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Addiction

A Case for Group Therapy?

Although many clients feel as though their compromised emotional states are completely unique, similarities do exist. Often, clients feel ashamed of their inner turmoil and seek out individual therapy to work on a one-on-one basis and minimize the likelihood other swill know how much they genuinely struggle. Individual therapy has significant benefits and is appropriate for almost all forms of mental health treatment, however, group therapy can offer an unmatched and unique form of healing, as individuals can understand they are truly not alone in their suffering. Group therapy utilizes the power of healing through relationships in the present moment. …

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Meet Your New Coach and Counselor, Mr. Ed!

Although it is common knowledge that pets such as cats and dogs can provide support and companionship to humans and even increase physical and emotional wellbeing, a new technique is having a remarkable impact on emotional development and team building. Equine Assisted Learning and Growth (“EALG”) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (“EAP”) are techniques that utilize horses as an important tool in the coaching and therapeutic processes. When discussing this particular methodology with patients, friends, and family, two questions inevitably arise. First, does the person ride the horse? And second, is the individual conversing with the horse? Surprisingly, there is no …

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Digital Addiction: Increased Loneliness, Anxiety, and Depression

The use of smartphones in our daily lives has increased to the point of widespread digital addiction. The American Society for Addiction and Medicine and the American Psychological Society both recognize behavioral dependency, in addition to dependence on a substance, as indicative of addiction. Similar to substance addiction, digital addiction appears to have some neurological basis of support. Humans have developed automatic reactions to surprising stimuli, and from an evolutionary perspective, this has been beneficial to our survival. However, in the modern world, we are often triggered for this response by digital notifications, creating inherent distractions. When individuals choose to …

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Neurofeedback for Disorders Associated with Criminal Offending

Neurofeedback training has been successfully used in the treatment of a variety of disorders. Existing research has identified EEG frequency deviances in disorders that are associated with criminal offending, such as the following. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most well researched disorders that has been treated by neurofeedback training, and also demonstrates some relationship to criminal activity considering its associations with inattention, impulsivity, and lacking inhibitory control. In EEG-based literature, ADHD appears to concern an excess of slow frequencies like delta and theta, as well as reduced beta waves and sensori motor rhythm (SMR). About 60% of …

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Alpha-Theta Brainwave Neurofeedback Training: An Effective Treatment for Alcoholics with Depressive Symptoms

Alpha brainwaves are thought to be associated with feelings of well-being. Theta waves are connected to a day-dreaming or pre-sleep state. Beta brainwaves are associated with concentration, or anxiety and confusion. Delta waves indicate sleepiness or sleep. Alcoholics tend to show deficient alpha activity during an eyes-closed relaxed EEG. It is possible that this deficient alpha activity is characteristic of alcoholism and could therefore be used to identify individuals with this predisposition. Research has demonstrated that alpha-theta brainwave neurofeedback therapy is very effective in the treatment of alcoholism, and particularly in achieving abstinence from alcohol. Saxby and Peniston’s (1995) study …

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Neuromodulation and neurofeedback treatments in eating disorders and obesity

As the neurobiological understanding of eating disorders has evolved in recent years, nontraditional treatments involving neurofeedback have been developed. Extreme differences among eating disorders, ranging from severe food restriction to binge eating, may result from differences in one’s neurobiological make-up. Increased understanding of these differences has informed the development of these novel treatments involving neurofeedback. Dalton et al.’s (2017) literature review summarizes the existing researching investigating the efficacy of neurofeedback training, along with other neuromodulation interventions, in the treatment of various eating disorders. Neurofeedback training as an intervention for eating disorders has been explored in two randomized controlled trials. In …

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Can Neurofeedback Help Addicts Too?

Drawing from the increasing research pointing to neurofeedback as an effective treatment for PTSD, therapists and researchers are now looking to the therapy as a potential treatment for alcohol dependency and drug addiction. Both PTSD and substance abuse share symptoms — including trouble sleeping, irritability, uncontrollable aggression and rage, pain, ringing in the ears, jumpiness, hyperarousal (sensing danger even when none is present), loss of interest, or feelings of isolation. Many PTSD sufferers likewise also suffer from alcohol dependency (52% of men and 28% of women with PTSD) and drug addiction (34% of men and 27% of women with the …

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Neurofeedback: Treating the Cause, Not the Symptoms

If you ask someone whether they’ve heard of Prozac, they are more than likely to say yes — yet if you ask someone about neurofeedback, most people aren’t quite as familiar. Neurofeedback has been shown to treat numerous mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and more. Even if you just want to boost your mental performance or focus, it has helped many people to reduce “clutter” in their minds and discover strategies for accessing a state of calmer, more focused awareness. More and more research continues to support neurofeedback’s role in helping individuals treat their mental health …

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Beyond Willpower: The Science Behind Breaking Bad Habits

How many of us have ever tried to break a bad habit, only to fall back into our old patterns despite our best intentions? This blog by PsychCentral writer Dr. Elisha Goldstein discusses the ways in which habit-forming — and -breaking — is about so much more than willpower. While there is only so much we can do about the unavoidable dopamine rush we get when we see a tasty hamburger or pick up our smartphones, mindfulness practice has been shown to widen the gap between impulse and response in our brains. In addition to treating a wide array of …

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Neurofeedback: A Fresh Approach for Prisons

This article on neurofeedback was written by a psychology class at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Vermont. The Community High School of Vermont program sponsoring the course provides opportunities for inmates to earn high school credit and complete diplomas. Students in this class learned about the benefits of neurofeedback from Rutland, VT-area neurofeedback specialist Dr. Sharrie Hanley, who explained how neurofeedback works to help individuals overcome a wide variety of mental health concerns, including issues that greatly affect the prison population, such as addiction, anxiety, anger management difficulties, and more. Students also noted that incorporating neurofeedback into rehabilitation …

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