EMDR therapists are now working with neurofeedback specialists to help patients with PTSD, trauma and other mental health issues manage their symptoms and improve their quality of living. More and more, EMDR therapists are now recommending neurofeedback in combination with EMDR therapy protocols.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is used to treat PTSD patients. In EMDR therapy treatments, the patient recounts traumatic experiences while the therapist directs them to move their eyes in certain directions. This can be an effective treatment and help lessen the impact traumatizing events have had on them. EMDR therapies are clinically shown to reduce how long it takes an individual to recovery from psychological trauma.
EMDR therapy is composed of eight different stages guided by a trained therapist.
EMDR and Neurofeedback
For PTSD patients going through an EMDR treatment program, neurofeedback has been shown to improve adaptive information processing (AIP). Individuals who have experienced emotional neglect, trauma, and abuse early in life often display disorganized thinking and brain activity. Neurofeedback offers real-time evaluation and reprogramming of the neural networks associated with anxiety, trauma, and PTSD.
How does EMDR work?
The science behind the therapy is that EMDR can lessen the intensity of a psychological response triggered by traumatic memories if patient attention is redirected. This will have a positive effect on the patient in the long-term and enable better management of traumatic memories.
Adaptive Information Processing or AIP is the principal theory that guides how EMDR is used. AIP suggests that traumatic experiences and memories are processed and stored along specific neural networks.
EMDR therapy focuses on the particular dysfunctional pathways and behaviors associated with patient’s trauma.
EMDR and neurofeedback therapy are advanced treatments that deal with the regulation of the brain and central nervous system. As a major part of your central nervous system (CNS), your brain has a huge impact on regulating your mood and behavior. The brain and your CNS are one of the main focuses of EMDR and neurofeedback therapies.
Central Nervous System Regulation
Together, the spinal cord and brain regulate our emotions, information processing, and the many other functions of the body simultaneously.
The central nervous system includes your brain and spinal cord. This system gathers information from the whole body and coordinates its activity. Not only does the central nervous system control the function and movement of the body, it is also involved with your emotional responses and memory. The brain is physically the central hub that leads our thoughts and allows us to understand our environment. Most of the information that helps your brain manage the data is gathered from your body’s five senses: eyesight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
Why is Central Nervous System Regulation Important?
The central nervous system is crucial to the optimal performance of your mind and body. Of the many ways this system manages your day-to-day life, regulation of your body’s response to external stimuli is one of the most notably connected to your daily and mental health.
The CNS regulates many critical functions for us such as breathing, our heartbeat, and metabolism. These things cannot be performed consciously and so our central nervous system regulates them. Information goes both ways in the CNS. Your brain not only sends out commands to regulate the body, but it also receives information from your spine. These signals provide your brain the sensory data to interpret the world around you.
An ever-growing body of research indicates that our mental health is deeply related to the function of our central nervous system. Our brain is the common denominator between these two crucial elements of our health. Although your body is made up of different systems, these systems are not independent of each other. They are all working co-dependently to maintain your body’s health.
At Neurozone, our non-drug-based therapies are focused on directly treating the brain’s function to improve mental health and make meaningful, lasting change in the operation of the overall nervous system.
The latest body of research indicates that a variety of mental health conditions are correlated with dysfunction in the central nervous system, including PTSD and depression. EMDR therapy is also known to be particularly effective for treating PTSD.
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and can occur in anyone.
This psychiatric disorder takes place when someone has experienced or been a witness to a traumatic event. A traumatic event may be a natural disaster, fatal accident, combat, or personal assault. The triggering event or cause of PTSD can range widely from person to person.
Someone with PTSD may be experiencing:
- Regular feelings of sadness, anger, and fear
- Prolonged psychological distress
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Recurring nightmares related to the event
- Emotional numbness
- Feelings of detachment from others
- Isolating feelings that others cannot relate to their experience
- Sudden, intense thoughts and feelings that relate to the trauma long after the event transpired
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Avoidance of people or situations associated with the event or trauma
- Intense reactions to sudden noise or other sensory triggers
- Inability to experience positive feelings
PTSD has a large effect on thinking, mood and the body. Symptoms include severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts about the event, avoidance, hopelessness, feelings of detachment, loss of interest, difficulty sleeping, paranoia, guilty feelings, irritability, issues focusing, feeling cut off from emotions, and difficulty maintaining relationships.
PTSD affects people of all ages. The symptoms listed above may not be present for everyone and it is important to note that children show signs of PTSD differently from adults. For instance, children six years or younger often act out the traumatic event or parts of it when playing or will have repetitive nightmares about the event. If you see these symptoms present in your life or the life of a loved one it is important to seek out help.
With EMDR and Neurofeedback therapy, patients are guided through treatment to retrain the brain and neurological pathways that are involved with PTSD symptoms.
Regulating and retraining the CNS with neurofeedback therapy can provide long-term relief and help overcome debilitating mental health conditions without the need for prescription medication.
EMDR treatment combined with neurofeedback therapy has successfully helped patients manage their depression symptoms and regain control of their life. EMDR treatment addresses the psychological effects of depression while neurofeedback pinpoints the effects of depression in your brain’s neurological pathways. The dual approach of these treatments helps patients gain a better understanding of and overcome their depression.
The severity of depression will vary from person to person but the condition is characterized by constant feelings of sadness. This condition often causes patients to lose interest in basic aspects of life and struggle with day-to-day activities and responsibilities. Life can seem pointless to someone with depression, further compounding their struggles with motivation.
Depression has a direct effect on how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Common signs that someone has depression include:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Decreased interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of guilt and failure
- Physical pain
- Difficulty focusing or remembering
- Insomnia or poor sleep
- Reduced appetite
- Feelings of anxiety
Depression can affect people of all ages and is a serious mental illness. As we can see from the list, this mental health concern also has an impact on the central nervous system.
Many doctors prescribe medications that can help control depression but these medications often include adverse side effects. For some, treating their depression can be especially challenging. Patients often must take a great deal of time going through a trial-and-error process to find the right medication.
Neurofeedback for CNS Regulation
Central nervous system regulation can be a highly effective treatment protocol for a growing list of mental health issues.
Regulating your central nervous system starts with treating and optimizing your brain function. This can be accomplished with neurofeedback therapy.
Neurofeedback therapy is an effective, non-invasive, non-drug treatment that is pain-free and has helped thousands of men and women overcome mental health concerns such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
The main advantage of neurofeedback therapy is that it can be extremely effective without the need for prescription medication. Whether this treatment is for you or your child, neurofeedback offers non-drug based therapies for patients looking for long-term relief of PTSD symptoms. Neurofeedback therapy offers a comprehensive improvement in the brain and body without the risks that come with medications.
Candidates for neurofeedback therapy are men, women or children who are experiencing symptoms associated with PTSD, depression, anxiety, ADHD, chronic stress and many more mental health concerns.
A leading concern with mental health is how it affects your body and the various aspects of your life. Retraining your brain can be a major step to regulating your CNS, developing healthier adaptive behaviors and leading a happier and healthier life.
PTSD patients currently undergoing EMDR therapy may complement their treatment with neurofeedback. To determine if you would benefit from neurofeedback therapy, schedule a consultation with Neurozone today.
Your first meeting with us will help determine a treatment plan that is right for you.
Over the past few decades, studies have been made of the specific brain waves and patterns of people with ADHD, anxiety, autism, mood disorders, PTSD. These “blueprints” provide us with a way to measure brain waves.
During your consultation, you will learn how neurofeedback therapy is used to improve and optimize brain function. After your questions have been addressed, we will perform a qEEG “brain map” evaluation. This assessment helps us create a detailed understanding of your brain function in relation to your symptoms. In this treatment, the electrical activity of the brain is measured and recorded through sensors placed on the scalp. Frequencies, waveforms, voltage, and amplitudes are measured in detailed data sets for further analysis. From this information, we can map out what is going on within the brain and develop a customized treatment plan.
During your regular appointments, treatment length will last between thirty to forty-five minutes. Most appointments are completed while the patient is in a chair or participating in an activity. Different forms of therapy will relate to the concern. Some sessions involve audio or visual entertainment, while others are completed with reading exercises.
During treatment, a cap that contains electrodes will be placed on your head. The electrodes will measure your brain activity and record its findings during the therapy session.
Neurofeedback is all about training your brain towards healthier, adaptive function. During therapy, you will be exposed to audio, visual or other sensory stimuli. The neurofeedback technology will encourage positive brain activity that supports alternative thought processes, retraining the process associated with PTSD.
This treatment will retrain your brain and achieve not only a healthier brain function but also a healthier central nervous system. Healthier brain and CNS function will have a huge impact on your daily life!
Your treatment is entirely customized to you and your brain. The cost of your treatment will relate to your concerns and the determined treatment plan. A cost breakdown will be discussed in your personal consultation. To get started towards a healthier you, give us a call today at (310) 821-3640 or click here and schedule a personal consultation.
The central nervous system is in charge of the body and mind and controls most of their functions.
The immune system may attack the CNS if it mistakes it for a threat. These developments are called autoimmune disorders.
The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spine.
There are so many functions of the central nervous system. The primary functions include sending, receiving and interpreting information from the whole body.
There is no set timeline of when trauma becomes present in the lives of patients or when it ends. Left untreated, it can last the rest of the patient’s life.
PTSD is triggered by a traumatic event. This may be caused by any number of events but is often characterized by physical violence, feelings of terror or repetitive exposure to disturbing events.
Neurofeedback is a training activity and should be treated as such. Therefore, appointments should be attended two to three times a week.