Archive for the ‘Neurofeedback / EMDR / Somatic Experiencing’ Category

EMDR Relieves Stress and Disempowerment for Santa Monica Residents

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Do you have experiences that are causing you problems in your present life?  Do you have emotions, beliefs, or body sensations that are pushing you in the wrong direction?  Do you have experiences from your recent or long-ago past that made you feel worthless and useless that affected your ability to have a fulfilling and successful life?  Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective to relieve many types of psychological stress.

We will work together to discover the events from the past that created the problem or present situations that cause distress.  Negative emotions, behaviors, and feelings are resolved through sets of eye movements that desensitize you from these disturbing elements.  You can identify, process through, and desensitize.  Fear, anger, and other negative feelings are replaced by positive beliefs.  You are desensitized to stressful events and it is reprocessed in a way that allows you to feel more in control and positive about your life.  EMDR strengthens these positive self-beliefs and the body sensations and negative feelings associated with the problem will disappear.

Every person has different needs for EMDR treatment. Some people can jump right into EMDR with no problem.  Others may need to work on feeling safe enough to proceed by using neurofeedback before going into the deeper issues.  Treatment focuses on desensitizing the past memories that are contributing to your problem, processing through the present situations that are disturbing, and developing positive thoughts for a happier future.

While we do not understand how EMDR works to change the brain, there appears to be a correlation to the way the brain processes information during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.  Whatever stressful situation caused you to become upset initially gets played over and over in your mind as if you are experiencing the disturbing situation for the first time.  Your brain gets stuck in a loop of anxiety.  This anxiety whirlpool has an on-going negative impact on your human relationships and how you generally view the world.  EMDR therapy reprograms your neural pathways so that routine brain functions resume.  The stressful event is remembered without the emotional baggage constantly clouding your judgment.

An example might be someone living in the Santa Monica, California area who experiences an earthquake where he was woken up in the middle of the night at age 10.  From that point on, his sleep patterns became distressed and erratic, preventing him from going into deep sleep.  He has not had a good night’s sleep in years.  He makes rash decisions because his mind is hazy from lack of sleep.  His choices then tumble into place like dominoes.  His financial decision to buy a house in a neighborhood like Manhattan Beach, where the effects of earthquakes are rarely felt, overcomes his ability to accurately assess his financial situation.  Manhattan Beach turns out to be too expensive, so he winds up in financial straits.  The financial stresses lead to heightened anxiety in his household.  His wife wants children, but because they cannot afford it, her unhappiness eventually leads to a breakdown of their intimacy and finally, divorce. This is exactly the sort of scenario that can be avoided with proper EMDR treatment.


Neurofeedback Therapy Helps Stress of Cancer Treatment

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Tig Notaro’s recent diagnosis of cancer has shown how a well-known celebrity deals with cancer: she talks about it.  She has opened up and received support from friends and the world at large.  Not all of us have the ability to receive such widespread support, however, there are equally healthy ways that all people afflicted with cancer can cope and maybe even thrive.

Physical symptoms of cancer treatment, usually chemotherapy and radiation therapy are:  fatigue, pain, nausea and vomiting, constipation and diarrhea, nutrition and eating problems, hair loss, confusion and memory problems, skin changes, and loss of libido.  Many of these symptoms are heightened by stress and anxiety.    In this article we will first deal with fear about cancer and the stifling effect this has on your ability to confront it.  We will talk about a treatment called neurofeedback, that might help you feel safe enough to then explore four techniques, aside from medication, for dealing with the symptoms of cancer.

Pain, fatigue, and the fear of what cancer is doing to you can lead to a great deal of stress and depression.  The emotional weight of living with cancer can negatively impact many areas of your life, especially social relationships and your willingness to take risks to make your life happier and healthier.

A key component for dealing with stress and anxiety for cancer patients can be neurofeedback therapy.  You can use this non-invasive therapy to decrease your stress levels so that you are inclined to take advantage of other non-invasive pain management techniques.  Since each person is unique in their tolerance for pain and what works best on their body, you may need assistance getting to a place where you feel confident enough to explore various techniques before finding the best method.  Neurofeedback often relieves anxiety so that you can really explore all possibilities.

Once you conquer your anxiety enough to venture out of your comfort zone, you might like to try one or all of these four effective alternative techniques for dealing with symptoms of cancer:  breathing exercises, guided imagery, developing a new hobby, and meditating on positive daily affirmations.  All of these techniques require patience and persistence before positive results occur.  In other words, give yourself a break and try to enjoy the process.

Breathing techniques are very effective for dealing with pain.  This is where you take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, while counting to three.  Then hold the breath for up to three counts, if you can.  After that, you let your breath out for a count of three.  Next, keep your lungs empty of air for up to three counts, again, if you can.  When you first begin this exercise, just do it for 2-3 minutes at a time.  Work your way up to as much time as you are comfortable with.  You can also set a timer to go off two to four times per day to remind you to practice breathing.  This will get you into the habit of relaxing, so that you release the tension as it builds up.

You can also try bringing to mind a time in your life where you felt peaceful, hopeful, or secure.  It could be many years ago, or in the recent past.  It could also be in an imaginary place.  In your mind’s eye, imagine yourself there.  Feel the positive sensations in your body.  This should only be done if you can feel safe, positive feelings.  There is a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) that can be used to envision a safe place and help you feel positive and comfortable with the help of a trained therapist.

Developing a new hobby creates a sense of joy in the world as you meet new people and learn about things you never knew before.  Enjoying beginner’s mind gives you a feeling of youth and wonder that the routine of daily living sometimes saps.  Take up a sport, a game, or a craft that you are physically capable of engaging in without undo stress.

You may also read inspirational or uplifting poetry and affirmations that you meditate on daily to relieve your burden.  You can write affirmations that are personal to you.  An example of a good affirmation is, “I am strong, resilient, and love surrounds me.”   Once you find a good affirmation, find a quiet place.  Sit and repeat your affirmation with intention as you meditate on the powerful words.  Mediation has been shown to increase activity in the areas of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.

Putting your mind and body in constant touch with the best thoughts and activities will make your life more pleasurable.  First, you put yourself in charge by lessening anxiety with neurofeedback.  Then, through the use of imagery, affirmations, hobbies, and breathing, you might find that your cancer has less of a chance of survival than you do.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.


The Amazing Neurofeedback Video!

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Superior Autobiographical Memory: Marilu Henner and Other Amazing Brains

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Sixty Minutes did a story this week (December 19, 2010) on something known by neurobiologists, like Dr. James McGaugh, professor of neurobiology at the University of California at Irvine, as “superior autobiographical memory.”  Lesley Stahl interviewed five individuals, including Taxi actress, Marilu Henner, who are among the only known people to possess this rare ability:  the ability to remember what happened on every day of one’s life in detail.

This amazing gift might seem like a curse in some cases, as when a loved one dies, or when a significant other breaks up with you.  However, according to the Lesley Stahl’s report, these super-memory individuals can compartmentalize their memories, like a file cabinet, and call on them as needed, but disregard them in situations where they are a hindrance.

While Marilu Henner, Louise Owen, and their fellow super-memories might be wonderful for trivia and parties, the study of such optimal brain performance holds great interest for science as well.  Scientists proceeded to perform MRI scans on them and discovered that they had two areas of their brains enlarged by seven to eight standard deviations:  the temporal lobe and the caudate nucleus.

The temporal lobe is the section of brain neurobiologists think has to do with storing new memories.  The caudate nucleus has to do with memory, learning, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, a trait common in all five subjects to some degree.

By studying these individuals, scientists hope to help cure memory diseases like Alzheimer’s and help people in general who have memory problems.  Dr. McGaugh, raised another important point, “the chicken or the egg problem,” as he calls it.  The question is, are these regions bigger because they have extraordinary memories, and by using them, Marilu Henner and Louise Owen exercised their brains, or do they have amazing recall because their brains were like this from the beginning?

If the answer is exercising the brain improves memory, then fields like neurofeedback, designed specifically as brain exercise technologies, will continue to make a difference in the lives of those neurofeedback therapists treat.  Not only can neurofeedback reduce anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress, all contributing factors to memory loss, but it might also help improve memory through the mental exercise it provides.

The brain continues to provide science with amazing new discoveries, as explorers delve deeper into its chemistry, abilities, and how we as individuals can change the way our brains function.  From neurobiology to biofeedback eeg, scientific research on brain function and clinical research on how we can change that function to improve our daily lives is critical not only to trivia contests, but ultimately to our health and happiness.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.

Los Angeles Neurofeedback Therapist, Mindy Fox, Extends Practice to Beverly Hills

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

International market demand for neurofeedback therapy drives practice growth

Beverly Hills, Calif. (November 12, 2010) – Mindy Fox, a highly regarded neurofeedback therapist in California, announced today the expansion of her services in the Los Angeles area to include the neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, Malibu and the Pacific Palisades. The growth is an indicator of market demand for alternative, natural and safe treatment for anxiety related conditions.

“Our practice has expanded at a speed much greater than anticipated,” said Mindy Fox, LMFT and California neurofeedback therapist. “Many patients who we treat were at one point seeking alternatives to prescription medications for conditions such as anxiety and depression. Even though most were not sure exactly what that meant, they did know they wanted to stop taking medication.”

Commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications are categorized as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, also known as sedatives or tranquilizers. These medications are commonly known by brand names such as Valium, Librium and Xanax. CNS depressants decrease brain activity producing a drowsy or calming effect that is beneficial to those suffering from anxiety or sleep disorders.

Alternatively, neurofeedback therapy retrains the brain. “Think of it as exercise for the brain,” said Fox. “Neurofeedback therapy strengthens the performance of your brain, so with a little encouragement, it heals itself and returns back to homeostasis.”

One of Fox’s patients who preferred to remain anonymous enjoys not having to take pills on a daily basis. “I had been taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications for at least 25 years, consisting of various things like Valium, Prozac and Zoloft.” said Joan, a resident of Beverly Hills. “I woke up one day and realized these pills weren’t improving my life, but rather subduing my reality. I wasn’t depressed or anxious after taking medication, but I was not happy or enjoying my life either.”

According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, if one uses CNS depressants long-term, the body will develop a tolerance for the drugs, and larger doses will be needed to achieve the same initial effects.  This was the case with Joan. Continued use can lead to physical dependence and—when use is reduced or stopped— withdrawal.

Neurofeedback therapy retrains the brain, helping it remember how to deal with anxiety, depression and more, eventually leading to a more relaxed yet alert state of being. Electrodes are placed on the head, and the patient plays a video game or watches a peaceful scene, depending on their preference. After several sessions, the brain begins to shift itself into a more resilient state.   This allows one’s brain to achieve a healthy state of arousal during stressful situations and even extend their range of normal functioning for improved performance.

Neurofeedback therapy is completely non-invasive. Some patients will see results within a few sessions, but it’s recommended they complete 20 sessions, with three sessions per week. Neurofeedback therapy is a highly individualized treatment that must be tailored to meet every client’s specific needs.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.


Mindy Fox is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over eighteen years of experience. With a Master of Arts in Psychotherapy, Fox is also certified in somatic experiencing and trained in neurofeedback EEG (also referred to as eeg biofeedback therapy). Her expertise in psychotherapy, EMDR, and neurofeedback helps her treat clients with attention deficit disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, addiction, and depression issues. Fox employs body-mind therapy techniques such as EMDR, somatic experiencing, guided imagery, and neurofeedback, along with traditional methods to treat clients of all ages. Fox chairs the State CAMFT Trauma Response Committee and served as President of South Bay/Long Beach CAMFT Chapter.

The Social Network and Neurofeedback Treatment

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Asperger’s Syndrome and Success

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is the main character in David Fincher’s latest film about the birth of the world’s youngest billionaire.  The first scene of the movie, where Zuckerberg, a computer genius, is on a date with his girlfriend, immediately shows his glaring flaw, he has no social graces.  She dumps him after commenting that talking to him is so difficult, it’s work.  She goes on to tell him that he’ll claim that girls don’t like him because he’s a geek, but in fact, it is because he is a jerk.  This goes to the heart of Zuckerberg’s problem, social interaction.

The founder of Facebook, has a desperate deficit when it comes to human interaction.  It quickly becomes clear that the character has something on the autistic spectrum, most likely Aspergers syndrome.  According to Web MD, “[a]lthough there are many possible symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, the main symptom is severe trouble with social situations.”

Zuckerberg, as written by Aaron Sorkin, of A Few Good Men fame, exhibits classic brilliance regarding “things,” but falls apart when dealing with people.  The things he excels at are computer programming, but what gets the billionaire in trouble is that he treats people like they are expendable.  The ones who are his real friends, he deserts, and he latches on to Sean Parker, the brainchild behind Napster.  The problem is, Parker is a playboy who uses people to get what he wants.  Zuckerberg is drawn in by Parker’s charisma and winds up deserting his best friend at the moment of truth.

Asperger’s syndrome is still hard to understand and even harder to treat.  The people who have it often do very well in our specialized assembly-line society because they are gifted at one thing.  Unfortunately, many Asperger’s suffers have no close relationships despite being well-off and well-regarded as experts in their field.  Much of life is measured by how well we relate to other people, even more so than how much we accomplish financially or at work.

Neurofeedback and improved medications together are starting to make a difference for some who have Asperger’s, but most do not get treated.  They are still viewed by society as nerds and geeks, who have no hope of personal happiness in marriage or friendships.  Through the use of treatments like neurofeedback, talk therapy, and chemical treatments, hopefully, we can start to see that those who lash out because they do not fit in, are not jerks, but need help in the most fundamental arena of human existence—social interaction.

Movies, like The Social Network and Marie Antoinette (Louis XVI clearly has some form of autism that is more severe than Zuckerberg), are bringing these issues to the forefront of pop culture and creating awareness as never before.  With more exposure to characters like Zuckerberg, we begin to see that they have a fundamental problem that needs treatment.  The next step is exposing the world to the possibility that at least in small steps, even people with severe deficiencies can improve their social skills and become more fulfilled in their personal lives.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.

Finances, Marriage and Neurofeedback

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Making Good Financial Decisions:

Neurofeedback Therapy Can Help

Believe it or not, neurofeedback therapy has positive by-products to specific treatments.  Neurofeedback is great for treating anxiety issues.  When anxiety or stress is reduced, one of the most prevalent effects is better critical thinking when it really counts.  In no situation is this more important than in our financial health.

According to a New York Times article entitled, “Money Fights Predict Divorce Rates,” Professor Jeffrey Dew tracked 2,800 couples surveyed in 1987 by the National Survey of Families and Households and found that those who argued about money once a week were 30 percent more likely to get divorced than those who only disagreed a few times per month.  The message here is:  money decisions go directly to the heart of any marital relationship.  If a couple can make more informed and less impulsive financial decisions, then they can maintain a healthier and happier household.

Talk therapy and neurofeedback therapy can assist on two fronts when it comes to making monetary decisions.

First, it can reduce worry and anxiety about making the decisions, allowing clearer thinking under pressure.  For example, it can help couples keep a clear head when choosing investment strategies.  By slowing down and thinking instead of acting rashly because they are an emotional mess, they can choose stocks more wisely based on sound financial principles rather than because they got a hot tip from a guy on the subway.

Second, the therapy gives the client the ability to let go of anxiety more easily when decisions have been made and it is out of their hands.  Let’s face it, worrying for the most part does no good.  It keeps people up at night and has no positive effect on their choices.  By treating their anxiety with neurofeedback therapy, clients can sleep better and relax more easily.  This makes them easier to be around and consequently makes their relationships less stressful and more likely to withstand the rigors of financial swings in fortune.

Neurofeedback might even make it so that you can resist the impulse to stop and buy that mocha latte at Starbucks, which over the long haul could save you thousands of dollars and help put your kids through college.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.

Comparing Paralysis Progress to Neurofeedback Treatment

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

A great deal of scientific progress is being made in an effort to get paralyzed people back on their feet. In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Wiring the Brain to Aid People with Paralysis,” researcher, Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University’s School of Medicine, says, “the body you live in has changed. You need to remap’ how commands from the brain get to the rest of the body.” There are millions of pathways through our bodies and finding another route is the answer.
After traumas which result in physical, emotional and mental limitations, Such efforts such as those associated with neurofeedback provide new opportunities to return mind and body functions back to normal and in some cases better than normal. In short, several theorists and researches are discovery ways to get the brain to interact with the world through our body. Paralysis is a lower baseline, but ultimately just a limitation, that we can overcome with enough applied effort.
Nicolelis used primates and taught them to control a robotic armor play a video game. In the next phase of studies, his team will train monkeys to control a full-body avatar projected on a computer screen using only their thoughts.

“It can take between two and six months
for a monkey to comprehend the abstract
idea of controlling an object merely by
thinking about it. At that moment, the
monkeys stop moving their own bodies
and relax and ‘you see they have got it,’
Dr. Nicolelis says.”

Amazing breakthroughs are possible with such research. The underlying driver is to get paralyzed patients walking and functioning again with brain implants or other less invasive techniques as yet unavailable. There are people, such as Jennifer French, who can now stand up with the aid of electrodes implanted in her legs. This prevents bed sores and muscle spasms, but it is a long way from functioning fully.
If electrodes implanted in parts of the human body can accomplish such amazing feats, imagine what electrodes in the brain can do. It is the nerve center. To take that concept one step further, imagine what physically functional people can do if they exercise a healthy brain to optimize its potential? If we can take a limited individual and accomplish full functionality again, then why not take that and make it better?
This is the goal of neurofeedback (biofeedback eeg) in relatively healthy individuals. Instead of implants in the brain, neurofeedback practitioners are exercising the mind to use different pathways and awaken poorly functioning areas so that deficiencies that were previously treated with medications or went untreated, can now self-regulate.
Once the brain learns what works so that the body is happy, the neurofeedback system gives a thumbs-up in the form of a video game or being able to watch a movie. After twenty or more training sessions, in many cases, the brain begins to self-regulate and eventually the patient becomes more independent. By freeing the mind we free the body and subsequently behavior and attitudes change too. A person can gain a measurable amount of control over his emotional and behavioral life as never before.
The results of training for neurofeedback treatments vary widely and are very individualized. Therefore, before undertaking such treatment, interested parties should thoroughly check to see that their practitioner is well-qualified (more on this topic to follow). In most cases, practitioners should work under a licensed therapist.
Whether we are trying to improve our physical or emotional lives, brain training and technology are powerful tools. The research at Duke University and neurofeedback training by private practitioners are both moving us in the direction of expanding and conquering the limitations our bodies and minds put on us.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.

Celebrity Rehab Facilities Use Neurofeedback to Treat Addiction

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, many rehabilitation facilities, including those used in some of the more famous celebrity rehab facilities, like The Betty Ford Center, east of Los Angeles, California, and Promises Treatment Center, in Malibu, use biofeedback and neurofeedback as treatments while patients are there to recover.

The use of neurofeedback eeg in such high end facilities (Betty Ford charges $26,000 / month and Promises charges $50,000 / month), demonstrates that some of the most cutting edge professionals in the addiction treatment business believe in the power of the human mind to self-regulate and potentially help many of these individuals lead better lives.

According to the treatments offered at Promises, in addition to neurofeedback therapy, they also offer EMDR and Somatic Experiencing.  For those who need help with addiction, but cannot afford to step out of their lives completely for a month, or simply cannot afford the cost of these fantastic institutions, going to a private professional or professionals, and paying an hourly fee is often the best alternative.  Look for a therapist who employs a wide range of treatments and is licensed, so that she can provide alternatives if one type of treatment alone does not work.  In many cases, using these amazing techniques in tandem will produce better results.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.

Better Thought Control Achieved With Real-Time Brain Feedback

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Great article on controlling your brain’s activity and your compulsions.  Good for peak performance in athletes, but also helpful for everyone to deal with basic issues like anxiety, ptsd, and depression.

If you’re dealing with an issue like this, I would be happy to help.  Please reach out by calling my office at 310-314-6933 or sending me a private email.

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