessions be?

In the initial stages of learning, the sessions should be regular and frequent, between 2-3 sessions per week. After learning begins to consolidate, the pace can be reduced.

How many Neurofeedback sessions would I need?

Neurofeedback counselling sessions is an hour appointment. Most trauma survivors notice significant improvement in their symptoms within 20 to 30 sessions.  Long-term positive changes usually take 30-40 training sessions, although for some people more sessions are necessary depending on rigidity of the brain, age, and the severity of their condition.  Once significant positive changes have occurred and have stabilised, it is rare for the symptoms to return.  In fact, most people report that symptoms continue to improve in the months following training.

“ Post-traumatic stress disorder is, at its foundation, a disorder of the brain, particularly of the brain's ability to regulate fear. The brain oscillates between high sympathetic arousal as manifest in nightmares, startle responses and aggression and parasympathetic under arousal, manifest in social isolation and withdrawal, constricted affect, denial, cognitive impairment and, at its worse, in dissociation.  PTSD is a brain in the grip of fear “ - Sebern Fisher

We highly recommend Sebern's Fisher book: Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma.

Signs and symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma:

Many people experience strong physical or emotional reactions immediately following the experience of a traumatic event. Most people will notice that their feelings dissipate over the course of a few days or weeks. However, for some individuals, the symptoms of psychological trauma may be increasingly severe and last longer. This may be the result of the nature of the traumatic event, availability of emotional support, past and present life stressors, personality types, and available coping mechanisms. Some of the most common symptoms of psychological trauma may include the following:

Cognitive:

  • Intrusive thoughts of the event that may occur out of the blue

  • Nightmares

  • Visual images of the event

  • Loss of memory and concentration abilities

  • Disorientation

  • Confusion

  • Mood swings
     

Behavioral:

  • Avoidance of activities or places that trigger memories of the event

  • Social isolation and withdrawal

  • Lack of interest in previously-enjoyable activities
     

Physical:

  • Easily startled

  • Tremendous fatigue and exhaustion

  • Tachycardia

  • Edginess

  • Insomnia

  • Chronic muscle patterns

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns

  • Vague complaints of aches and pains throughout the body

  • Extreme alertness; always on the lookout for warnings of potential danger
     

Psychological:

  • Overwhelming fear

  • Obsessive and compulsive behaviors

  • Detachment from other people and emotions

  • Emotional numbing

  • Depression

  • Guilt – especially if one lived while others perished

  • Shame

  • Emotional shock

  • Disbelief

  • Irritability

  • Anger

  • Anxiety

  • Panic attacks
     

What is a potentially traumatic event
 

Potentially traumatic events can be caused by a singular occasion, or from ongoing, relentless stresses. A potentially traumatic event is more prone to leave an individual with longer-lasting emotional and psychological trauma if:

  • The individual was unprepared for the event

  • The event occurred out of the blue

  • The person felt powerless to prevent the event

  • The event occurred repeatedly (such as child abuse)

  • If the event involved extreme cruelty

  • If the event occurred during the childhood years
     

Potentially traumatic events are defined as events that are both powerful and upsetting that intrude into the daily life of a man or woman. Generally speaking, potentially traumatic events involve major threat to one’s psychological and physical well-being. Potentially traumatic events may be life-threatening; to one’s own life or the life of a loved one. These events may have very little impact on one individual but can lead to significant distress in another. The impact of a potentially traumatic event may be related to the mental and physical health of the person, past traumatic experiences, presence of coping skills, and level of social and emotional support at the time of the potentially traumatic event. Examples of events and situations that can lead to the development of psychological trauma may include:
 

  • Natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes

  • Interpersonal violence like rape, child abuse, or the suicide of a loved one or friend

  • Involvement in a serious car accident or workplace accident

  • Acts of violence such as an armed robbery, war, or terrorism
     

Commonly overlooked causes of potential emotional and psychological trauma can also include:

  • Breakup or divorce in a significant relationship

  • Significantly humiliating experienced

  • Surgery

  • Falls or injuries due to sports

  • Sudden, unexpected death of a loved one

  • Diagnosis of a life-threatening or disabling condition
     

It’s important to note that other, less severe but ultimately stress-inducing situations can also trigger traumatic reactions in some men and women.

Effects of untreated psychological trauma
 

Many people go for years living with the symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma as their world grows steadily smaller. The effects of untreated psychological trauma can be devastating and infiltrate nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. Some of the most common effects of untreated trauma include:
 

  • Substance abuse

  • Alcoholism

  • Sexual problems

  • Inability to maintain healthy close relationships or choose appropriate people to be friends with

  • Hostility

  • Constant arguments with loved ones

  • Social withdrawal

  • Constant feelings of being threatened

  • Self-destructive behaviors

  • Impulsive behaviors

  • Uncontrollable reactive thoughts

  • Inability to make healthy occupational or lifestyle choices

  • Dissociative symptoms

  • Feelings of depression, shame, hopelessness, or despair

  • Feeling ineffective

  • Feeling as though one is permanently damaged

  • Loss of former belief systems

  • Compulsive behavioral patterns

 
 
 
 

©2018 by Better Brain.