Original Content at
April 16, 2010
How a Neurofeedback Session Works
By Dr. Clare Albright
What happens in a neurofeedback session?
If you're considering using neurofeedback biofeedback for the brain as a way to overcome your addiction, mental disorder, ADHD, or chronic pain, you're probably wondering what a neurofeedback session will be like. Maybe you're wondering if it hurts or feels weird, and maybe you're just wondering how long the whole thing will take. Well, you've come to the right place for answers!
First off, you should know that neurofeedback sessions don't hurt at all. In fact, you won't actually feel a whole lot during the whole session, which relies mainly on the electrical signals that your brain naturally sends as you think or as it performs unconscious actions like regulating your hormone levels. Since your brain sends these signals twenty-four hours a day, you'll hardly even notice that you're doing anything new or different.
Basically, when you go to have a neurofeedback session with your therapist, the therapist will attach small electrical leads to your scalp. These leads will be attached with a gel that makes them stay in place. During a neurofeedback session, you'll probably be nearby to a television screen type object or a speaker. Basically, your brain sends out its normal electrical signals, but when the signals change, it can make something happen on the screen or with the sounds coming from the speakers. Your therapist will basically have you play a sort of brain game in which you get your brain to send the signals that will make something happen on the screen or with the speakers. You might, for instance, make a spaceship fly on the screen, or you might make a sound louder or softer.
It's actually pretty amazing that you can do all this without moving a muscle, but you may be wondering what this actually does to help you. Well, the signals that make the desired action happen are the patterns that your brain needs to fall into to overcome whatever you're struggling with. Once you go through a few neurofeedback sessions, these signal patterns will start to become habit. Once they are ingrained in the way your brain works, you may have reduced the symptoms of your ADHD, eating disorder, chronic pain, or whatever else the therapist is treating you for.
Even if you're nervous for your first couple of neurofeedback therapy sessions, you'll probably grow to enjoy it over time. This is because when your brain is falling into the desired patterns, it will be rewarded. Who doesn't like rewards, after all?