Recovery from addiction, trauma or co-occurring disorders is a very personal journey. Each individual will explore their own best practices when addressing their unique needs. Because of the personal nature of recovery, it is essential to have as many options as possible for each individual to find their own most effective approaches and explore new ideas that they can incorporate into their sober lifestyle.
Neurofeedback is just one of these options. While neurofeedback may not be appropriate for every person, those suffering from co-occurring disorders or who have been through extreme trauma may benefit significantly from this approach. However, before an individual decides to try any therapeutic practice, it is crucial to understand the approach and its intended effects to determine if it will be pertinent. It is also essential to be able to measure the effectiveness through the process.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is an approach that uses tools to help an individual get a better understanding of their brain patterns by providing audio and visual stimuli and measuring brain activity. During a session, a person sits comfortably in a chair while exposed to audio and visual stimuli while their brainwaves are being monitored to understand better how the brain reacts. This information can help an individual target particular areas of their brain that may need assistance in balancing to reach healthy homeostasis.
A session will typically take between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the individual. Each person may have to participate in several sessions before determining if they are experiencing the desired results from this approach. While the setup for neurofeedback can look intimidating at first, it is an entirely non-invasive process. It is intended to be a comfortable experience for the individual, allowing for easy resting and the release of pent-up anxieties.
Who Might Benefit From Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is just one option available for those in recovery but can be used for a wide range of brain-related complications that may require regulation. Addiction recovery, depression, anxiety and trauma are common reasons for an individual to explore neurofeedback as an option. While neurofeedback can be used for a wide array of issues, it is most commonly used for individuals with addiction and co-occurring disorders and those who have experienced trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)
Even with neurofeedback’s wide array of applicability, each individual needs to decide how they would like to approach their recovery. Neurofeedback can be an excellent way for an individual to understand their brain, as well as provide them with relief from the stress that may plague their mind. Neurofeedback is not a replacement for other therapeutic approaches, however, and the use of neurofeedback is still best felt when practiced in tandem with more traditional techniques, such as group therapy and various personalized cognitive-behavioral approaches.
How Does Neurofeedback Help?
Neurofeedback can not just help a person better understand their brainwaves and patterns but can also help a person stabilize their mental and emotional state. It can help a person release some of their anxiety to help regulate the brain’s activity. This understanding can relieve anxiety in the moment. It can also help an individual avoid relying solely on the “fight or flight” response, instead providing the agency to consciously weigh their options and choose the best coping strategy when dealing with urges from addiction, PTSD or the onset of a depressive episode. Providing an individual this time and comfort, however brief, can help them continue to monitor their own emotional state even without the neurofeedback equipment, contextualizing their emotions and helping identify regular and irregular thoughts. During addiction recovery, this can be exceptionally powerful as a person can better identify urges, and the relief provided by neurofeedback can help diminish the chance of relapse.
Neurofeedback is just one option available to individuals suffering from a wide array of mental health issues and can be a powerful tool to understand one’s mind better and the trials they face. However, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be an approach that works for everyone. It is up to each individual to determine the usefulness of this approach for themselves and how it can fit into their overall recovery program.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and are ready to make a change in your life today, Avalon Malibu can help you take your first step towards a sober future. We offer an array of treatment programs, from detox services and residential treatment to partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, all of which can be customized to fit your unique needs and goals in recovery. Neurofeedback is just one of the options available to you with us, alongside an extensive list of other therapeutic approaches, such as art therapy, music therapy, yoga and our seasonal ropes course, and much more. Recovery is a lifelong journey, and our sense of community and aftercare programs can ensure that you have resources and support available at every stage in the recovery process. For more information on the various ways we can personalize a recovery program for you, or talk to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (844) 857-5992.