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