Neurofeedback

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand you may have many questions about Neurofeedback. Here are common questions we are asked with regards to the process of Neurofeedback and our assessment program.

  • Is Neurofeedback scientifically proven?
  • How many sessions of Neurofeedback are generally needed?
  • How often do I need to do Neurofeedback sessions?
  • Are the effects of Neurofeedback long-term?
  • How do I know if I will respond to Neurofeedback>?
  • Do I get electric shocks through the electrodes that are fixed to my head? And why are they also attached to the face?
  • Do I need a referral from my GP?
  • Isn’t Neurofeedback just a therapy for children?
  • Can Neurofeedback be done from home?
  • Why is a QEEG necessary?
  • How much does Neurofeedback and the Assessment procedure cost?
  • Can I continue medication throughout treatment period?
  • Can I reduce medication throughout the treatment period?
  • What does “SCP“ Neurofeedback mean?
  • What does “Frequency Band“ Neurofeedback mean?
Is Neurofeedback scientifically proven?

Yes. Numerous studies have recorded the positive effects of Neurofeedback, mostly to treat symptoms of ADHD, but also in other areas such as Insomnia, cognitive performance, sports performance, anxiety among other trials. Neurofeedback as a therapy for ADHD has been systematically reviewed and tested for more than three decades and most recently breakthrough data has demonstrated its positive effects in large-scale multi-center, placebo controlled trials, which means that the studies have adhered to rigorous scientific testing (e.g. Strehl et al. 2017, Van Doren et al. 2018).

The multi-centre, placebo controled trial by Dr. Ute Strehl and her team in Germany, in 2017, found that the majority of subjects who underwent Neurofeedback responded in a meaningful way, compared to the control group. Furthermore, these positive results were recorded in 25 sessions, which is relatively low number of sessions, when compared to clinical practice.

Click here to download this study

How many sessions of Neurofeedback are generally needed?

If Neurofeedback is being done correctly and there is a noticeable response and the patient is motivated, this will be noticed within 10 -20 sessions, but 30 – 40 sessions* are generally needed for the brain to retain what it has learned in training.

Every 10 sessions your therapist will evaluate your progress and will stop or change protocol if necessary.

*FREQUENCY of sessions plays a big role in seeing success.

How often do I need to do Neurofeedback sessions?

It is recommended to come to Neurofeedback sessions at least two times per week. If you are able to come more frequently than this, this will help you get through your treatment program in a shorter time frame.

If sessions are continuously cancelled or forgotten, and you are not coming as frequently as two times per week, ultimately you may find progress is slower and more sessions are needed.

Are the effects of Neurofeedback long-term?

A study recently published in the medical journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry shows Neurofeedback to have long-term positive effects in children with ADHD.

In this latest study researchers compiled data of more than 500 children with ADHD comparing the results of Neurofeedback with medications and “non-active” (no treatment) conditions. To critically interpret the data, researchers with different views on Neurofeedback were chosen to review the study.

They found that Neurofeedback had sustainable effects in the longer term, with positive and large effects observed after 6 months of treatment. Moreover, the findings show that the effects of Neurofeedback tend to improve over time, with no ongoing therapy sessions needed after the initial therapy program, compared to the group which was still taking medication at 6 month follow-up.

The notion is that once the brain has learnt the new brain activity pattern, it is much like riding a bike, in that we can access this desired behaviour at any stage in the future if this activity has been properly trained and retained (hence the need for frequent sessions, up to roughly 30, maximum 40 sessions).

See this article for more information.

How do I know if I will respond to Neurofeedback>?

That’s a very important question, and we’re glad you asked.  At neuroCare we advise patients to go through a comprehensive assessment process (you can find out more here). Our research and clinical experience shows that approximately 75 – 80%  of people with ADHD or related symptoms, respond to neurofeedback. These statistics are only relevant to neurofeedback protocols which have been trialed and tested in research, and use sophisticated technologies which can more accurately measure and record EEG’s (i.e. brain activity).
neuroCare therpaists are trained to follow protocols as set out in this study by Arns et al. 2012 and use only state-of-the-art Neurofeedback equipment.

Do I get electric shocks through the electrodes that are fixed to my head? And why are they also attached to the face?

No, these electrodes are just measuring brain activity and sending that signal back into a computer.

Depending on the specific protocol that has been set out for you, there will be one electrode attached in the middle of the head, or a little bit further to the front of the head. This is the electrode which is reading your brain activity.

Then there are at least 2 more electrodes attached behind or on the ears. These are recording a reference and ground signal so that the computer can accurately calibrate the information that is being sent from the electrode which is measuring the brain activity.

There is another Neurofeedback protocol which may be assigned to you, where there are electrodes also placed on the forehead and around the eyes. In this particular protocol, the electrode which measures brain activity on the top of the head may be interrupted by eye movement (we call these interruptions, ‘artifacts’).  At neuroCare we have a special machine which records eye movement via these electrodes placed on the face, which can correct for these eye-movement artifacts. This helps us to give you more accurate and reliable neurofeedback training.

Do I need a referral from my GP?

You do not need a referral for treatment. Based on your intake interview a trained therapist will decide whether Neurofeedback is the right treatment for you. Referral from a GP may be necessary to receive reimbursement from your insurer. Please get in touch you have any questions regarding reimbursement.

Isn’t Neurofeedback just a therapy for children?

No. Actually there is more an more research to show adolescents and adults respond positively to Neurofeedback as well (e.g. Mayer et al. 2015).

Can Neurofeedback be done from home?

Unfortunately not. With the special equipment we use at neuroCare, you will have to come into the clinic.

Why is a QEEG necessary?

Brainwaves have different patterns in different people, even within a population of people with ADHD or ADD.  People with sleep disorders also show a certain brain activity.  So we need to do a  QEEG assessment beforehand to see which sort of brain activity you have, adn then we will be able to decide on a Neurofeedback protocol which is more likely to have a positive effect for you. Other neurofeedback providers which do not offer a complete and thorough, evidence-based QEEG assessment, may be relying on a trial-and-error approach and we do not believe this is appropriate.

How much does Neurofeedback and the Assessment procedure cost?

Before starting Neurofeedback there is an Initial intake interview, an Actigraphy Sleep Assessment, a QEEG Assessmentas well as a follow-up interview to explain these results and propose a treatment plan going forward.

Neurofeedback sessions are billed individually and can only start after this initial assessment process.

Please contact your preferred clinic for pricing information.

Can I continue medication throughout treatment period?

During treatment with Neurofeedback you can take any prescribed medication as recommended by your doctor. We recommend booking in to see one of our Psychiatrists if you have questions, concerns regarding medication and any of our therapy options.

Can I reduce medication throughout the treatment period?

Always talk to your prescribing doctor about reducing or stopping medication. You are still able to do Neurofeedback sessions while taking medication, or reducing medication.

What does “SCP“ Neurofeedback mean?

“SCP” stands for “Slow Cortical Potentials”and is a specific type of Neurofeedback which trains cortical flexibility, rather than a specific “Frequency-Band” (see question “What does ‘Frequency Band Neurofeedback’ mean?”).  This application was developed in Germany  and has been widely studied as an effective therapy to manage symptoms of ADHD, in both children and adults.

What does “Frequency Band“ Neurofeedback mean?

Sometimes your therapist will refer to “Frequency Band” Neurofeedback, which is different from “SCP” Neurofeedback (see above).  In this type of Neurofeedback training, the person is training the activity in a particular brain region “up” and/or “down”. Your therapists will have decided which brain activity needs training based from the QEEG Assessment that would have been done in the beginning.

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Personalising Mental Healthcare since 2001, using state-of-the-art neuromodulation to help children, adults and their families achieve lasting mental wellness.

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