Frequently Asked Questions

Edmonton Health & Performance Psychology Clinic

How can neurofeedback help depression?

Most people will experience some form of depressive episode throughout their lives as a result of a great loss or major life change. There are also many different forms of depression and there is a wide range of causes and severity of symptoms. This is why we perform an initial assessment which includes a brain map, psychometric tests, and questionnaires so we can get a treatment protocol that is specific to your needs.

Simply put, Neurofeedback is able to help with depression by bringing down brainwaves that are too high and bringing up brainwaves that are too low. An example of brainwave dysregulation common in depression is an asymmetry in the brainwaves between the left and right prefrontal cortex of the brain. This area plays an important role in higher executive functions. These functions include emotional regulation, focus, and motivation among others which are impacted by depression. Neurofeedback can be used to build connectivity in this region, normalize the brainwave patterns and encourage healthy neural functioning. After training in this area it can be easier to control your emotions, increase motivation and reduce the risk of falling into extreme emotional patterns.

For example, in one study depression levels were evaluated before and after neurofeedback therapy using a number of different scales, including the Hamilton Depression Inventory (HAM-D), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Daily Stress Scale. They found that neurofeedback training caused statistically significant improvements in depression in all of the scales used, while the placebo group had no such improvements.

Many people with depression turn to neurofeedback because they would prefer not to use drugs to treat their depression or have tried other treatments and found their depression to be resistant to them. Neurofeedback offers an additional solution that is non-invasive and doesn’t have any long-term side effects. You also don’t need to stop taking medications to take part in neurofeedback. It can be done in conjunction with medication. It offers the possibility of reducing medication and in many cases eliminating the need for medication altogether.

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Zone Health & Performance Psychology offers direct billing. Your therapeutic treatments may be covered by your health insurance plan or employee health benefits. Contact us or your health insurance provider about coverage.

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