During the second session the client will begin actual Neurofeedback training (NFT). When they arrive to their session the computer will be set to their personal recommended protocols of optimal electrical activity levels. The client will again have the cap with sensors placed on their head and be asked to “relax and focus.” The feedback is done through watching or listening to a computer game, music, movie, or other equivalent means. The game will provide positive reinforcement responses when the client has attained and maintained the correct level of electrical activity in their brain. In four sessions of five minutes each, the client will work to create the desired response from the computer thus learning how to redistribute the electrical activity in their brain to decrease negative symptoms and increase desired results.
The amount of sessions vary from 10 to 40 once or twice a week depending on the severity of the person’s desired results and symptoms. The results experienced from neurofeedback are generally results that last long term over many years. Some individuals return for a “tune up” after periods of time away, although it is not required or necessary.
Some science behind NFT
Like other forms of biofeedback, NFT uses monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information to an individual on the state of their physiological functioning. The characteristic that distinguishes NFT from other biofeedback is a focus on the central nervous system and the brain. Neurofeedback training (NFT) has its foundations in basic and applied neuroscience as well as data-based clinical practice. It takes into account behavioral, cognitive, and subjective aspects as well as brain activity.
NFT is preceded by an objective assessment of brain activity and psychological status. During training, the cap is again placed on the client’s head and connected to software that detect, amplifies, and records specific brain activity. Resulting information is fed back to the trainee virtually instantaneously with the understanding that changes in the feedback signal indicate whether or not the trainee's brain activity is within the designated electrical range. Based on this feedback, various principles of learning, and practitioner guidance, changes in brain patterns occur and are associated with positive changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive states. Often the trainee is not consciously aware of the mechanisms by which such changes are accomplished although people routinely acquire a "felt sense" of these positive changes and often are able to access these states outside the feedback session.
NFT does not involve either surgery or medication and is neither painful nor embarrassing. When provided by a licensed professional with appropriate training, generally trainees do not experience negative side-effects. Typically trainees find NFT to be an interesting experience.
At a neuronal level, NFT teaches the brain to modulate excitatory and inhibitory patterns of specific neuronal assemblies and pathways based upon the details of the sensor placement and the feedback algorithms used thereby increasing flexibility and self-regulation of relaxation and activation patterns.