Neurofeedback and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
PTSD is a form of anxiety where extreme life stress triggers a number of persistent symptoms.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with PTSD, you’ve probably already tried other therapies and or medication. Often, many symptoms remain. As an alternative to medications, neurofeedback can often help people reduce or eliminate drugs related to PTSD symptoms as their brains become more stable.
If neurofeedback was better known in the world of PTSD, it would be one of the primary treatments used. There are many cases of severe PTSD in which therapists and clients have reported “clients got their lives back” after training with neurofeedback. These reports are not isolated. Reports from around the world, from psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and other mental health practitioners, have chimed in to give their positive response when neurofeedback is added to the treatment program of clients with PTSD.
It’s Hard to Overcome
Any relaxation technique, from hypnosis to yoga, is useful to reduce stress. With PTSD, many common forms of relaxation and stress just don’t have enough impact to overcome the problem. Medications are often introduced to help reduce symptoms. But meds don’t change the underlying stress response.
The problem is in the brain. Something has triggered a severe stress response, which ends up producing a number of symptoms. The person can’t turn it off. How do you turn it off?
Turn Off the Stress
Research has shown clearly that PTSD is a brain-based disorder.
By training the brain, the individual learns to increase calm and regulate how they respond to stress. Training can also help target those areas of the brain implicated in PTSD. In essence, it helps the individual learn to “calm their brain.” Brain training is brain learning. Once the client becomes skilled at calming themselves, they can maintain that state without further training. Many professionals report this often reduces the reliance on medications.
During training, the first symptom usually noticed is an improvement in sleep. As more training occurs, other related PTSD symptoms start to improve. Once symptoms are reduced and these gains hold for longer periods of time, training is gradually reduced until its clear the stability and calm is holding. At that time, training can end.
Why Isn’t It More Well Known?
In the early 1990’s, just as biofeedback was becoming more popular medically, insurance reimbursement and Medicare was reduced for biofeedback by about 75%. As a result, most health providers dropped it, and it quickly became forgotten. The current resurgence is generated because of improvements and advancements in the technology – and by professionals and clients who demand an effective alternative to medications.
To learn more about how neurofeedback can help you, please call Lynda Smith, LCPC @ at 208.939.3999 or email her at [email protected]