The process and duration of a Neurofeedback therapy

The first meeting

At the beginning of every Neurofeedback therapy (also called Neurofeedback training or EEG Biofeedback therapy) the therapist first does a detailed assessment. The patient describes his medical history and he can tell the therapist all about his symptoms and what his goals in the therapy are.

Depending on the indication and the professional background of the Neurofeedback therapist, various tests, such as stimulus-response tests can be performed or the therapist may refer the patient to appropriate colleagues for further evalution.

Based on the first conversation and the test results, it is decided whether Neurofeedback is a useful treatment option and an appropriate treatment plan is set up.

Duration and frequency

Usually 1-3 sessions per week are necessary. After 20 sessions another assessment is done and the results are compared with the initial results and the goals that were set at the beginning. Then it is decided whether and how the Neurofeedback therapy should be continued.

The process of a Neurofeedback session

Example for a Neurofeedback treatment room
Screenshot of a computer game for Neurofeedback training

The individual sessions each begin with speaking about the previous effects of the training. In order to optimize the training from session to session, a good cooperation between the patient (or the patients´ parents) is necessary.

For most Neurofeedback applications only 3 electrodes are required. These are attached to the scalp with paste and measure fluctuations of the electrical potential that are produced by the brain. The first session is usually started with one electrode position, in the course of the training, further, specific positions can be added. The Neurofeedback therapist decides over which brain regions the electrodes are fastened and which frequency ranges are filtered out of the signal and fed back to the patient via the feedback.

The patient may choose a feedback he likes out of a variety of feedback options. Via a monitor he gets visual feedback and via a loudspeaker he gets auditory feedback. He might also use a vibrating stuffed animal for additional tactile feedback. In modern Neurofeedback systems the feedback is quite diverse. For example, several features in a feedback game can be controlled simultaneously by the brain wave analysis in real-time. In some computer games up to 17 parameters are controlled by the brain waves. In some cases a relaxing and quiet feedback may be more useful. For example, videos can be changed by the feedback. They may become nebulized a bit, be pixelated or the picture can change size. In this way important information about the inner state changes are mirrored to the brain in many different ways.

More information on how the Neurofeedback training works.

When to end the therapy

After an adequate number of sessions the time spans between the sessions can be slowly increased. If the achieved relief of symptoms and the achieved goals remain stable of a longer time, the Neurofeedbacl therapy can be ended.

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