Neurofeedback for Addictions
How can neurofeedback help with addictions?
I said in a recent blog post that I regularly see my clients finding it easier to do what’s good for them and harder to do what isn’t. This is often experienced as change that is seamless and naturally right for the individual. That certainly has potential impact for addictions.
But, more specifically about substance abuse and other addictions:
Neurofeedback for addictions
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (part of the National Institute of Health) provides some fascinating statistics on drug use. Some of it is good news, some not. but in either case, we’re talking about millions of people whose lives are affected, even destroyed, by addiction. And, of course, their families and friends are also in harm’s way.
The type of neurofeedback I use with my clients is NeurOptimal®, which I believe is the state of the art. Here are some of the ways I’ve seen it help with addictions:
- Reducing anxiety and depression, two of the conditions that often lead to self-medicating with alcohol and other substances (and which may drive relapses).
- Making it easier to read your own body. People say things like, “I can tell when I’m full now,” and “I knew I didn’t really want another drink so I didn’t have it.”
- Reducing the need for potentially addictive prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines (commonly prescribed examples are Valium, Klonopin, Xanax and Ativan) and opioid pain medicine. OxyContin is an example you’ve probably all seen in the news.
- Generally feeling better about yourself. Much addictive behavior is based in shame.
- Reducing the symptoms of PTSD that are often factors in substance abuse.
- Stress reduction makes it easier to not turn to the substance.
- With neurofeedback training, people often quite naturally make life changes that support sobriety, including getting enough exercise and better nutrition.
If trying neurofeedback for addictions resonates, you can look for a trainer in NeurOptimal’s Find-a-Trainer data base. Please post questions here on the blog, or you can email me confidentially.
Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback