Trauma and Recovery: The Integration of Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy
Post-traumatic stress disorder is, at its foundation, a disorder of the
brain, particularly of the brain's ability to regulate fear. The brain
oscillates between high sympathetic arousal as manifest in nightmares,
startle responses and aggression and parasympathic under arousal, manifest, at its worst, in dissociation. PTSD is a brain in the grip of fear. Neurofeedback can be used to regulate the fear circuitries in the brain. Regulation of fear may, in fact, be the single most important contribution that neurofeedback makes to the treatment of severe conditions such as PTSD, attachment disorder and personality disorders.
This workshop will focus on the integration of neurofeedback and
psychotherapy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, both acute and chronic.
Among the topics we will discuss will be:
Once neurofeedback is introduced, what is the role of the therapist?
What role does neurofeedback play when integrated into psychotherapeutic treatments?
Affect regulation as the corner stone of effective psychotherapy
The role of neurofeedback in the regulation of affect
Fear as the central affect of concern
The circuitry of fear: an overview of the limbic brain and the "greater amygdaloid region"
Recent findings of the effects of trauma on the brain- overview of Schore, Siegel, Perry and others
State dependence and neurofeedback
Repressed memory and neurofeedback training
The discovery and use of FPO2: frequency and time considerations
We will also discuss the pragmatics of the integration of neurofeedback and psychotherapy. Among the issues we will discuss will be:
When and how to introduce neurofeedback
When to talk and when to train
The presence of the therapist
The length of sessions
How to set up your system to enhance relational aspects of this endeavor
When to introduce alpha/theta training
We will discuss, as well, the need for self training and its inherent limits.
Case studies will be used throughout
Sebern Fisher is a psychodynamic psychotherapist with a primary interest in the importance of secure attachment throughout the life span. She incorporated neurofeedback into her clinical practice in 1997. The effects of brain training that she has both experienced and witnessed have had significant impact on the way she now conceptualizes personality, self, psychopathology and even free will.
Emerging theory in all fields of psychotherapy is focused on the importance of affect regulation. After almost ten years of work with neurofeedback, Sebern has come to believe that the single most important contribution of neurofeedback is regulation of affect, and further, that the most important affect to regulate is fear. In pursuit of this, she discovered the site FPO2, "the gateway to the amygdala", in 1999, and uses it specifically to quiet fear and reactivity. She has fully integrated neurofeedback into her practice of psychotherapy, rarely now, providing one without the other. She works with people suffering from conditions as apparently diverse as PTSD, dyslexia, dissociative disorders, Asperger's, and attachment disorder.
Other Products by Sebern Fisher
1) Affect Regulation, State Dependence and the Limits of Self Training