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Addiction and Mental Health Treatment California

Neurofeedback Therapy For Addiction Treatment

Neurofeedback is a therapeutic modality that is based on feedback from a patient’s neural activity provided by electroencephalogram (EEG) technology. The biofeedback obtained from EEG programs includes data and metrics such as the patient’s brainwave activity in order to recognize and regulate their mental activity. For this reason, neurofeedback therapy is also called EEG Biofeedback therapy.

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
Review Date: 3/1/2023

How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work?

Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive procedure that reads the electrical activity of the brain, and reveals abnormal patterns in activity so that a therapist can help the patient change the negative thought pattern into a healthy one. There is no medication or surgery involved in neurofeedback therapy, so it is safe and non-invasive.

In a neurofeedback therapy session, electrodes are attached to the patient’s scalp which are used to transmit their brain activity to the EEG program. The EEG program uses audio and visual signals provided to the patient in order to read their brain activity. Based on the EEG map created by the patient’s brainwave data, they will receive immediate feedback from the program to change the pattern of the brainwaves, leading to improved mood, enhanced energy, and better sleep patterns.

Neurofeedback therapy is used in addition to talk therapy to support a patient’s mental health treatment.

What Is Neurofeedback Therapy Used To Treat?

Neurofeedback therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment mechanism in a variety of conditions such as:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Behavior DisordersCognitive Disorders
Brain injuriesSeizures
Addiction and Substance Use DisordersCo-occurring Disorders


Why Is Neurofeedback Therapy Effective In Addiction Treatment?

For patients who suffer from addictive behaviors or substance use disorders, neurofeedback technology provides an effective mechanism to retrain their brain activity to a healthy condition. EEG biofeedback can be a useful technology that provides the data of a patient’s brainwave activity by creating an EEG map of the brain’s activity patterns. A therapist who is experienced in neurofeedback therapy can read the EEG map to locate areas of the brain where the brain activity is abnormal, and then repair those areas using immediate EEG biofeedback.

Studies have shown that neurofeedback therapy can help reduce the symptoms of addiction, reduce relapses, and improve abstinence, by helping the brain activity become more stable. EEG activity and improvements in brain activity can directly be shared with the patient, encouraging them to stay in recovery and continue to retrain their brains back to a healthy condition.

What Are The Different Types Of Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback therapy uses a patient’s various brainwave frequencies to monitor and regulate different types of brain functions such as attention, cognition, mood and behavior. Low frequencies such as alpha waves or theta waves are used to increase focus and attention. High frequencies such as beta waves are used to increase the brain’s organizational functions and motor functions.

Types of Neurofeedback therapy:

  • Frequency Neurofeedback (also called Surface neurofeedback)
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI)
  • Hemoencephalographic Neurofeedback (HEG-NF)
  • Live Z-score Neurofeedback
  • Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS)
  • Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA)
  • Slow Cortical Potential Neurofeedback (SCP-NF)

Is Neurofeedback Therapy Right For You?

Many doctors, scientists and therapists are finding that neurofeedback provides important data that can be very helpful in treating various mental health conditions as well as addiction issues. Studies have shown that neurofeedback therapy administered in addition to other therapy modalities is effective in monitoring and regulating brain activity overtime leading to improved mental health. It can also help patients better understand their behavioral patterns which can motivate them to improve their mental condition.

If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction or a co-occurring disorder such as depression, anxiety and trauma neurofeedback therapy can be a valuable tool to provide healing such issues. While neurofeedback is not a replacement for therapy, it can be a supportive mechanism to other traditional therapeutic approaches.

Interested in learning more about how we use neurofeedback therapy in our addiction treatment? Call us at 866-208-2390

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