If you have followed my other posts on neurofeedback, you know that it is a modality that has changed my life by helping me address and heal from developmental trauma. I am certain that it has cut years off of my healing and it has absolutely changed the way I relate with God, myself, others and the world around me in positive and freeing ways.
Those who know me well have become quite curious about neurofeedback as they have watched me go through my process and some have sought out their own practitioners. Many people have asked me what to look for when choosing a care provider for neurofeedback.
Just like there are many kinds of physicians, there are also many kinds of neurofeedback practitioners with a variety of specialties. Would you go to a foot doctor for an infected tooth? What about a dermatologist for open heart surgery? Just like you would carefully choose the right doctor for your ailment, it’s important to choose a neurofeedback practitioner that is trauma informed if you are seeking help for developmental trauma. Some practitioners specialize in sports performance or learning or any number of other areas of practice. It is possible to find a practitioner who assists with a variety of different concerns, but if you are seeking help with developmental trauma, ensure they have specialized training and supervision in that area.
Neurofeedback does help your brain create new neural pathways, so results can sometimes be dramatic. Choosing a provider who is trauma informed helps to ensure that those dramatic results are of a positive and stabilizing nature, not destabilizing and dysregulating. Highly informed practitioners can also adjust and tweak your treatment plan to help you find relief, should your brain respond differently than expected to a particular protocol.
My personal conviction is that anything having to do with the brain is important, so I wouldn’t do neurofeedback with just any practitioner. Here are several of the things I most appreciate about Carolinas Biofeedback Clinic :
- They are trauma informed. I’ve even seen my favorite book on the topic in the office, “Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain,” by Sebern Fisher.
- There is regular supervision. Melanie Berry, the director of the practice, meets with Dr. David Kaiser for supervision in some of the advanced protocols they use. He is well-known and respected in the field, which makes me feel really safe and thankful.
- They are collaborative. The practitioners in the practice meet for weekly staff meetings to present cases and exchange ideas. If someone has a question about a certain case, chances are good someone else in the practice has addressed a similar situation in another case. They are also able to collaborate and communicate with other care providers, like therapists, coaches or physicians.
- Every staff member has a background in psychology and mental health. Even though neurofeedback is not therapy, I like knowing they have a solid background in psychology. I feel like they see things differently and approach things differently because of that background.
- They do qEEG brain mapping and are able to do progress checks throughout treatment. I loved knowing that the changes in my brain from neurofeedback showed on a qEEG in a tangible way. Sure, I felt it, but my scientifically inclined brain wants to see it, too.
- They offer multiple types of neurofeedback. I did brain map based EEG neurofeedback first and then did low frequency (ILF) neurofeedback in awake state, as well as alpha theta which is a relaxed dreamlike state where you are still awake. I experienced greater stability and regulation with that approach. I am glad I had a few months of brain map based neurofeedback before doing ILF neurofeedback.
- They create unique recommendations for each client. When it comes to neurofeedback, one size does not fit all. Everyone’s brain and needs are different, so they come up with a plan specific to your brain only. I have heard that some other practices work with every client using the same settings. I am thankful my plan was customized for me and my needs.
- Treatment rooms are private. Neurofeedback for trauma is a personal experience. I have PTSD and in the beginning of my neurofeedback journey, I was still pretty hypervigilant. I would not have felt safe receiving treatment in a room with other clients. The same holds true for alpha theta, where I am in a dreamlike state and have an eye mask on my face. During treatment, it’s just me, my service dog and my trusted provider in a private room. I feel safe and relaxed.
- The offices have a positive, homey feel to them. It does not feel clinical or like a medical office. Both locations have beautiful decor, thoughtfully placed positive sayings incorporated into the decor, soft music playing, Himalayan salt lamps and comfortable furniture. When dealing with trauma, feeling safe and comfortable is important and these touches really make a difference.
- Many of their neurofeedback approaches allow you to watch movies of your own choosing. Okay, so maybe movies do not seem like a big deal, but I prefer watching movies for neurofeedback over doing something like playing video games. I am sure this is probably more of a personal preference thing, but I loved bringing in movies I’d been wanting to see and watching them during my sessions. It made my sessions feel even more like self care and pampering.
- They really care. Throughout my neurofeedback journey, I have gotten to know the practice pretty well and they show genuine care and compassion. They are responsive to any messages I send them and check in with me to see how I am doing. They also make me comfortable during the session with blankets and tissues, etc.
- Scheduling is easy. I have never had an easier experience with scheduling anywhere. They use the MINDBODY app, which I downloaded to my phone. When I need an appointment, the app shows me all the days and times available and I can claim them. I typically book a whole bunch at once, however I’ve had a couple of times where I’ve been triggered or in crisis and needed a last-minute appointment. I was easily able to go on the app and claim an appointment for early the next morning. People who struggle with trauma or PTSD need easy and this fits the bill.
- They offer complimentary modalities. This practice offers alpha stim rental in the Charlotte area, which I take advantage of to help with anxiety, depression, insomnia and PTSD. They also offer a variety of biofeedback techniques and The Listening Program. If you are a veteran, ask about the Homecoming for Veterans program.
- There is a free 20 minute phone consultation. This is how I started my relationship with Carolinas Biofeedback. My trauma informed therapist at Agape Christian Counseling referred me to Melanie and I booked the consultation. She asked me some general questions in order to see how they might be able to help me. Right away, Melanie was so knowledgeable and kind that I knew it would be a good fit. Shortly after the phone consultation, I got my alpha stim rental and then a couple of months later I had my first qEEG and started neurofeedback.
- I am thankful for shared faith. While this may not be a priority for everyone, I enjoy knowing that my providers pray for me and that we can relate spiritually because I really do believe that God is at work through neurofeedback in my life. I believe this is the way He chose to work an incredible healing in my life and I am thankful that when I share that from my heart, they know what I mean.
I am certain I could continue to list things I appreciate about my neurofeedback practitioners, but hopefully this gives you something to think about when choosing where to go for your own care. I know that some people have traveled to go to Carolinas Biofeedback Clinic, and I believe it would be worth it if that is possible for you. If not, take a look at the list above and decide what is important to you, interview neurofeedback practitioners near you and remember to ensure they are trauma informed before you get started.
*I am not affiliated with Carolinas Biofeedback Clinic in any way. My posts are based on my personal experience that has been so good I want to pass it out like candy.*