Neurofeedback / EMDR / Somatic Experiencing

Three Highly Effective Alternative Treatments for Common Mental Health Challenges Like Depression & Anxiety: Neurofeedback & EMDR & Somatic Experiencing

One of the most amazing changes in modern treatment of mental illnesses are the development of alternatives to talk therapy.  As a therapist, I know that not everyone wants to talk about their problems.  Science and research show us that for some, there are alternatives that allow a trained therapists to access parts of your brain without tons of talking, and get to the deeper root of why someone is challenged with issues like depression, ADHD, anxiety, PTSD and more.

In my practice I offer three such treatments for clients.  Most often these are coupled with some traditional talk therapy, but the treatment plan is radically different than for someone who simply wants to talk over their concerns.  Let’s explore the techniques and see if one of them might be right for you.

Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) is a way of learning to alter brain wave activity. When someone is dealing with mental health challenges, often there are spot in their brain that are not functioning at an optimal level.  The deeper the trauma, loss, sadness or anxiety and some parts of the brain can become literally inaccessible and therefore they are not able to help heal the problem.  By using a technique like neurofeedback, people learn how to change their brain wave patterns using auditory and visual feedback. This allows the central nervous system to return to a state of balance and harmony through a safe, gentle, and enjoyable experience.

How does this work?  Brain waves are detected by sensors placed on the head. The intensity of the brain waves are then analyzed using computer software to explain what’s recorded from the brain.

For the client, information about what the brain waves are doing is given to the brain in the form of images on a computer screen with music. When the brain is exhibiting desirable brain wave intensities, music and video play.

When the brain waves are in a less desirable state, the music and video stop. Gradually, the brain waves respond to the information being given and learn a new brain wave pattern. After a number of training sessions, the brain sticks with these new brain wave patterns, and training is complete.

Because the brain and central nervous system are ultimately the control center for your whole body, they play a pivotal role in the regulation of your feelings as well. Therefore it’s no surprise that the effects of neurofeedback are far more wide reaching than one might at first suspect.

For more information go to www.eeginfo.com

EMDR, also know as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an effective treatment for many emotional challenges including: post traumatic stress, disturbing memories, panic attacks, anxiety, sexual or physical abuse, phobias, car accidents, loss of children (whether through miscarriage, abortion or as older children) and more.  Not surprisingly, surgery and cancer patients experience great benefit from EMDR as do any other clients who have some past history of great loss or trauma.

How does it work?  When a person becomes very upset, their brain cannot process information as it normally does.  The experience stays “stuck” and the trauma continues to feel as bad today as it did when you experienced it the first time.  These memories effectively become solidified in your memory and have a lasting negative effect on how you see your world and events that occur within it.  This new world-view interferes with the way a person sees the world and relates to others.

The goal of EMDR is to unstick the memory; to free your brain from it’s hold on it and to open up the blood flow in your brain so healthy neural pathways can form and the trauma/memory can be released.  What clients often experience after a successful EMDR treatment is that they can recall what happened during the trauma, but it’s far less upsetting.  EMDR research and client experience appear to show a direct effect on the brain and thus a direct affect on how life is viewed after the treatment is completed.

If you would like to explore if EMDR is right for you, we can certainly discuss it.  To learn more on your own, please visit the EMDR International Association’s website: www.emdria.org.

Somatic Experiencing helps people access their own instinctive ability to bounce back from emotionally overwhelming experiences.  When we observe animals in the wild, we notice that they are not traumatized by these intense events, such as being chased by predators.  Since human responses to threats are instinctive just like other mammals, why are humans so susceptible to trauma whereas other mammals are not.  It seems that our highly developed rational brains actually prevent us from allowing the instinctive process to do its job.  Somatic Experiencing is a powerful tool for healing trauma that helps people tap into their instinctive processes.

If we are overwhelmed and are unable to flight or flee, we instinctively use the “freezing response.”  Humans have a very hard time allowing these responses to process and complete.  Somatic Experiencing is a way to discharge traumatic energy so that healing and transformation can occur.

For more information go to www.traumahealing.com


Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) is a way of learning to alter brain wave activity. People learn how to change their brain wave patterns using auditory and visual feedback. This allows the central nervous system to return to a state of balance and harmony through a safe, gentle, and enjoyable experience.

Brain waves are detected by sensors placed on the head. The intensity of the brain waves are then analyzed using high technology computer software. Information about what the brain waves are doing is given to the brain in the form of images on a computer screen and music. When the brain is exhibiting desirable brain wave intensities, music and video play. When the brain waves are in a less desirable state, the music and video stop. Gradually, the brain waves respond to the information being given and learn a new brain wave pattern. After a number of training sessions, the brain sticks with these new brain wave patterns, and training is complete.

The brain / central nervous system is a control center for the entire organism. It plays a pivotal role in the body as well as the mind, emotions, and spirit. Thus, the effects of neurofeedback are far more wide reaching than one might at first suspect.

I offer a FREE Telephone Consultation.

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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