See our wide range of services. For more information and questions, contact us directly.
People often wonder when they should seek professional counseling. How do you know when seeing a therapist would help? There is no easy answer that fits everyone. I have listed some of the most common reasons why people seek out psychological counseling.
- They are experiencing a transition or crisis which is causing difficulty in their lives.
- They have ongoing anxiety, depression, anger, guilt or obsessive behaviors which they cannot overcome on their own.
- They have lost interest in their work and would like to explore different vocational paths.
- They have had a painful experience and need help coping with it.
- They are unhappy in their marriage or another relationship and want to learn more about communication, conflict resolution and having healthy relationships.
- They see destructive patterns in their lives which they would like to change to make their lives better.
- They are having trouble finding meaning in their lives.
- They want to enhance their personal growth and their relationships.
Psychotherapy can help individuals better understand and accept aspects of themselves and others. Clients develop insight into their repetitive patterns and choices which keep them dissatisfied and unhealthy. With this new knowledge comes empowerment and the possibility for change.
How does neurofeedback work?
As with any effective treatment, the first step of the neurofeedback process is an in-depth assessment which allows us to understand how your brain functions. This assessment leads to a determination of our treatment goals and on what areas of the brain we need to focus. The video below shows the different areas of brain function.
With neurofeedback we are enhancing an awareness of our internal states by allowing the brain to witness its own EEG activity. This promotes the brain to self-regulate, which supports better function. Our nervous systems strive to keep us alive and to function at an optimal level. However, we often get stuck in dysfunctional modes of behavior. Our goal is to allow the nervous system to calm down and to reset itself onto a better path.
How do our brains witness their own EEG activity? Electrodes (small sensors) are attached to the scalp with paste. These electrodes read the brain’s activity, which, in turn, alters a video screen according to how your brain is functioning, providing feedback to the brain.
Below are two excellent videos that explain what neurofeedback is and how it works.
Typically the process begins with a brief telephone conversation, for which there is no charge. Intake forms are provided to the client which will need to be completed and returned. Once the forms are returned the intake appointment will be scheduled. Within the first consultation, I arrive at a working diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan. If EEG Neurofeedback is indicated, I will develop an individual treatment plan and work with the client and his or her neurofeedback protocol over the coming weeks. Neurofeedback is a time limited process.
Thorough psychological assessment and diagnostic clarification ensure treatment appropriately targets a client's main concerns. Frequently assessed areas of executive function (which seems to be where numerous symptoms of ADHD originate) include:
- Activation—Organizing, prioritizing, and activating to work.
- Focus—Focusing, sustaining, and shifting attention to task.
- Effort—Regulating alertness, sustaining effort, and processing speed.
- Emotion—Managing frustration and modulating emotions.
- Memory—Utilizing working memory and accessing recall.
- Action—Monitoring and self-regulating action.
Anger and Violence
Assessment and treatment in reduction of angry and violent impulses. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Anger Management techniques and Neurofeedback provide a powerful treatment regime for negative emotions and socially acceptable ways to express them.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression oftentimes make other conditions occurring at the same time significantly more difficult to treat. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, coupled with Neurofeedback, help regulate mood and emotions. Anxiety is an unpleasant affect with both physiological and psychological symptoms.
Physiological symptoms may include: Abdominal distress, increased heart rate, lightheadedness, muscle tension, rapid shallow breathing/shortness of breath or sweating/trembling.
Psychological and emotional symptoms may include: A sense of doubt, avoiding social or performance situations for fear of embarrassment, excessive fear of or discomfort in social situations, excessive worry about things in general, fear of “going crazy”/out of control, fear of leaving the house, feelings of dread or impending doom/panic attacks, hypervigilance and alarm, powerlessness, or vagueness about the nature of the threat.
Depression is extremely common, affecting up to twenty percent of the population at some point during their lifespan.
Symptoms may include: Difficulty making decisions, feeling sad, empty, tearful, and/or hopeless, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, lack of energy, poor concentration, preoccupation with death, significant increase or decrease in appetite, spending too much time in bed or isolating, thinking about, planning, or attempting suicide.
The symptoms of loss are similar to those of depression.
It is never easy to deal with the emotions associated with losing a loved one and/or relationship of great importance. Having a strong support system is very helpful during these difficult times. Grief and loss can result in feelings of sorrow, confusion, guilt, anger, depression, and other strong emotions. (Sometimes unresolved grief from the past may cause problems during a stressful time.)
Possible feelings associated with loss, for whatever reason, may include: abandonment, anger/irritability, crying easily and frequently, depression/anxiety, feeling of unreality, forgetfulness, guilt, lack of energy, loneliness, meaninglessness, numbness and shock or trouble eating or sleeping.
The brain registers pain emotionally. Feelings of fear, trauma and helplessness may increase pain sensitivity. This then leads to an increased pain experience which then leads to increased trauma and subsequent heightened pain sensitivity and the cycle continues. The experience of pain is a self reinforcing vicious cycle and interrupting this cycle is imperative to the management of physical and emotional chronic pain. Brain waves are a representation of the way you pay attention, both to the outside world and to your internal feelings. In the case of chronic pain, the brain is paying too much attention and has become over-sensitized. By learning to control your brain waves with the aid of EEG neurofeedback, you can affect the underlying behavior patterns of your attention and return your brain’s pain sensitivity to normal levels.
Neurofeedback allows the brain to find its way back to better function. This is a brain-driven process that merely depends upon the brain being given information on its own behavior as it is occurring. Mental health issues generally, and TBI specifically, can be understood as failures in brain self-regulation. Profound recoveries have been achieved, particularly with minor traumatic brain injury, but benefits are observed across the board with TBI.
Treatment of Sleep Disorders with neurofeedback is highly effective, including intrusive thoughts, worries or difficulties falling or staying asleep. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, combined with neurofeedback, routinely resolves many sleep disorders.