Dr Rachael Macdonald
B.A.; M.Litt.(Clin.Psych); M.Psych.Ed.; D.Psych.Ed.
MAPS, FCEDP, MANSA
0412 189 913
Neurotherapy, or Neurofeedback Therapy as it is also known, is a form of behavioural operant conditioning using EEG brainwaves, that helps the individual learn to self-regulate their own brain activity. Neurotherapy uses computerised brain-training games linked to the person's own brainwaves, to train increases in helpful brainwaves whilst simultaneously decreasing unhelpful brainwaves. Neurotherapy is usually a very engaging form of treatment which people enjoy.
When the brain is properly regulated improvements in many areas may be seen, including sleep, mood, focus, attention and concentration, learning, memory, behavioural control, sensitivity, fatigue, trauma symptoms and general efficiency. Generally, the beneficial effects of treatment are maintained long after the client has finished treatment, with some studies demonstrating continued benefits 10 years after treatment.
Neurotherapy is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment. It is an objective, data-driven procedure based on an individualised comprehensive assessment and brain map. It uses specific brain-based treatment protocols, designed to suit each patient's needs. Neurotherapy treatment is designed to treat specific symptoms of Brain Dysregulation, not diagnostic labels. For example, in the case of a client diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder, the Neurotherapy treatment protocol may be to correct the neurological over-arousal or instability that gives rise to the patient’s difficulties, rather than just attempt to manage the psychological difficulties after they have already occurred, or mask the problem by using medications. Often medications can have a diffuse effect on brain function, causing unpleasant side-effects for some individuals.
Neurotherapy is a useful adjunct to traditional psychological therapy, and can complement the medical management of patients with psychological, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Neurotherapy can also be used as a “Peak Performance” Treatment for individuals who are already functioning well but would like an extra boost to their learning and concentration, or artistic and sporting performance.
Dr Rachael Macdonald came to the study of Applied Neuroscience and Neurotherapy in order to achieve better treatment outcomes for her clients. After feeling frustrated that many clients with neuropsychological difficulties and acquired brain injuries were unable to make effective use of traditional psychological intervention techniques, Dr Rachael has spent several years investigating the validity of using Neurotherapeutic Techniques as an adjunct to traditional Psychological Treatment. She has subsequently undertaken intensive training and expert supervision to becoming certified in EEG Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Therapy.
Neurotherapy can help many conditions including:
The use of state-of-the-art Brain Mapping technology is what sets BodhiMind Psychology apart from other Psychology services in the Ballarat region. Brain mapping is a procedure that measures the electrical activity (EEG) in the brain using sensors attached to the scalp in order to investigate areas of Neurological Dysregulation and Functional Asymmetry. Several brain sites are measured to identify the presence of any brain function anomalies, which can help clients and professionals to understand the underlying cause associated with the client’s symptoms and behaviours. In other words, this means that the client’s brainwaves are measured to find any imbalances in the brain, which helps to pinpoint the cause of their issues.
Brain Dysregulation can occur for many reasons, including concussion and traumatic brain injury, trauma, drug or medication use, and hereditary conditions. Brain Mapping is not a labelling procedure. It is particularly useful for identifying neurological over-arousal and under-arousal, along with brain instability. Brain Mapping also ties directly to identifying the exact brain locations and brain wave ranges that require treatment to restore normalised functioning. In cases of adult ADHD, Brain Mapping can also be useful in identifying the forms of attentional and behavioural difficulties that respond well to stimulants (such as Ritalin) and those that do not respond well or are made worse by such medications.
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