Sunday, May 17, 2009

Neurofeedback: "It's Making My Brain Smarter"

Henry began neurofeedback a few months ago and we definitely think it is having a positive impact in many ways. Henry does a particular type of neurofeedback called LENS. LENS requires less active participation from the person receiving treatment and, in my opinion, that helps make it well-suited to children like Henry who might not be so cooperative during “traditional” neurofeedback, which requires the patient to participate in computer-based activities (if Henry liked the activities he would do well, but if he did not like them, he would likely not willingly participate). Treatment is individualized through a brain mapping procedure, which allows the treatment provider to create a plan of treatment to address a patient’s specific brainwave patterns.

You can learn more about LENS here and in the wonderful book, The Healing Power of Neurofeedback: The Revolutionary LENS Technique for Restoring Optimal Brain Function, by Stephen Larsen, PhD, who runs The Stone Mountain Counseling Center in New Paltz, NY. Dr. Larsen’s book explains LENS and gives many case studies, which I love – case studies always help my understanding of a treatment. I also had the pleasure recently of meeting and chatting briefly with Dr. Larsen at the Women’s Health Expo in Kingston, NY. He is a really fascinating man with so much knowledge to share – I look forward to learning more from him and hope our paths cross again.

Henry goes to neurofeedback once or twice a week and we work with a great provider trained by Dr. Larsen. Henry actually LOVES going to neurofeedback and keeps telling EVERYONE that it is helping make his brain smarter! I tell him that he is smart and this just helps his brain to work more easily. He obviously is really proud of what he does through neurofeedback. We are targeting issues such as eye contact, attention, auditory processing, reading, and ability to sit still. We are seeing nice improvements session to session overall and will continue to tweak things as we go to target all the areas on which we are working. After his first treatment Henry said that his brain felt "weird" but later that day said that his brain felt better than before. With the first few treatments (and one time since), Henry also had a night of sleeplessness but that is really the only side effect we have seen, and it is has not occurred regularly at all. I will continue to update our thoughts on this therapy, but it seems to be a keeper!

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