Many turn to Neurofeedback Therapy to fight the invisible battle with PTSD

October 11, 2010 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – The nine-year Afghanistan and Iraq war is now being dubbed as America’s longest war. During a recent CNN segment, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the alarming suicide and hospitalization rates among U.S. troops. There were more soldiers hospitalized in 2009 for mental health issues (17,538) than physical injury (11,156). It was also reported that if a soldier is redeployed, their susceptibility to PTSD increases at a rate of 2.5. Some soldiers reported up to 12 re-deployments during the course of this war.

Soldiers are not the only ones at risk of suffering from PTSD. Children may develop PTSD through experiencing prolonged bullying. After student, Justin Aaberg, committed suicide because of a school bully, a string of teen suicides related to bullying have surfaced. Repeated bullying can cause unnaturally prolonged periods of anxiety which can onset conditions such as PTSD.

People with PTSD can re-experience events through memories or dreams so real, that it’s as though the event is happening again. As traumatic as these re-experiences can be, one will avoid triggers – these can include places, people and emotions. PTSD can also create problems with anxiety, sleep and focus.

The symptoms of PTSD become a part of everyday life for sufferers. However, the symptoms are learned and that means there is hope because many times those with PTSD can ‘un-learn’ the symptoms. This is how one treatment is helping combat the silent war with PTSD.

It’s called Neurofeedback Therapy. The therapy combines the body and mind, a treatment many PTSD experts prefer over one tactic techniques. After experiencing a traumatic event, the brain rewires itself to help us cope. However, prolonged trauma makes our brain assume this is normal and the rewiring becomes more permanent. Neurofeedback Therapy allows one to manipulate the wires back to their normal state.

While hooked up to electrodes, patients play a video game with their mind. After several trainings, clients are able to shift their brain waves with ease, and hence alter their emotional state during triggering situations. As the treatment is highly individualized, a therapist can tailor the treatment to meet every client’s specific needs.

“Neurofeedback Therapy works extremely well in treating the symptoms of PTSD,” said Mindy Fox, a leading neurofeedback therapist in the Los Angeles area. “It curbs anxiety and issues with anger, fear, sleep and focus.”

Most experts agree that treatments such as Neurofeedback Therapy should also be combined with treatments such as talk therapy. “As the stigma of PTSD reduces, I would expect more organizational bodies to support more treatment options as well as make them more readily available to those who need them,” said Fox.

Mindy Fox is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over eighteen years of experience. With a Master of Arts in Psychotherapy, Fox is also certified in somatic experiencing and trained in neurofeedback EEG (also referred to as eeg biofeedback therapy). Her expertise in psychotherapy, EMDR, and neurofeedback helps her treat clients with attention deficit disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, addiction and depression issues. Fox employs body-mind therapy techniques such as EMDR, somatic experiencing, guided imagery, and neurofeedback, along with traditional methods to treat clients of all ages. Fox chairs the State CAMFT Trauma Response Committee and served as President of South Bay/Long Beach CAMFT Chapter.