PTSD is a condition that is defined by exposure to a traumatic event that results in symptoms that impact the ability to function. These symptoms typically include flashbacks to the traumatic event, as well as intrusive thoughts, or disturbing dreams and nightmares. In addition, most individuals with PTSD experience a heightened startle response, avoidance of certain places or things that remind them of the trauma, as well as disturbance in sleep and mood. Many experience hypervigilance, increased irritability, and increased depression. There are many types of treatments available for PTSD, as well as complex PTSD, but neurofeedback therapy is especially effective in treating symptoms of trauma. Some people may be exposed to trauma reminders on a regular basis, and living in a loud city like NYC can be particularly stressful.
Neurofeedback treats trauma by teaching the body and brain how to relax and reinforcing a parasympathetic response in the central nervous system. Neurofeedback can help to rewire a traumatized brain by regulating emotions, and normalizing the body’s stress response. Neurofeedback training is especially effective when combined with talk therapy to treat trauma. As the brain and body begin to adjust to a more regulated state, people often find it easier to work through their traumatic experiences with a trained professional without heightened reactivity or re-traumatization.
At NFSNY, we take trauma very seriously. One of our trained clinicians will spend an hour with you during the intake to explore the duration and severity of your symptoms. We may make recommendations in terms of diet or medical tests. During your first session, we will take a baseline of your symptoms and work with you to reduce those by the end of each neurofeedback session. In between sessions, you will be expected to complete a 24-hour report indicating any changes you felt or experienced.
All clients receive a QEEG, or a brain map. This will give us an important guide that indicates areas in the brain that have the most irregularity. During the course of treatment for PTSD some people may experience strong sensations or emotions. For some, this is considered part of the healing process as your body and brain learn to let go of old, unhelpful patterns. Neurofeedback keeps these experiences within a window of tolerance for the client. Our goal is to develop resilience never to retraumatize.
At NFSNY, all of our clinicians have a background in mental health. You will never be in a room with someone who is not fully trained and licensed and can also provide on-the-spot psychotherapy as needed. In addition, while some neurofeedback providers leave the client alone during training, we believe it is important for the clinician to remain near to the patient in case any strong reactions occur. In this way we can work with even severely traumatized people, such as those with complex PTSD, make changes to their protocol immediately throughout the session, and provide assistance to work through any difficult feelings that may surface during a training.
If you or someone you know struggles with PTSD or other symptoms of trauma (including head trauma), please do not hesitate to call and schedule a consultation at (212) 877-7929 or request an appointment online
I love this practice, it has been extremely helpful in many ways. I have been going through so many challenges in my life and i have been in and out of different therapy. With everything i have been through in my life i believe that Mark Smith and Neurofeedback have been the only things that have truly worked. Mark is a very funny, lovable enthusiastic person with an outstanding personality. Anyone would be lucky to work with him and his practice.
I have known Mark Smith as a clinician and instructor for fifteen years. He is open, candid, and professionally dynamic. An intensely knowledgeable practitioner, he has managed to develop a unique form of treatment and neurofeedback training that has been shown to achieve splendid results. He is intellectually honest and persistently refines his knowledge and techniques. His willingness to work with clients with complicated and chronic problems that other professionals have been unable to help is a testament to his dedication, determination, and compassion.
Neurofeedback has been a life-changing journey for me. I’ve had sleep problems since I was a kid, and for the first time in two decades, they finally feel manageable. Additionally, it’s reduced my overall anxiety to a staggering degree, and I’ve felt my overall alertness and creativity go up. Grateful for Mark, Noel, and Leila’s support.
I have only been performing ISF training for a few months, but I can say it is my personal and clinical opinion that this is probably the most powerful intervention ever known. With ISF, I have been working with people who thought they were beyond hope. They are getting significantly better, and finally getting back into the life they deserve. Mark Smith used the word “glücklich” in the ISF workshop, meaning that feeling of total euphoria, peace and happiness that sometimes comes upon someone during the training. I have not had this happen during my own ISF training, however I have lived this feeling in a very clinical way for the last few months because I am helping people in ways that I never dreamt possible. Each day I witness miracles. I have seen people that have been so depressed that they were frequently admitted to the hospital for suicidality. Now they're happy and going back to work or school. Clients with balance problems and mobility issues are walking again. A couple of my clients had asthma that interfered with their lives and sports performance, and now the asthma is gone. Other clients have had horrible gastric intestinal issues to the point where their lives revolved around accessing the bathroom or taking medications just to have normal bodily functions. These people have minimal gastric intestinal issues now. Two of my young clients have had horrific development trauma and are now playing and dancing like other children do. I spent thirteen years working in an inpatient psychiatric unit and saw some of the most dysregulated brains imaginable. Now I have some of these people in my private practice and they are getting better. I would not believe any of this unless I would have seen it on first-hand basis. It just doesn’t seem possible. On a personal note, my daughter had three concussions a few years ago. She spent a couple of years in bed and thought her life was beyond hope, then we discovered neurofeedback. She has had many sessions of surface neurofeedback training (both one channel and four channel Z score) and got her life back, but her gastric intestinal issues, temperature regulation, asthma, and sleep issues still lingered. Since she has been optimized through ISF, she is sleeping well, does not have asthma, and is eating foods that she was never able to eat before. Her GI functioning is fairly normal. I don't know that I can actually find the right words to express my feelings about ISF. Each day I experience “glücklich” because I witness miracles happening in the lives of others. I am very blessed to be providing this amazing treatment. Thank you Mark and all the others who have made ISF possible. We are changing the world, one client at a time. Rhonda Mateer Ross, Brain Advances BCN, LCSW, MED
In my opinion, Mark Smith and his staff should be the first call for treatment of ADD, ADHD, ODD, depression, anxiety, trauma and migraines. He is kind and patient, not to mention very well trained and overall a great clinician. I have used Mark as a resource several times in my own practice. If you are in or near the city and have any interest or questions regarding neurofeedback, I would highly recommend reaching out to Mark before you go anywhere else.