Frequently Asked Questions

Neurofeedback

Q: What happens during a neurofeedback session?

A: You sit comfortably in a cushy chair and I put 5 sensors on your head.  They are just little pieces of metal that get gently placed on the scalp and ears using medical paste. They are just setting on the scalp reading the EEG feedback from your brain (nothing goes into your brain).  You are also wearing headphones and listening to music.  You can rest, read or whatever makes you comfortable (you can even sleep!) for the 33 minute duration of the session.  

Q: I know you help people using both neurofeedback and coaching.  Do I have to do both?

A: No, they can work totally independently.  You can choose which one is right for you or you might feel that a combination of both modalities is right. We can talk about it and I can share my thoughts given what I know but you know yourself best.

Q: Will neurofeedback change me and my personality?

A: No.  you know when you are in a great state of mind, thinking clearly and you find that things don't bother you as much and you get over things faster?  You will become more like that version of you (an maybe more so in that direction).

Q: How Is NeurOptimal Different From Other Neurofeedback Systems?

A: NeurOptimal® is very different from other neurofeedback systems. It is completely non-directive because it is based on both a different understanding about how the brain works, as well as how it is best optimized. It is designed to work with the brain as an information-detection system, that is why feedback is delivered through precisely timed interruptions in music. By simply giving the brain feedback information about its own activity 256 times per second, NeurOptimal® helps support our intrinsic reorganization abilities to create calm, and the ability to focus again.

Here are 3 Top Differences

  1. NeurOptimal does not tell the brain what or what not to do. It does not push or pull your brain in any particular direction. The system responds to the client brain wave information and the client responds to the system feedback.

  2. NeurOptimal trainers do not diagnose; there are no long questionnaires or clinical discussions. Because trainers do not diagnose, they do not treat specific symptoms, they train the whole brain at once. In the area of brain training there are inherent and significant differences in the underlying theories between these systems that result in the development of differing approaches to the software development.

  3. Traditional Neurofeedback Systems approaches require licensed clinicians to make or use a diagnosis, often with the help of brain maps. These brief ‘slices of time’ are then used to create protocols over subsequent sessions. This evaluation process is time consuming, expensive, and unnecessary for this process. 

Q: Does neurofeedback work for everyone?  

A: This is a tough one.  There certainly are people that it hasn't helped, but the most experienced practitioners I've spoken to would say that that is usually because the person didn't do enough sessions or was resistant to changing (although it can help resistant people, too, just sometimes not as quickly).   

Q: How many neurofeedback sessions will I need?

A: Every person is different.  For neurofeedback the average number of sessions needed to see a significant difference in the area they have identified as a problem is 15-20, although you will notice a difference in the first 3-5 sessions.  

Q: How much do your services cost?

A: The cost depends on how many sessions you do.  Call me for a free consultation and I can give you an estimate based on your specific needs.

Q: Is it safe and should I be worried about it messing with my brain?

A: Neurofeedback trains your entire central nervous system to perform optimally. Neurofeedback gives your system feedback about its maladaptive patterns and your brain decides how to use that information to improve its overall functioning.  It adds nothing to your brain, therefore, it is very safe.

 

Q: Will I be able to drive and go to work after a session?

A: The sessions affect people differently.  Sometimes people are just clearer after a session, sometimes they don't notice a difference and sometimes they feel groggy.  We recommend that you take a walk around the block before driving yourself home. It's not necessary but if possible schedule your session at the end of the day or when you can have a slow start to the remainder of your day, like you might schedule a massage.

Q: What sorts of differences will I start to feel?

A:The first thing most people notice is a substantial improvement in the quality of their sleep, particularly more vivid dreams. After a few sessions users often feel more focused, calm, and centered. With continued training people report more confidence, productivity. They begin bouncing back from stressors with ease, and report that life generally becomes smoother. Users work faster, more efficiently, and experience a significant reduction in physical complaints. They are less bothered by doubts and insecurities and are more apt to experience confidence and satisfaction.

Q: How long has this technology been around?

A: Neurofeedback has been around since the 1960's, but originally it was only available to astronauts and Navy Seals to help them reach peak performance. Because of advances in technology, NeurOptimal® has made brain training accessible to the public for the past 17 years. Mind Balance has been offering services for 4 years.

Q: Are there any side effects?

A: No!

Q: Is brain training approved by the FDA?

Yes! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved neurofeedback for relaxation training. 

Q: Do the Shifts Last?

A: NeurOptimal® is a learning task, like learning to ride a bike or learning how to read: Once you know, you can’t “not know”, so the effects do remain with you. But your brain is also living tissue, and it can get “knocked off” by challenges, by hormonal changes, pollutants in the environment and the stresses of our everyday lives. When this happens, a session or two can help you get back on point, working at your optimal efficiency.

Even if you come back many years later, the brain recognizes the NeurOptimal® process and is reminded of the earlier shifts. It can find its way back relatively rapidly -– much more quickly than the first time you did the training. So if you did a fairly complete initial training (say 20-30 sessions), and then have a major challenge like an illness, the loss of a job or a relationship, or even a head injury or anesthetic, your brain can quickly and efficiently use the information it receives from NeurOptimal® to reorganize itself and “find its way back”. As we like to say: “You’ve always got NeurOptimal® in your back pocket”!

Q: I see that you rent systems so I can train from home.  Do I need special training to do sessions in my home?

A: Just a short training is all that’s required to run sessions at home.  We get together for a half hour and I’ll show you exactly how to hook it up and start the program.  The software in the computer is where the expertise is.  You just get yourself hooked up and press start.

 

Q: Can I do the sessions virtually or do I have to actually be in the same room as the machine?

A: It is not something that can be done virtually.  You have to be connected to the machine for it to work.

 

Q: What if I just want to try it and I’m not ready to rent for a month?

A: I do primarily rentals at this time.  If you would like to do a few sessions to see what it’s like I may be able to accommodate based on my schedule. Please call me to see if this is possible. 

 

Q: Can I do sessions on myself? 

A: Yes! It takes a few tries to get the hang of putting the sensors on, but you get the hang of it quickly.  And I’m available to troubleshoot.

 

Q: Is there anyone who shouldn’t do neurofeedback?

A: Not really.  This system does work through audio stimulation so if a person is deaf, that would be a consideration. Aside from that, the only other consideration is whether you have the space in your life to do a bunch of sessions over the course of a month. It’s easy to do, but it is time consuming to get everything out, hook yourself up and put everything back, but it’s totally worth it because you feel so much better! But definitely think through the timing.

 

Coaching

Q: I know you help people using both neurofeedback and coaching.  Do I have to do both?

A: No, they can work totally independently.  You can choose which one is right for you or you might feel that a combination of both modalities is right. We can talk about it and I can share my thoughts given what I know but you know yourself best.

Q: How much do your services cost?

A: The cost depends on how many sessions you do.  Call me for a free consultation and I can give you an estimate based on your specific needs.

Q: What sorts of differences will I start to feel with coaching?

A: Most clients feel lighter as a result of the things they learn in coaching sessions.Thoughts that used to bother them are less "pesky" and as a result they take them less seriously and they pass more quickly and with less impact. Usually the pressure and anxious feelings are less and you feel more hopeful about your life and less stuck in your usual patterns. 

Q: Do the results last? Why isn't it like therapy where I have to come back weekly for years?

A: This type of coaching is totally different than therapy.  I am not analyzing, fixing you nor am I trying to solve your problems.  I am simply teaching you how to recognize what's happening in your own head that you have had trouble seeing because you're so used to your thinking.  As you learn what you're looking for you gain a learning curve and pretty quickly get good at catching yourself.  Like riding a bike, once you get the feeling of it it becomes second nature. Once it's second nature it's part of how you see life and you are stronger going forward.  So you don't need me!

Q: How many coaching sessions will I need?

A: What I teach to my clients is a simple understanding that can be grasped fairly quickly, but it does take more than a few sessions to see the relevance to your life and learn to generalize that learning to all of the areas of your life.  The range is between 4 and 10 sessions on average.