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Articles    H4'ed 10/31/09

EEG Neurotheraphy In The Treatment Of Alcoholism And Addictions: Brief Overview

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(3) Five preliminary non-EEG biofeedback sessions (e.g. temperature, EMG, and/or skin conductance).

(4) Twenty-five to thirty alpha/theta neurotherapy sessions.

(5) Brief post-treatment QEEG topographic brain map.

(6) Discharge interview, evaluation and personality/behavioral post-testing (e.g., MMPI II, MCMI II, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale and/or Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire).

Personality/Behavioral Improvements
In addition to long-term (3 year) abstinence rates of 80%, the Peniston Protocol has consistently produced the following very healthy personality changes:

(1) Significant decreases in scales labeled schizoid, avoidant, passive- aggressive, schizotypal, borderline, paranoid, anxiety, somatoform, dysthymia, alcohol abuse, psychotic thinking, depression, psychotic depression, hypochondriasis, hysteria, schizophrenia, social introversion and psychotic delusion.

(2) Significant increases in warmth, abstract thinking, stability, conscientiousness, boldness, imaginativeness and self-control.

Thus, the Peniston Protocol consistently produces positive changes in what many consider to be "hard wired" aspects of personality. These dramatic personality changes enhance the patient's ability to cope without substance abuse, significantly reducing the likelihood of relapse.

Summary and Conclusion
Alcoholism is a debilitating and expensive disease that has responded poorly to traditional inpatient, outpatient and 12-step treatment programs (e.g., maximum 30-40% sustained abstinence). Researchers Eugene Peniston and Paul Kulkosky, along with many others over the past eight years, have consistently demonstrated that severe alcoholics treated with EEG neurotherapy, imagery/visualization and cognitive-behavior therapy (e.g., the Peniston Protocol) show startling long-term (3 year) abstinence rates of 80%. Moreover, these extremely positive results are consistently accompanied by dramatic, healthy personality/behavioral changes that clearly contribute to reductions in the likelihood of relapse.

The neurotherapeutic changes in alpha/theta EEG rhythms achieved by these patients with the Peniston Protocol produce low, sustained levels of the opioid peptide beta-endorphin, reflecting lower sustained levels of arousal and stress. Moreover, the normalization of low frequency cortical EEG rhythms (e.g., alpha & theta) apparently also produce normalization of several other brain neurochemicals whose imbalances are highly associated with severe alcohol cravings and uncontrolled alcohol ingestion.

In addition to its extremely high success rate for this difficult clinical population, the Peniston Protocol appears to be very cost-effective in comparison to traditional inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

Anderson, B. (1994). Applications of biofeedback and neurotherapy in private practice in the treatment of alcohol and chemical dependency. Presentation delivered to the Advanced Brainwave Training Institute, Number 5, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, February, 1994.

Blum, K. (1991) Alcohol and the Addictive Brain. New York: The Free Press.

Byers, A.P. (1992). The normalization of a personality through neurofeedback therapy. Subtle Energies, 3,1,1-17.

Cowan, J. (1993). Alpha-theta brainwave biofeedback: The many possible theoretical reasons for its success. Biofeedback, 21, 2, 11-16.

Fahrion, S.L., Walters, E.D., Coyne, L., & Allen, T. (1992). Alteration in EEG amplitude, personality factors and brain electrical mapping after alpha- theta brainwave training: A controlled case study of an alcoholic in recovery. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 16, 3, 547-552.

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The late Dale Patterson Mr. Patterson was the Clinical/Executive Director of the Biofeedback & Alternative Medicine Centers, Inc. with New Jersey offices in Williamstown and Cherry Hill. He was certified by four national boards and had over 23 years (more...)
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