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Our Principal Psychologist and Clinical Neuroscientist, Dr Rachael came to the study of Applied Neuroscience and Neurotherapy in order to achieve better treatment outcomes for her clients. After feeling frustrated that many clients with neurodevelopmental difficulties and acquired brain injuries were unable to make effective use of traditional psychological intervention techniques, Dr Rachael spent several years investigating the validity of using Neurotherapeutic techniques as an adjunct to traditional psychological treatment. She has subsequently completed certified courses in Clinical Neuroscience and has become a certified and registered Clinical Neuroscientist and practitioner in QEEG Brain Mapping, Neurofeedback Therapy, and other neuromodulation techniques.
The use of Applied Neuroscience technology helps to improve the accuracy and specificity of diagnostic psychological assessment and intervention for a range of conditions, and can help to retrain the brain to work more effectively.
Neuroscience technology provides information about brain functioning by obtaining a Brain Map, which ties directly to an individualised, brain-based treatment program, designed specifically to suit each client.
The brain is the seat of all of our thinking, learning, social, emotional, psychological and behavioural functioning and well-being, so when we experience difficulties in any of these areas, it makes sense to directly treat the areas of the brain that are responsible for the problem, rather than using general treatment methods which are not specifically targeted to each client’s specific needs. This brain-based intervention is called Neurotherapy.
The use of Neurotherapy, also known as Neurofeedback Therapy, is a form of operant behavioural conditioning which uses feedback from an individual's own EEG brainwaves to help them learn to self-regulate their own brain activity. Neurotherapy uses computerised brain-training games linked to the client’s own brainwaves, to train increases in helpful brainwaves whilst simultaneously decreasing unhelpful brainwaves. Neurotherapy is usually a very engaging form of treatment which most clients enjoy. When the brain is properly regulated improvements in many areas may be seen, including sleep, mood, focus, attention and concentration, learning, memory, behavioural control, sensitivity, fatigue, epilepsy, trauma symptoms and general cognitive efficiency. Generally, the beneficial effects of treatment are maintained long after the client has finished treatment, with some studies demonstrating continued benefits 10 years after treatment.
Neurotherapy is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment. It is an objective, data-driven procedure based on an individualised comprehensive assessment and brain map. It uses specific brain-based treatment protocols, designed to suit each client’s needs. Neurotherapy treatment is designed to treat specific symptoms of brain dysregulation, not diagnostic labels. For example, in the case of a client diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the Neurotherapy treatment protocol would be to correct the neurological under-arousal that gives rise to the client’s attentional and behavioural difficulties, rather than just attempt to manage the behaviour difficulties after they have already occurred, or mask the problem by using medications. Often medications can have a diffuse effect on brain and body function, causing unpleasant side-effects for some individuals.
Neurotherapy is a useful adjunct to traditional psychological therapy, and can complement the medical management of children with psychological, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Neurotherapy can also be used as a “peak performance” treatment for individuals who are already functioning well but would like an extra boost to their learning and concentration, or artistic and sporting performance.
According to Professor Frank H. Duffy, paediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School, Neurofeedback Therapy should play a major therapeutic role in the treatment of many difficult problems. He states: “In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used”. Reference
The American Paediatric Association (November, 2012) approved Biofeedback and Neurofeedback, and rated them as a Level 1 or “best support” treatment in terms of effectiveness for treating children with ADHD.
Neurotherapy is particularly beneficial for children and adults with all types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, including:
Neurotherapy can help many conditions including: