submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net
Steve (not his real name) struggled with maintaining academic success and keeping his life in order with good choices. In trying to manage the responsibilities and pressures of college, he frequently found himself making poor choices. Socially, he was unable to maintain positive relationships. He could not seem to come out of the spiral. As he stumbled with keeping on track with his academic goals, he kept falling back into the same self-defeating behaviors.
He came to neurofeedback treatment seeking an alternative to the treatment he was already receiving, hoping to improve his life. He struggled with anxiety, inattention, lack of motivation, and depression. His self-medicating behaviors were part of the problem. He needed to be able to focus better in class, complete his assignments and follow through with the academics necessary for a successful career.
As part of a diagnostic intake, the quantitative electroencephalogram identified areas of inattention, anxiety and depression that were triggering the self-defeating behaviors. Steve’s treatment plan consisted of neurofeedback, which addressed the brain wave imbalances that were associated with the emotional and behavioral issues. He also began Heart Math, which is a type of biofeedback where he learned control over his daily stressors by altering breathing and heart rate. In learning autogenic training he reacted more positively to stressors.
Neurofeedback training is an effective modality that reinforces and rewards brain waves that are associated with more positive feelings and behaviors. Over time, these changes become permanent with individuals more consistently following a pattern of healthy behaviors, making better choices and successfully changing the direction of their lives into healthier outcomes. Heart Math is effective in autogenic training for self-control and stress management. Steve is making excellent progress, has successfully completed another semester in school, and looking forward to completing a college degree and a more successful life style.