Renaissance Ranch

Neurofeedback Therapy: How Monitoring Brain Waves Can Improve Mental Health

May 19, 2024

Those who participate in addiction and mental health treatment programs can benefit from having a wide range of therapeutic interventions and approaches available to individualize their treatment and recovery journey. Oftentimes, treatment centers utilize a combination of evidence-based and holistic modalities to complement the healing process. One type of clinical modality known as neurofeedback therapy has been especially effective in boosting mental wellness during treatment. Learning more about neurofeedback therapy, including what it is and how it works, can empower individuals to utilize this powerful modality as they achieve and sustain healing in their lives. 

At Renaissance Ranch, we offer a plethora of addiction and mental health treatment programs for men and women seeking healing and recovery. Neurofeedback therapy is one of the many treatment modalities that we can implement into our clients’ treatment plans. Meanwhile, at the Ranch, treatment is individualized to meet the unique needs and recovery goals of every client we serve. Continue reading to discover the potential benefits of neurofeedback therapy, specifically for mental health wellness and recovery. 

What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?

According to Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, “Neurofeedback is a kind of biofeedback, which teaches self-control of brain functions to subjects by measuring brain waves and providing a feedback signal.” It is a non-invasive treatment that uses sensors and electroencephalography (EEG) recordings to measure a client’s brainwaves. This happens in real time and, therefore, it allows a treatment provider to explain to a client how their brain is functioning in the present moment. 

What to Expect in a Neurofeedback Therapy Session

Neurofeedback therapy is a mind-body technique that provides clients with the opportunity to learn about the unconscious and otherwise involuntary processes that are happening in their bodies, most of which the clients are not typically aware of. As clients learn how to understand and modify their brain functions, they will, in turn, learn how to normalize and regulate their brain activity. 

For example, in a neurofeedback session, a client will engage with a stimulus or participate in a conversation with a therapist. As a client does this, the treatment provider monitors the client’s brain activity and makes suggestions about the steps that need to be taken for the client to achieve a desired mental state. 

Throughout the activity, the treatment provider will gently deliver cues to the client as to how their brain is functioning and performing. Once the activity is finished, the treatment provider and client will reflect on the activity and discuss goals for future sessions. Session duration is typically 60 minutes, with session frequency being anywhere from 6 to 20 sessions or more. However, as Brain Sciences notes, “Neurofeedback training can range from a single-session manipulation to a lengthy process ongoing for months in pursuit of enduring changes.”

How Can Neurofeedback Therapy Improve Mental Health?

As the aforementioned article by Brain Sciences also notes, “[F]eedback techniques allow participants to monitor, interact with, change, and manage their physiological and mental states.” In neurofeedback therapy, brain waves and brain mapping images provide digitized signals about all that is happening inside a client’s brain. This provides an evidence-based methodology that can be applied to various mental health disorders and substance use disorders (SUD). 

In other words, neurofeedback therapy can improve mental health by helping individuals learn how to calm themselves internally. Once a client can visually see how certain efforts, such as breathing slowly or focusing on a specific sensation, can shift brain wave patterns, they will realize that they have the power to improve their cognitions and make healthy lifestyle changes for the better. 

As stated in the publication Neurofeedback and Biofeedback for Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, “In general, biofeedback and neurofeedback are designed to increase patients’ coping skills for their current situations, and usually multiple sessions of treatment are required.” 

Over the course of several sessions, neurofeedback therapy can change the brain by altering “stuck” patterns of rumination and promote better mood. It can also increase self-awareness, improve attention, and empower individuals to engage in healthier behaviors and activities throughout their recovery journey. 

Understanding Treatment at Renaissance Ranch

At Renaissance Ranch, our treatment process is clinically driven. Thus, our treatment approach involves connecting our clients to gender-specific therapeutic environments as well as faith-based, 12-Step efforts to lasting recovery. 

While we have numerous therapeutic modalities that clients can incorporate into treatment, neurofeedback therapy is a unique modality that allows clients to actively visualize their process and success in treatment. As such, potential clients may want to consider using neurofeedback therapy as part of their long-term treatment and continuing care plans. 

Yet, before treatment can begin, individuals must be willing to take the first step and accept their need for professional help. Once that phone call is made to us, however, individuals will soon realize that they are not alone in this journey. 

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for improving mental health. Rather, those seeking recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and other mental health disorders can benefit greatly from incorporating a variety of modalities into their treatment plan. One particularly unique treatment approach, known as neurofeedback therapy, provides brain mapping for individuals in real-time, allowing them to modify and alter cognitive processes in the present moment. This is one of many treatments we offer here at Renaissance Ranch. Meanwhile, if you or a loved one is struggling with unpleasant mental health symptoms, we individualize our treatment programs to address the unique needs and recovery goals of our clients. Learn more by calling (801) 308-8898 today.