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(03) 4335 5201

For Professionals

About Unique Brains

Unique Brains prides itself on being at the forefront of cutting-edge, evidence-based psychological practice for children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioural disorders. Unique Brains offers breakthrough non-invasive, drug-free treatment to help children, young people and adults to develop self-regulation and changes in neurological arousal, often lacking in traditional psychotherapeutic techniques.

Our clinic offers the following sevices:

  • Assessment
  • Brain Mapping
  • Neurotherapy
  • Interventions for Psychological and Behavioural difficulties

Psychological Assessment

Our clinic specialises in diagnostic assessment of infants through to adults with cognitive/intellectual, learning/academic, neurodevelopmental, and neurobehavioural difficulties, with an additional focus on brain functioning. We conduct a comprehensive specialised assessments, using the latest diagnostic assessments and technologies, to discover the underlying causes behind a client's presenting problems. This enables specific individualised and targeted interventions to be developed and recommended for each individual. All assessments and interventions are informed using the latest advances in neurotechnology to enhance neuroplasticity, performance, self-regulation and functional outcomes.

Unique Brains offers comprehensive assessment in the following areas:

  • Cognitive/Intellectual ability (Impairment and Giftedness)
  • Psychoeducational/Academic achievement
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Neuropsychological functioning
  • Memory and Learning
  • Visual and Auditory Attention
  • Executive Functioning
  • School readiness
  • Infant development
  • Behavioural functioning
  • Adaptive behaviour
  • Sensory functioning
  • Auditory processing

Brain Mapping

The use of state-of-the-art brain mapping technology is what sets Unique Brains apart from other psychology services in the Ballarat region. Brain Mapping is a procedure that measures the electrical activity (EEG) in the brain using sensors attached to the scalp in order to investigate areas of neurological dysregulation and functional asymmetry. Several brain sites are measured to identify the presence of any brain function anomalies, which can help clients, carers and professionals to understand the underlying cause associated with the client's symptoms and behaviours. In other words, this means that the client’s brainwaves are measured to find any imbalances in the brain, which helps to pinpoint the cause of the client’s issues.

Brain Dysregulation can occur for many reasons, including compromised antenatal and developmental conditions, concussion and traumatic brain injury, trauma and congenital/birth disorders. Brain Mapping is not a labelling procedure. It is particularly useful for identifying neurological over-arousal and under-arousal, along with brain instability. Brain Mapping also ties directly to identifying the exact brain locations and brain wave ranges that require treatment to restore normalised functioning. In cases of ADHD, Brain Mapping can also be useful in identifying the forms of attentional and behavioural difficulties that respond well to stimulants (such as Ritalin) and those that do not respond well or are made worse by such medications.

Neuroscience Intervention

What is Neuroscience?

Within Neuroscience, the use of Neurotherapy, or Neurofeedback Therapy as it is also known, is a form of behavioural operant conditioning using EEG brainwaves, that helps clients 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, trauma symptoms and general 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 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 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.

Benefits of Neurotherapy

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 Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A meta-study by Arns et al (2009) indicated strong effectiveness in reducing inattention and impulsivity symptoms, and medium effect sizes for hyperactivity symptoms. Reference

Neurotherapy is beneficial for treating Neurological Dysregulation related to:

  • Arousal
  • Sleep/wake cycles
  • Cognitive processing
  • Sensory processing
  • Inhibition of motor responses
  • Moods and emotions
  • Memory

Psychological Intervention

Unique Brains offers intervention for Cognitive, Learning, Psychological and Behavioural difficulties across the developmental lifespan. Our clinic is skilled in a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques, including:

Cognitive/Learning Difficulties:

  • Executive Functioning skills treatment for ADD/ADHD
  • Problem-solving skills training

Parenting Issues/Behavioural Difficulties:

  • Accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) provider for both Enhanced Triple P and Triple P for children with Developmental Disorders
  • Other parenting and behavioural management strategies, based on current neuroscience and whole-brain learning theory.

Social/Emotional Difficulties:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Mindfulness-based interventions
  • Social Skills training
  • Play Therapy
  • Emotional Release Counselling

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