4 Common Questions About Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback therapy relies on neuroplasticity to provide results. People with anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and other forms of neurodivergence and mental illness can benefit from neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback therapy differs from other treatments for mental conditions because it works directly on a person's brain rather than their thoughts. Here are a few questions that patients may have about neurofeedback therapy.

1. Does neurofeedback therapy hurt?

Neurofeedback therapy is not painful. During your session, electrodes will be attached to your skin at strategic areas that correspond to the area of your brain that will be treated. These electrodes are simply used to measure your brain waves and will not administer shocks or any other type of unpleasant stimuli. During your neurofeedback therapy session, you may watch a video or engage in another pleasant activity. Many people find their neurofeedback therapy sessions to be relaxing.

2. How long does neurofeedback therapy take?

You should plan to set aside about an hour for each neurofeedback therapy session. Although the actual treatment takes about half an hour, you will likely be in the clinic for longer. This is because your doctor will want to speak to you before and after your treatment session. Additionally, placing each electrode and removing the adhesive at the end of the session can also take some time.

3. Is neurofeedback therapy the same as talk therapy?

Patients play an active role in many types of mental health treatment. During talk therapy, patients respond to questions asked by a therapist. Patients are required to introspect and actively work to change their thoughts during talk therapy. Neurofeedback therapy is different because it requires no conscious effort on behalf of the patient. Instead, your brain will be taught to correct itself without your input. In response to rewards, such as improved video quality, your brain will be encouraged to repeat healthy brain waves that can reduce the symptoms of your mental illness. 

4. Are the results of neurofeedback therapy immediate?

In most cases, neurofeedback therapy requires multiple sessions in order to work. It's common for patients to attend 20 or more neurofeedback sessions over the course of their treatment, according to The Brain Centre. The number of sessions that is right for you will depend on your condition and your doctor's assessment. However, you may find that you start to feel better after just a couple of sessions. The results of neurofeedback therapy can be long-lasting and life-altering.