Neurofeedback Therapy for Addiction

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is widely treated with different forms of therapy. There are behavioral therapies as well as some neurological therapies. Using neurofeedback therapy for addiction treatment has been shown to have positive results. It allows someone, in real time, to see and hear the different brainwave activities produced by different stimuli. In short learning the benefits of this type of therapy can help a person looking for help find hope and learn to live life without addiction.

What is Neurofeedback?

Created in the 1960s, neurofeedback therapy was originally used to treat patients with epilepsy. In the 1990s, neurofeedback therapy began its journey into treating other disorders, such as anxiety and depression. During these therapy sessions, electrodes are placed on the scalp to record brain activity. The activity is then visibly or audibly provided for the person to see or hear. The purpose of this is so that there is visual and audible proof of different things that cause positive brain activity, in order to allow for the person to learn how to self regulate their brain functionality.

Neurofeedback therapy and addiction treatment can create a way to retrain the addict or alcoholic’s response to stimulating circumstances where using drugs or alcohol would be the normal response. Providing visible proof of positive responses can let the person learn how to properly address the stressful situations that may arise.

How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work?

During a neurofeedback therapy session to treat addiction, a trained mental health professional uses an electroencephalogram (EEG) in order to record the person’s brain activity. The electrodes are placed around the head, onto the scalp, and they are used to essentially see the brainwave activity which can then be recorded. The sensors do not send any kind of signals into the brain, they only record what the brain is putting out.

These recordings provided through the EEG allow medical professionals to study and examine the data. In this way, they can make accurate diagnoses. This can be  imperative for properly treating those with addictions to drugs and alcohol. Using neurofeedback therapy for addiction treatment lets mental health professionals better understand the addict’s brain. From there, they can more effectively treat them.

Benefits of Neurofeedback Therapy

Drug and alcohol addiction changes the brain’s chemical and structural make up. A normally functioning brain can drastically be affected by drug and alcohol abuse. In treating addiction, using neurofeedback therapy opens the door for the activity in the brainwaves to identify underlying and undiagnosed mental health concerns that could be contributing to the substance abuse. Neurofeedback therapy for addiction treatment can also help the people who are being treated to be able to teach themselves to control the way their brain reacts to negative stimuli. This can effectively help to control or even fend off cravings that often lead to relapse. 

Neurofeedback therapy is a positive, and relatively harmless form of addiction therapy. The most common side effect of this therapy are headaches. They usually stop after a few sessions. Since the side effects are minimal, this form of therapy is safe and effective.

What to Expect

Depending on the treatment plan, clients may be shown pictures or games to play, or else given music to listen to. Meanwhile, the electrodes are recording the brainwave activity of the individual. There are tools that also give out different video and audio signals that allow the electrodes to monitor and record the brainwave changes in response to the stimuli. This lets the medical team create a training guide to help the brain be taught new ways of functioning normally. The goal is to help a person learn to control the brain activity associated with negative images and sounds.

How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Help Addiction?

Addiction adversely affects the brain. Retraining it to respond differently to negative situations can help combat the desires to use substances. After all, teaching self-regulation helps the addict learn to live life without drugs or alcohol. Using neurofeedback therapy for addiction treatment can help someone begin a journey of recovery. In conclusion, being able to combat cravings empowers the person to know that drug and alcohol abuse is not the solution.

Finding Neurofeedback Therapy in South Florida

Getting help for addiction can be a daunting task. However, it’s one of the best decisions a person can make. Here at Ambrosia Treatment Center, our team strives to provide the best care for those looking for help. If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol, contact us today.

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