Issue #19 (October 2015)
In 1924 a German psychiatrist, Hans Berger, was searching for the physiological basis of “psychic energy” by placing metal disks on patients’ scalps and recording a small current using a ballistic galvanometer. Five years later he published his first paper demonstrating the technique for “recording the electrical activity of the human brain from the surface of the head”. Thus was born electroencephalography (EEG).
Today we can look back on a short yet rich history of EEG as a research tool and as a mechanism to provide feedback to the brain of its own electrical activity. It is this latter application that is of great interest to therapists, as neurofeedback seems to have a powerful ability to train the brain in areas of activation that may be in deficit. However, it is still a young field and there are many unanswered questions. Acceptance is slow, as many clinicians and the public alike err on the side of skepticism. Nevertheless, the proof is in the pudding, and certainly the efficacy of neurofeedback protocols must eventually urge us sit up and listen.
This special issue of The Neuropsychotherapist looks at neurofeedback through the eyes of an experienced psychotherapist and neurofeedback specialist, Sebern Fisher. She has caught the attention of Bessel van der Kolk, a well-known trauma expert, who says of these techniques. “It amazes me that this powerful approach has been available as long as it has without yet finding widespread acceptance. Neurofeedback is applied neuroscience—it is a new frontier in helping innumerable people who up until now have been condemned to just make the best of feeling chronically fearful, unfocused and disengaged.”
I do hope you enjoy our offerings this month and that they inspire you to look further into this powerful approach to therapy.
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NEUROFEEDBACK IN THE TREATMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA - INTERVIEW WITH SEBERN FISHER
David Van Nuys talks with neurofeedback specialist Sebern Fisher about working with developmental trauma and the effectiveness of neurofeedback treatments.
David Van Nuys
NEUROFEEDBACK: CHANGING PATTERNS IN THE TRAUMATIZED BRAIN
Sebern Fisher takes us through the basics of neurofeedback as an effective treatment protocol for developmental trauma. Her summary of the history and technical aspects of neurofeedback gives us a clear picture of how to train a brain to better arousal and emotional regulation.
Sebern F. Fisher
- From the Editor: Matthew Dahlitz
- Special: Neurofeedback Focus
- Neuroscience: Making Neurofeedback Work for ADHD
- Spotlight: Jim Hale
- Prefrontal Muse: Bottom Up: Neurotherapy Can Empty Jail Cells