Monday, April 15, 2013

Can Neurofeedback Help with Addictions?

More and more often I hear about addiction rehab facilities incorporating neurofeedback into their in-patient programs. People contact me after their discharge in order to continue neurofeedback as part of their aftercare programs. Why? Because it can be such a helpful part of their recovery.

Here's a quote from Susan Adams of TreeHouse Learning Community (a residence for college students in recovery) regarding related research:
...there was the William C. Scott, B.S.W. study, “Effects of an EEG Biofeedback Protocol on a Mixed Substance Abusing Population.” It was a double-blind study. Of the alcoholics and addicts who underwent 42 sessions of neurofeedback while in treatment and attending AA meetings weekly, 77% were sober after one year. Of the group of alcoholics and addicts who were in treatment and attended AA meetings who did NOT receive neurofeedback, only 7% remained sober after one year. 
She also says:
First I would like to say that I am skeptical when people say Neurofeedback “works” on addiction. I think this is a dangerous overstatement. What I can safely say is this; one of the most important reasons why people engage in addictive behavior – whether it’s substances or sex or food or whatever – is because it makes them “feel better.”
(These quotes come from an interview conducted by NeurOptimal®, makers of the state of the art system used by New York Neurofeedback.)

Neurofeedback helps people to feel better by eliminating or easing symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, social phobias and other form of “dis-ease” or discomfort. In effect, the need to soothe oneself by engaging in addictive behaviors in lessened.

What I find in general is that neurofeedback makes it easier for people to naturally and without effort do what's good for them... and not do what isn't.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

1 comment:

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