Frequently Asked Questions

Edmonton Health & Performance Psychology Clinic

How can neurofeedback help with anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health diagnoses and can be debilitating if left untreated. After an initial assessment in which we get a personalized brain map of a client, Neurofeedback can be used to target the underlying brain patterns that lead a person to experience enhanced levels of anxiety. Anxiety is the result of and results in an overactive brain.

For example, it is common in the brains of people with anxiety that the area responsible for emotional regulation can be underactive while the area responsible for fear and negative emotions can be overactive. This means that people with anxiety feel stress more acutely and have a harder time navigating between states of stress and calm. Neurofeedback uses neuroplasticity and operant conditioning to train these targeted areas of the brain to produce more calm brainwaves. With neurofeedback, the goal is to train the brain to slow down and operate in a more optimal zone of functioning. As the brain practices being in this more efficient zone of operation it begins to grow networks that help it regulate itself better when it is not practicing in the clinic. Over time this new zone of operation becomes the default or normal zone of operation.

The symptoms of anxiety progressively dissipate as the individual trains and the brain normalizes functions. Treatment with neurofeedback can lead to a dramatic reduction in symptoms of anxiety such as being less reactive to stress, greater emotional resilience, a feeling of being calmer, and a vast reduction of the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Most commonly people treat their anxiety with prescribed medication which can help relieve symptoms but it can be addictive, have negative side effects, and are a temporary solution. Neurofeedback isn’t addictive, rarely has side effects (no long-term side effects), and can promote permanent growth and changes within the brain.

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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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