Everything You Need to Know About Neurofeedback Therapy

Everything You Need to Know About Neurofeedback Therapy

EHolistic approaches, such as neurofeedback therapy, have become much more popular in addiction recovery due to the many benefits they provide. By finding different ways to explore addiction recovery mentally and physically, we can better apply the tools we’ve learned in treatment because we understand how the process works much, much better. Neurofeedback has existed in various forms but has evolved over the past 100 years. Advances in technology truly gave us the capabilities to not only educate clients in what their brain is doing, but to also give them to tools to garner more control over some of their brain functions.

Neurofeedback therapy isn’t discussed as often as more traditional program elements, but it speaks for itself in the place of holistic treatment. To ease some concerns and answer some questions you may have, continue learning about how neurofeedback therapy works below.

What It Is and How It Works

As a 2016 review published in the journal Basic and Clinical Neuroscience indicates, neurofeedback is, “…A kind of biofeedback, which teaches self-control of brain functions to [clients] by measuring brain waves and providing a feedback signal.”

Neurofeedback therapy provides both visual and audio output for clients by showing them their brainwaves and allowing them to practice different techniques to manually calm down over-stimulation. This non-invasive process has been referred to as appearing much like a video game; clients sit in a chair while a doctor places an EEG (sensors that are placed on the client’s head), and a game, movie, puzzle, or audio clip will appear. Much like a person would do regularly with these types of activities, clients can sit and watch – and they’ll soon start to see their brainwaves.

When these brainwaves are moving too quickly or too slowly, the game, movie, or puzzle will stop – which signals to the brain that something isn’t quite right. As a person continues their neurofeedback therapy sessions over time, they will essentially train themselves – and their brain – to manage brainwaves that are over or under-reacting.

This type of therapy has been used to help treat a variety of conditions, such as ADHD and ADD, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, headaches, autism, and much more.

Applying Neurofeedback Therapy to Addiction Recovery

Those in addiction recovery often struggle with symptoms of mental illness (depression, anxiety, etc.), but they also may experience difficulties concentrating, problems with memory loss, emotion regulation, and more. For many, neurofeedback therapy gives those in recovery a chance to regain control over what was previously unreachable because of addiction.

The National Geographic published a story on a young man who had been battling cocaine addiction. He took part in a study that tested neurofeedback therapy and found that his first session was an immense success. He told the magazine, “It has been a complete change. I feel a vitality and a desire to live that I had not felt for a long time.”

Of course, neurofeedback therapy typically takes several treatments, but the hard work both in and out of therapy is worth it. As individuals get a better sense for controlling some of their brain activity, they’ll find they’re able to better handle moments of intense emotion – such as with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and more.

Many people find that neurofeedback therapy, in addition to one-on-one psychotherapy, group therapy, and regular treatment activities, is very conducive to recovery. As a non-invasive form of treatment, you’ll find that it’s quite amazing how technology can provide us with opportunities to learn more about what’s going on in our brains and how we can train it to function more efficiently for us.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Neurofeedback therapy may feel relatively new to us with these newer forms of technology, but the concept has been around for quite a while and its success has been proven over time. For instance, a 2016 study published in the journal Psychiatry/Psychology tested neurofeedback therapy on 25 individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD). A number of questionnaires were also completed to give the researchers a better idea of the participant’s lived experiences with cravings, motivation, sense of coherence, depression, psychiatric symptoms, and more. Twelve visual sessions of neurofeedback therapy were completed by these individuals over the period of 6 weeks, and it was reported that participants had an increase control over their brain activity by the end of the study.

Experiences may vary depending on the person, as one person may find that they require more sessions than others. In addition, neurofeedback therapy has been shown to be very effective for those with stubborn depression that doesn’t take well to psychotherapy or medication. All in all, this is a holistic approach that seems to only be adding benefits to the recovery process.

If you’re currently searching for a comprehensive, personalized recovery program to suit your mental, physical, and spiritual needs, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. Recovery is just around the corner – it’s time for you to take that first step towards your happiness and health.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.


Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.