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Frequently Asked Questions

We provide personalized care that is kind, knowledgeable, considerate, and extremely helpful. Our facility is comfortable with a relaxing atmosphere. Our office is friendly where you can get answers to any of your questions with ease. Our staff is warm and professional, and they listen very carefully to your specific needs and objectives. Take a look below at some typical questions from patients.

Why should I choose Thrive Neurolab over other providers?

Not all neurofeedback providers are licensed and trained. When choosing your neurofeedback provider be certain that the individual overseeing the process is a licensed mental health provider or physician,and has had adequate training in the field of neurofeedback. At Thrive Neurolab in La Jolla, our clinicians and technicians have a diversity of education and experience that is unmatched.

If qEEG and neurofeedback are so effective, why don’t more people use it?

It was first discovered in the 1960s that people could control their brainwave patterns. Because the field was in its infancy, research was conducted at very few institutions. Results were published in highly specialized scientific journals with which health care providers were largely unfamiliar. This meant that this powerful tool remained somewhat obscure. However, this is now changing. Advances in computer technology have enabled neurofeedback to emerge from the laboratory to become a useful clinical tool in the offices of mental health providers.

Are qEEG and neurofeedback covered by insurance?

Many medical insurance plans now cover neurofeedback for a wide array of conditions. Reimbursement to you varies by carrier and plan.

Does qEEG and neurofeedback help with cognitive disabilities or learning disorders?

Thrive Neurolab has had success working with clients with brain injuries and those suffering from many types of disabilities. Neurofeedback helps the brain become more efficient so that it works at its best capacity. If someone’s brain has been injured by a stroke or through surgery, the brain learns to “reroute” signals to create new neural pathways. Neurofeedback works with learning disabilities as well. Brain regions involved with learning can be strengthened, thus improving performance.

Can qEEG and neurofeedback help patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia?

Neurofeedback can help the brain access areas that have not yet been affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia. This can slow symptom progression and help improve the quality of life. However, neurofeedback cannot improve or stop the physical degeneration of the brain.

Why do qEEG and neurofeedback work?

Your brain is adaptable. It is capable of making adjustments to improve its own performance if given cues about what to change. When the brain is regulating itself well and is alert and attentive, brainwaves show healthy patterns. We challenge the brain to maintain this “high-performance” alert and active state. Gradually, the brain learns to stay at this high-performance state for longer periods of time and to retain these new skills.

What conditions can be improved by qEEG and neurofeedback?

Successful outcomes, not limited to those listed below, have been reported by neurofeedback clinicians for:

  • Addictions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Chronic pain
  • Closed head injuries
  • Concentration
  • Depression
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Learning Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Pain management
  • Reading skills
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders

Neurofeedback has also proven effective when used for performance enhancement, such as developing memory skills, increasing concentration, and focusing skills.

How long is a qEEG and neurofeedback session?

Typically, each session takes between 45 and 60 minutes. The actual training period lasts a maximum of 30 minutes. Additional time is needed beforehand for sensor placement and adjustment. We also speak with our clients briefly before and after each training session to monitor how things are progressing. We ensure that you have enough time so you don’t feel rushed and are able to discuss the results you are experiencing.

How many sessions will I need?

Results from qEEG and neurofeedback training are seen gradually. Typically, progress can be seen within 15 sessions for most conditions. A standard treatment plan consists of between 20 and 60 sessions depending upon the conditions being addressed. However, you are unique! Your progress will depend on your specific circumstances.

How are qEEG and neurofeedback done?

At a training session, we place sensors on your head. The sensors pick up information on your brain’s activity at very specific locations. The sensors read information from your brain and relay it to the clinician’s computer.

You then sit in a comfortable chair as you watch a computer monitor that displays a computer game, a movie, or simply colors that change as your brainwaves change. The clinician monitors your brainwaves and sets training parameters based on your condition and goals.

This process gives your brain immediate feedback about its performance during the training session. On a subconscious level, your brain begins to learn what it needs to do to make your computer screen change. It then begins to produce more of the helpful type of brainwave patterns and less of those that are correlated with the symptoms you wish to address. With practice, your brain adapts new patterns.

As your brain learns what it needs to do to make your computer screen active, the clinician gradually enhances the goals in order to challenge your brain to do even “better.” This is similar to weight training workouts. As your muscles succeed at lifting one weight easily, a little more is added until over time you build new muscle. With neurofeedback training, gradually your brain learns how to work at a more optimal level.

How will I know if I should decrease or stop my medication?

Thrive Neurolab sees qEEG and neurofeedback as complementary to medications. They should not work against each other. We advise clients to remain in communication with their physicians and watch for indications of overmedication. Then your physician may advise you to reduce your medications.

Do I stop taking medications during qEEG and neurofeedback?

There may be a time during which we want to get a baseline score or conduct a brain map without medication. We will do this only with your physician’s knowledge and approval. We never suggest that a person stop any medication taken for physical conditions such as heart problems, seizure disorders, or blood pressure. Any changes to your medication must be made under your medical doctor’s supervision.

Will I be able to stop taking medications?

Initially, neurofeedback supports medication dosages, and out clients tend to feel better while on their current doses. As brain training progresses and improvement is noted, we refer you to your physician to discuss any changes in medication and dosage. Many clients are able to reduce their doses. If your objective is to stop taking medications, you should plan on a greater number of neurofeedback sessions.

What is neurofeedback? What does peer reviewed research say?

Neurofeedback is a specific application of biofeedback that enables you to visualize and train the electrical activity of your brain using qEEG. Through the visualization of the qEEG, you learn to better self-regulate your brain activity. Neurofeedback is a non-pharmacological and non-invasive method for training brainwaves. It focuses on optimizing the brain, rather than suppressing symptoms as medication does. With successful neurofeedback training, medications targeting brain function may be reduced or no longer necessary.

Research shows that neurofeedback, alone and in combination with other behavioral therapies, is effective for treating attention related problems and sleep disorders. Use the links below for a sampling of the extensive peer reviewed research supporting the efficacy of neurofeedback.

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