We are often asked by counselors in counseling programs how they can incorporate biofeedback in to their counseling programs. Helping students cope with stress and offering an avenue for counseling services is a very valuable commodity to any university and its student body. Dr Wyner and Emory University have an excellent counseling program at Emory and asked her Emorys’ model This is from the desk of Dr Wyner:
This is the core of the letter that I send to counseling center psychologists who ask me how we run our program… Read the rest of this entry »
Great article about the student counseling program at Emory University. See the full story below.
“As the calm and collected overseer of Eagles at Ease Stress Management Services, Dana Wyner ’04 PhD encourages her clients to take a mental mini holiday, go limp like JELL-O and feel snug as a bug in a rug.
Those practical lessons for relaxation on the go are particularly helpful during exam time, when nerves are frayed and performance anxieties go into overdrive.
The Student Counseling Center Stress Clinic, funded by Emory’s new mental health fee, sees more than 30 students each semester for issues such as test-taking anxiety, phobias, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, headaches and hypertension. Services include helping students develop a personalized toolbox of positive coping strategies, small group training in relaxation skills and biofeedback, and individualized therapy sessions.”
In August of 2011, we asked that practitioners and patients who use Alpha-Stim for CES purposes (i.e., anxiety, insomnia and/or depression) provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a letter stating how you use Alpha-Stim, how beneficial you find the device to be and if you believe it is safe. We were blown away by the support we received at that time. Since then we have been waiting for the FDA commissioner to rule on the comments FDA received from practitioners, the public and manufacturers of CES devices, as well as the reclassification petition we submitted, as we await a final classification ruling from FDA on CES devices. Read the rest of this entry »
What Is the Role of the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA)?
BCIA serves as the certification body for the clinical practice of biofeedback and neurofeedback, including Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction Biofeedback. BCIA serves as the standard bearer for the fields of biofeedback and neurofeedback. The BCIA mission statement is quite simple:
BCIA certifies individuals who meet education and training standards in
biofeedback and neurofeedback, and progressively recertifies those who
advance their knowledge through continuing education.
It is apparent from this mission statement that education and training should be the main focus for BCIA– and they are! Where does the educational process start?
It all starts with the blueprints of knowledge. BCIA’s Board of Directors has spent countless hours reviewing the science and the literature on biofeedback, neurofeedback, and self-regulation to ensure that the three blueprints carefully outline the fundamental science, history, and theory of the modalities and thus set templates for what every beginning clinician needs to know. As the science and clinical efficacy literature have evolved, we have revised the blueprints to keep pace and to truly represent current best practice.
BCIA can only add information to our blueprints when efficacy has been scientifically established. We recommend that you read LaVaque and colleagues’ (2002) informative “Template for developing guidelines for the evaluation of the clinical efficacy of psychophysiological evaluations.” Additionally, the BCIA blueprints must be free of commercial bias. Once beginners can understand the accepted fundamental science, the same science as others who are certified, they are better able to review the field and make a good decision about various theories or equipment choices. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you new to the field of biofeedback or wondering if it is right for you? Please take a moment to understand the importance of how you decide to conduct your professional practice in biofeedback. Biofeedback, in all of its forms, has reached a diverse audience of clinical practitioners including, but not limited to, psychology, neurology, counseling, social work, nursing, physical therapy, holistic work, and chiropractic, just to name a few. Additionally, there are more mental and physical health consumers that actively seek the potential benefits of biofeedback therapies. Research is also beginning to show wider pathological and wellness applications with successful outcomes. With such growth in the field combined with the great reward of watching patient success in short term therapies, it is without question why the number of biofeedback practitioners continues to grow.
I discovered biofeedback in the first semester of my doctoral program and have been involved since. With formal education in psychophysiology, a one year pre-doctoral internship working with autonomic dysregulatory disorders, and a leadership position on the Biofeedback Society of California, I am still weighed down by the complexities and sheer quantity of information and experience needed to truly understand the applications of clinical psychophysiology. Maybe it is simply my overdeveloped sense of academic and ethical standards of practice, yet I am discouraged when on occasion I meet practitioners who have been practicing for years and have never taken a formal class or supervised internship. It is easy to get in and little risk to get out. One can merely purchase equipment and try to get guidance from user manuals, blogs, and technical support. Furthermore, discussions with some of these individuals suggest that they are unfamiliar with how to analyze published research for statistically and clinically valid results. It is vital that all new practitioners take it upon themselves to learn appropriate methods of practice. Our field and your practice depend on it. Read the rest of this entry »
(CNN) — Wouldn’t moving objects with your mind be fun? But the implications go deeper: For the millions of Americans who live with paralysis, mentally controlling artificial limbs and mobility devices would be a big step forward toward more independent living. Melody Moore Jackson, director of the BrainLab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is trying to make that happen.
Biofeedback now a “Level 1 — Best Support” Intervention for Attention & Hyperactivity Behaviors By: SharpBrainsDecember 3rd, 2012
PracticeWise, the company that maintains the “Evidence-based Child and Adolescent Psycho-social Interventions Chart” (see current edition here) has just announced it will elevate biofeedback to “Level 1 — Best Support” as an intervention for Attention & Hyperactivity Behaviors in the next edition. Working Memory Training will stay at Level 2 — Good Support. Studies influencing the decision included: Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday, July 19, 2012, marked one year since Dr Hershel Toomim left our midst. His innovative work with HEG brain biofeedback lives on and will continue for as far as I can see. His use of blood flow measures as a direct biofeedback source (instead of a mere confirmation measurement) has made neurofeedback accessible to many who would not or could not do the more technically difficult EEG biofeedback. Interest grows amongst clinicians, schools and sports organizations, as well as businessmen who seek a solid way to measure attention. In this first year since Dr. Toomim’s passing, I have implemented more than 20 HEG biofeedback training centers in the Americas. This represents a growth of just over 30% from the year prior. My clients are generally clinicians attending populations for headache, attention and impulse control, mood and stress control and sensory gating issues.
Invariably within my prospective client’s decision process, I will be asked about the two technologies which both provide an HEG signal for feedback; the client wanting to know which is “better”. I don’t respond in a “better / worse” manner to my clients, and don’t intend to in this short article. Instead I will provide information from outside of the field of applied psychophysiology to shed light on the origins, research and other uses of these two technologies which were both “borrowed” from other industries for our use in benefit to the brain. Read the rest of this entry »
Considerable media attention has recently been focused on a San Diego State University study that has reared close to proving that insomnia patients who choose to get off sleeping pills could, quite possibly, be saving their own lives.
ABC World News, NBC and CBS all gave major coverage to this story, but illustrated little on how patients taking drugs like Ambien and Lunesta can actually wean off of them without suffering severe withdrawal symptoms. This includes a side effect called rebound insomnia, which is described in pharmaceutical literature as not being able to sleep at all for up to seven or more days.
“Patients are stuck in a treatment catch 22″, says Hyla Cass, MD., author of the book, 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health. “They are being informed that continuing on these medications is no longer an option, and at the same time, stopping cold turkey, without some form of effective intervention is very, very difficult”. Read the rest of this entry »