It is a science based therapy that has proven to be highly successful in study after study, as you’ll see. It greatly increases your chances not only of staying clean and sober, but of improving your quality of life in a variety of ways. You’ll feel better, think clearer and more creatively. Also, the likelihood of anxiety, depression or other issues that can inhibit or derail recovery will be significantly reduced. Moreover, neurofeedback is highly efficient at reducing the instances of other issues that may be problematic, such as ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, pain, and others.
The NeuroBehavoiral Learning Program features neurofeedback as a foundation for a comprehensive program that goes well beyond any other available neuro addiction treatment protocol. In tandem with other treatment modalities, you can expect results well beyond what is currently the norm in addiction treatment.
What is Neurofeedback Training?Neurofeedback, or EEG-biofeedback, is literally brainwave biofeedback. During typical training one or two electrodes, connected to a PC interface, are connected to specific sites on the scalp, with a reference electrode connected to an earlobe. Heart rate, temperature, skin conductance and breathing are also measured. The electrodes measure the electrical activity (frequency) in the brain – much like a doctor listens to the heart from the surface of your skin. No electrical current is put into the brain.
By using simple training techniques, brainwave activity is changed. When it reaches a desired level (frequency and amplitude), the computer program provides “feedback,” usually in an aural or visual form. The brain begins to crave this feedback and changes its function toward this preferable brainwave activity. The mechanism of the action is called operant conditioning – literally reconditioning and training the brain. It is the cerebral equivalent of going to a gym and working out.
Prolonged substance abuse and addiction result in brain damage. Neurofeedback training restores the brain functioning, reduces cravings, and helps the person control impulses and deal with the cravings that can trigger relapse.
Over the past 20 years, studies have consistently proven the effectiveness of neurofeedback in treating alcoholics and drug addicts. Three of the most prominent studies are:
Peniston, 1989 – This study was done in conjunction with the Veterans Administration in Colorado. All subjects were Vietnam veterans who previously had other forms of treatment with unsuccessful results. They were all severe alcoholics who also suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The subjects were assigned to one of two groups: ten were assigned to the experimental group using neurofeedback therapy, and ten were assigned to the control group, using traditional psychotherapy.
Outcome: an 80% abstinence rate in the experimental group (80% of the subjects stayed sober as of both the three‐year and ten‐year follow‐ups), compared to a 20% abstinence rate in the control group. The experimental group also experienced no further issues with PTSD, and all clinical scales were within normal ranges on the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) (Peniston, 1998).
Diné (Navajos), 1994 – A neurofeedback study conducted with 19 alcoholic Native Americans using culturally appropriate treatment.
Outcome: The three‐year follow‐up showed that 80% of the subjects stayed sober (Kelley, 1997).
Cri‐Help, 2005 – Cri‐Help is a recovery center in North Hollywood, California. The study included 121 subjects (60 in the control group receiving no neurofeedback; 61 in the experimental group that received neurofeedback training).
Outcome: A three‐year follow‐up concluded that 77% of the experimental group remained sober (those that received the neurofeedback training) versus 44% of the control group (those that did not receive the neurofeedback treatments). The Cri‐Help study also documented that the neurofeedback training significantly improved anxiety, depression, stress, sleep and other disorders, and the experimental group stayed in treatment 50% longer than the control group (Scott, 2005).
New Method Wellness goes beyond standard neurofeedback training by creating a complete addiction program that is customized for the individual client – NeuroBehavioral Learning.
The New Method Model
The program is customized to you, the individual – to your needs, your issues, your relapse triggers. It is the most individualized program available to insure success.
The New Wellness Difference
The model used here at the center was developed by neuroscience pioneer who incorporates the latest neuroscientific findings concerning the brain. It integrates how addiction impacts the brain (including impulsivity, relapse triggers, and kindling theory), the use of mental rehearsal as opposed to generic scripts, and the use of technology to ensure constant, continuous quality control. Additionally, the model used incorporates the monitoring of your physiology (heart rate, temperature, etc.) into every protocol, enabling the treatment staff to detect increased levels of arousal. This is significant as arousal can begin to trigger relapse before you’re even aware there’s a problem.
- Addiction Alters brain function.
- Learning In RecoveryRequires “calming” of the brain — The brain of an addict or alcoholic is damaged from excessive drug/alcohol use. Neurofeedback helps the brain heal so you can more readily participate in and benefit from all forms of treatment.
- Relapse Prevention Requires both exposure to addiction cues (triggers) and altering the brain’s tendency toward impulsivity while craving substances.
- Behavioral Learning Addresses these issues directly.
- Medical & Personal History
- Q-EEG — Brain-Waves
- New Method Wellness Neuro Stress Profile®
- New Method Wellness Addiction Stress Profile®
We begin our program with extensive assessment using a combination of “paper and pencil” tools. We also use sophisticated EEG and physiological measurements, including a “brain map” or qEEG, allowing the design of a completely individualized program for each client insuring maximum effectiveness and optimal chances for success.
The program is typically conducted in three phases:
Phase One: General Relaxation Training
- Biofeedback to Raise Hand Temperature
- Rhythmic Breathing Training
- Visualization Training
- Autogenic Training
- When needed, Cognitive Rehabilitation for attention deficit problems
Phase 1 focuses on relaxation and “calming” the brain, which allows the client to benefit more from all the other forms of treatment in which the individual is participating.
Phase 2: Alpha / Theta Training
- Alpha/Theta neurofeedback
- Guided Imagery
- Constructed Imagery (Mental Rehearsal)
The focus of Phase 2 is the classic alpha/theta sessions proven to be so successful in past research studies. During this phase clients sometimes remember a past traumatic event that had been forgotten or buried for years. These events can then be dealt with in the other appropriate treatments, such as group or one-on-one talk therapy.
Phase 3: Relapse Prevention Training
External Cues – things/places/people associated with drug use will trigger strong reactions in persons with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Internal Cues — emotions and feelings also trigger drug cravings in ex-addicts and ex-alcoholics long after drug / alcohol use has stopped.
Phase 3 is all about relapse prevention with exposure to cues that can trigger a relapse. This is a critical part of the program and is essential to your success after returning to your daily life (when most people in recovery relapse). We will simply trigger cravings in a safe environment to desensitize you to them, therein breaking the link from cravings to using.
Planned Exposure = Systematic Desensitization
- Reduced impulsivity.
- Better sleep.
- Less anxiety.
- Reduced stress.
- Reduced depression.
- Far more receptive to other therapies such as individual and/or group counseling, nutrition, yoga meditation etc.
Through Executive Sober Living of New Method Wellness we offer a Continuing Care Program that features outpatient service, a “take-home” unit, and continuing assessment to further assure success. We recommend the program for at least one year.
We will also coordinate any other services the client may require, if desirable.
The Continuing Care Program increases the individual’s probability of success through comprehensive continuing assessment and outcome studies. By continually monitoring and working with the client, potential relapse episodes can be cut off before the completion stage of restarting substance use.