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How it works

Sensors are applied to the scalp and ears to observe and measure brainwave activity (EEG). Feedback is presented to you via auditory and visual aids. The brain then quickly uses this feedback to make adjustments. Brainwave activity is "shaped" over time in a more desirable and optimal manner. Changes tend to correlate with improved behavior, mood, affect regulation and attention. 

What can neurofeedback (NFB) help with?

NFB can help improve:

  • Mood

  • Memory

  • Focus & Concentration

  • Motor skills (muscles)

  • Reaction time

  • Ability to relax

  • Learning & Attention

  • Emotional control

Conditions NFB can address:

  • Sleep problems

  • ADHD

  • PTSD

  • Anxiety Disorders

  • Depression

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Addiction

  • Migraines

Peak performance and goal attainment

For professionals who want to maintain focus at work, athletes who want to gain an edge in sports, artists who want to enhance their creative abilities, or anyone who wants improved mental and physical functioning, neurofeedback may help you reach your goals.

Neurofeedback helps the brain learn how to function more efficiently. As it does, you will notice better performance under pressure, sustained focus and the improved ability to reset mentally.

Does it last?

With practice and repetition, the brain can continue to use the more efficient patterns that it learns during neurofeedback. Unlike drugs, where symptoms may reappear when the medication stops, the effects from neurofeedback are most often permanent. Best of all, there are no known side effects from neurofeedback, provided it is administered by a qualified practitioner.

Who can be helped by neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback can be helpful with children, adolescents and adults to treat numerous conditions and also to support peak performance.

What to expect from assessment to first session:

  • An initial appointment is made to assess what you would like to improve with neurofeedback. If a child is involved, one or both parents will be asked to come in without the child to do the initial assessment.

  • During this session, you will be asked several questions that are aimed at finding the most applicable NFB protocol to address your symptoms (or your child’s symptoms). Also, you will be asked to think of 3-4 measurable goals for your child or yourself. This typically takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

  • Depending on the type of neurofeedback to be used, a Clinical-Q (shortened version of the full qEEG) may be a useful part of the assessment process. If a Clinical-Q is recommended, a second appointment will be made for this with either Deborah Planting or David Planting.

  • After the assessment, an appointment can be made for the first neurofeedback session.

Side effects

There are no known lasting side effects from neurofeedback provided it is administered by a qualified practitioner. 

How does NFB work?

NFB records, analyzes and feeds back information on the brain’s own electrical processes in a real-time, continuous format to the client and professional. Scalp electrodes detect the brain’s EEG activity, the computer analyzes the EEG, the computer feedback display presents the information to the client and the client is then consciously or subconsciously able to change his or her own brain activity. The critical variables in this very effective process are what part of the brain is receiving the intervention and what kinds of EEG activity are being rewarded for change. Different regions of the brain control different functions and different kinds of EEG activity are associated with different kinds of problems.

Is NFB painful?

No. NFB is a non-invasive therapy that uses only scalp electrodes and water-soluble electrode gel. No electrical activity is transmitted to the client.

What symptons/disorders does NFB effectively treat?

NFB has been effectively used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) for over 30 years. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics recognized NFB as being as effective as medication for treating ADHD. There is a vast amount of research data on the effectiveness of neurofeedback for several issues. In the last 20 years, NFB has been used to effectively treat ADHD, dyslexia, PTSD, Asperger’s/autism spectrum disorders, stroke, head injury, addictions, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, seizures, chronic pain and bipolar disorder.

Is NFB a cure all?

No. NFB simply normalizes the brain’s functions. Traditional therapy and education are then necessary for you to learn to use your “new” abilities.

How many sessions are necessary?

The brain does require a certain amount of “practice” to change how it functions and the number of NFB treatment sessions is dependent upon the client’s symptoms, age and gender. However, NFB is considered to be a time-limited therapy that produces change in relatively short time frames.

How frequesntly do the sessions need to occur?

Some research is showing that by doing neurofeedback multiple sessions per week (at least two), people are reporting feeling better quicker and that possibly fewer total sessions will be necessary. It is like learning any new skill…the more you practice, the quicker you learn. For maximum progress, a minimum of once a week is recommended.

Are there any side effects?

NFB has been used clinically for over 30 years, in hundreds of thousands of treatment sessions, by a very large number of practitioners worldwide-- without any incidents of a long-term adverse reaction.

Does NFB conflict with other forms of treatment?

No. NFB simply improves the brain’s functioning. In fact, other therapies, including medication, frequently become more effective when used in conjunction with NFB.

Is NFB scientifically valid?

The scientific and medical literature for NFB is very extensive and goes back at least 30 years. In spite of demonstrating considerable efficacy, NFB is still considered to be controversial by most providers. Dr. Frank H. Duffy, MD, Neurologist, Editor of Clinical Encephalography, has summarized the controversy: “In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used.” (Clinical Encephalography, 2000, 31(1), p. v).

Does medical insurance cover it?

NFB is a very cost-effective treatment and extraordinarily so when the lifetime benefits are considered for such problems as ADHD, PTSD, dyslexia, head injury, stroke, Asperger’s/autism spectrum disorder and mood disorders. However, since most insurance plans do not cover neurofeedback, GMH does not file insurance for you or your child for this service. You can check with your insurance provider if there is a possibility of coverage and/or reimbursement with your policy. All payments for neurofeedback are due at time of service.

Additional Resources

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“The neurofeedback sessions have done more than any medication has ever done to help me... it has truly made a difference.”

— L.G.


“It was like a fog disappeared from my brain. I am thinking clearer and better than ever before.”

— M.L.


UNC at Chapel Hill, Department of Radiation Oncology — BrainPaint — Myndlift — NEBA