Addiction is a seriously debilitating mental health disorder. If left unchecked, addiction strips people of their self-respect, their ability to function optimally, their relationships, their reputation, careers and their soul.
It’s a disease that affects thinking – and causes a person to engage in a behavior that is self-destructive and painful. It’s often accompanied by anxiety, depression, bi-polar, and other mental health disorders. Loved ones often believe erroneously that addicts are weak … that curing addiction is a matter of self-discipline. Addicts report feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, anger, and frustration. But for many it’s a brain disease that is very hard to change..
Research shows that most addiction treatment programs fail. Their collective success rate is abysmal. They have a “revolving door” as people relapse and come in and out of treatment. Many people leave before completing the programs.
Neurofeedback is the most important new treatment for addiction.
Using neurofeedback combined with other addiction treatment dramatically increases the success rate of treatment.
Addiction is physiological, not psychological.
Because addiction is a brain disorder, not a moral issue or just a lack of discipline, I work directly with the brain to retrain patterns of dysfunction by teach it to remain calm, relaxed and focused. Training helps support more clear thinking. This builds a strong foundation for recovery and relapse prevention. Medications can help temporarily, and short-term that may be a good thing.
The problem is medications don’t teach you how to cope. They may help with accompanying disorders but do not correct them.
Addicts learn to rely on substances to help them feel calm, or to pay attention or to manage mood. Medications are just another substance.
How Neurofeedback Helps
Neurofeedback training helps teach you how to calm down. It helps you connect to the reasonable, rational regions of the brain during stressful times. When a person gains control of his own emotions, he can start choosing the option to remain clean and sober.
There have been several research studies that show those who use neurofeedback as part of an addiction treatment program in fact show much higher success rates and much lower relapse rates than the same program without neurofeedback. This appears to be true for every age group.
We advocate support groups, talk therapy, and behavioral interventions. But adding neurofeedback trains people to be more calm, to better manage moods and emotions, and to sleep better. This tremendously reduces the problem of “white knuckling” the recovery. Without addressing these problems effectively, traditional programs produce higher relapse rates.
Brain Training is a new approach that can help you to learn to gain self-control by decreasing stress, increasing reasoning and override irrational thoughts that make abuse so compelling.
Brain Training helps overcome the problem. Although the complications with addiction can make training more complex, dealing with the regions of the brain that are malfunctioning and restoring them to more normal neurological patterns helps to correct the underlying physiological manifestation of addiction.
Brain-Training is respectful. We know that people suffering with addiction don’t choose this disease. They want to learn new ways of dealing with their disease. With the help of a brain map (a representation of the brain that maps out areas of over/under arousal and connectivity or lack of if throughout the brain) we can map out areas of concern to target for correction.
How does brain training teach the brain?
Neurofeedback effectively improves mood, anxiety, impulsivity, and behavior through consistent reinforcement of the state the brain is in when it is calm and focused. This is a normal state for the brain. Through neurofeedback the brain learns to return to normal regulation and balance.
With neurofeedback the client is rewarded and made aware when the brain is producing the proper brain waves, reducing malfunctioning and resulting maladaptive behaviors. Without reinforcement it would be impossible to know when you were practicing the proper balance which would allow you to improve brain regulation.
What type of results can I expect from brain training?
Surveys of health professionals using neurofeedback estimate that over 85% of their clients successfully learn to focus, regulate behavior, and decrease impulsivity when they train on a consistent schedule.
Once learning is achieved, we work with the client and his physician to decrease medications, where applicable, while decreasing his training schedule. Many individuals are able to decrease medications and training all together while some are left with the minimal dose and a maintenance training schedule.
We also have several other tools available that compliment and often optimize the training experience. Depending upon the individual client, these tools may assist by increasing the impact of neurofeedback and at times shortening the duration of training. Please contact us for an individual consultation.