When one considers a detox/residential program facility, one is not far off the mark when imagining the same therapy modalities common throughout medical detox, educational and therapeutic groups, one on one counseling, therapy, and experiential groups. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this model, but more and more facilities are implementing other therapeutic methods to better enhance the experience of recovery for those that suffer from substance abuse disorder and more specifically, enhancing treatment for those that suffer dual diagnoses.
One of these neurofeedback therapies, aka EEG (electroencephalography) biofeedback.
This technique has been around for about thirty years and was and still is used for clients who suffer from PTSD, eating disorders, ADHD, and anxiety, and others.
What is being found is that this therapeutic model is also showing benefits for those that suffer from substance abuse disorder.
In layman’s terms, neurofeedback therapy is reading or “mapping” of the brain waves and pinpoints where there is trouble with the brain’s ability to function normally in certain instances with impulses or reasonings.
A trained specialist connects electrodes (on a cap) or sensors to the client’s head which is connected to a device that is in turn connected to a computer. As the client discusses things with the specialist the computer program is reading the brain waves and “mapping” out areas where there is either dysregulation or misalignment in the brain. (Addiction Resource)
So how does it work? “Different parts of the brain are active during different activities. Frequency bands called alpha, beta, delta, and theta become activated as a person goes about their daily activities.” (AddictionResource)
Say for example a person is stuck in traffic or sorting out bills. In these moments the beta frequency will appear to be more active as opposed to coming home from work and kicking off your shoes and relaxing. In this instance, the alpha waves will be more active. Through simple exercises with a trained specialist, it can be determined where certain pathways in the brain are either over-activated or under-activated. “Neurofeedback training improves the ability of the brain to shift smoothly between the states of arousal and relaxation” (AddictionResource)
For persons with substance abuse disorder, neurofeedback therapy helps by measuring certain brain frequencies during certain activities or circumstances. With the help of a trained professional, the addict is taught how to “self-regulate and obtain control over the autonomic nervous system (AddictionResource)
Although the neurofeedback therapy technique has been used for years it is becoming more prevalent in the substance abuse treatment industry. More and more substance abuse facilities are utilizing this technique to better serve their clients and, hopefully, reduce the rate of recidivism and relapse. Facilities such as Iris Healing Retreat in Woodland Hills, CA has integrated this technique for each and every client that enters treatment. Not only does it give a much more thorough reading of what’s going on (or not) in the brain helps trained professionals and counselors to better serve the client to help him or herself in understanding the impulsivity that is common in addiction as well as a subtle retraining of the brain to modulate and control reactions, reasoning, and impulses.
Biofeeedback, although not a new phenomenon, is proving very effective in better treating people with substance abuse disorders, especially those in treatment that have suffered from addiction as well as trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, compulsivity, and cognitive disconnection.
When you come to Iris Healing Retreat, a holistic rehabilitation center you’ll receive a thorough evaluation by one of our experienced professionals. Drawing upon these results, together we will collaborate to provide an individualized therapy plan to fit your specific needs. For more information about getting started with our center, simply give us a call at (818) 435-3936 for a risk free, complementary phone evaluation.