It can be a frustrating process to find an effective treatment for ADHD. Of all the possible approaches, why might neurofeedback and ADHD be paired?
Perhaps you find that talk-therapy tedious or doesn’t really address your issues. Or maybe all of the ADHD “hacks” for staying focused and organized have only been somewhat helpful. It might be that they just don’t get to the root issues of your ADHD.
You might not want the risks and side effects of psychiatric drugs, and they may leave you feeling out of sorts and ill at ease. For this reason, more people are seeking to overcome ADHD without medication.
Fortunately, neurofeedback and ADHD are a good match because neurofeedback is comfortable and non-invasive technique that harnesses the power of your brainwaves to effect lasting change.
The Basics of Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback is a therapeutic treatment technique that analyzes the activity in your brain, specifically your brainwaves. Here’s how it works:
- You and your therapist do initial preparation work by reviewing your history and determining where to focus.
- At the start of a neurofeedback session, electrodes are gently connected to your head. These attached wires link to an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine.
- During your session, you perform activities or tasks which are detected by the EEG machine.
- Using this information, your therapist provides suggestions to coach your brain to respond differently to stimuli.
Essentially, the EEG machine provides feedback to both yourself and the therapist in real-time. It’s actually quite fascinating to watch the brainwaves on the screen. This information allows you and the therapist to better understand how your brain works and responds. With that information, ways to train it towards different, more productive, or helpful thought patterns can be developed.
Understanding Brainwaves for Neurofeedback and ADHD
There are several brainwave patterns to be aware of when it comes to neurofeedback and ADHD. These different types of brainwaves include:
Oftentimes, people who have ADHD will have more prevalent theta brainwave activity. This is problematic since excessive theta brainwaves can foster attention issues and lack of focus. On the other hand, beta waves tend to better support focus and concentration. The goal of neurofeedback and ADHD treatment is to encourage your brain to shift unhelpful brainwave patterns to those that are more helpful.
Training the Brain
One of the most important features of neurofeedback and ADHD is that we are actively retraining the brain.
Perhaps one of the most powerful points when it comes to neurofeedback and ADHD is timeliness. Both you and your therapist receive feedback from the EEG machine in real-time on the computer screen. This means that you can see the brain changes occurring as you complete the activities and tasks. This prompts your brain to become even more receptive to the changes that are occurring. As it pertains to neurofeedback and ADHD, the process reinforces and solidfies learning of new more positive information over time.
Several important considerations need to be in place for optimal treatment effectiveness:
- A trusting relationship between you and your therapist
- Activities that elicit responses from your brain
- The ability to use that feedback to make effective changes
What Neurofeedback Is Not
It’s important to note that neurofeedback doesn’t change who you are as a person. It is not brainwashing or hypnotism. Again, the aim is to regulate your brainwave patterns by providing positive brain reinforcement.
All the EEG machine does is provide information about how your brain operates. That’s all. The real change comes from your response. The key is the work that you put into the process and the coaching from your therapist. For those who have struggled with other forms of ADHD treatment, this can be really encouraging.
Here’s some great news. Because the brain provides the foundation for so much of our lives, the list of who can benefit from neurofeedback is long.
Finally, many people not only struggle with the challenges of ADHD but have difficulty finding a treatment method they believe will actually work long-term. Neurofeedback and ADHD allow you to have more control over the therapeutic process. Quick and measurable change is possible. To find out more about how neurofeedback therapy can help you, please contact me today.