What Is Neurotherapy And Neurofeedback?
Neurotherapy, also known as neurofeedback, is a form of therapy that assesses a person’s brainwave activity. It helps individuals learn how to change their brain’s activity and improve their self-regulation. This treatment method, also known as electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, uses a computer-based system to map a person’s brain waves. The monitoring method non-invasively records electrical activity on the scalp. The mapped brain waves are then paired with signals (visual or audio) used to retrain the brain.
How Does Neurotherapy Work?
Neurotherapy works by teaching individuals to produce beneficial EEG patterns. During a session, the patient’s brain waves are collected by EEG sensors or electrodes. The detectors are placed superficially along the scalp and attached to a computer. The electrical pulses produced by the brain are used to operate a simple computer game. Through this method, patients learn how to control and play the simulated game.
Though the therapy looks like a computer game, it helps people change the patterns in their minds. They learn to regulate and improve their brain function by playing and responding to positive feedback. By improving brain function, individuals respond better to overwhelming emotions and stress and develop a clearer mindset. Over time, the process can help people alleviate various neurological and mental health disorders like addiction.
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Neurotherapy/Neurofeedback And Addiction
Neurotherapy/Neurofeedback is considered an excellent addiction treatment when supplemented with other therapies. The treatment’s ability to retrain the mind to make more positive decisions is a fantastic tool for recovering users. Studies have shown that neurofeedback decreases cravings and improves general mental health in Opiate–dependent patients. Other studies suggest that it may be even more effective than pharmacotherapy alone in treating addiction in the long term.
Still, it is essential to note that when treating a substance use disorder, so far, no single program can lead to a cure. Neurofeedback training is best used in combination with other therapies due to the complex nature of addiction. Neurotherapy can help a person stay substance-free beyond the initial rehabilitation stages when used with other medication-assisted treatments and counseling. The therapy is an excellent resource for patients who want to learn how to respond to triggers without relying on addictive substances.
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Possible Neurotherapy Cons
Below is a list of the main pain points associated with Neurotherapy/neurofeedback therapy:
- The therapy is expensive.
- It isn’t easy to find.
- It’s not accepted by all insurances.
- It does not offer permanent benefits.
- It requires extensive dedication (months’ worth).
- Is time-consuming.
The cons list may be small but potent. An expensive price tag and long treatment time are just not doable for everyone. People have responsibilities and families to take care of, which makes Neurotherapy less appealing. These factors lead many recovering users to search for other treatments that may be less innovative but still efficient.
Ultimately, neurotherapy/neurofeedback is an excellent option for individuals looking to increase their probability of successful recovery. Though it may have a few cons, the benefits reaped by the patient are extensive. Those who combine neurotherapy with other traditional treatments have shown incredible results in studies.
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If you or a loved one is battling a substance use disorder, please reach out. You can talk about treatment options and get answers to rehab-related questions. They may be able to refer you to a treatment center that offers neurotherapy/neurofeedback. Contact a treatment provider and get the help you deserve.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience