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  • Vista Counseling

Types of Neurofeedback Therapy and their Benefits

All human beings can comment and control their thoughts and emotions, but dysfunctions or other disorders cause them not to use these faculties anymore. By associating certain activities/patterns with reward and others with punishment, it is possible to induce lasting changes in brain function. When addressing mental health issues, neurofeedback therapy is one of the modalities that has been used for over 40 years, and its popularity has increased exponentially since the 1990s. Nowadays, there are several different modalities of neurofeedback therapy. The most popular ones are discussed below:

Sensory-motor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback

SMR educates people on how to regulate their production of SMR brainwaves. These are slow-frequency but high-amplitude brain waves that occur when the person is relaxed and at rest. SMR training can help people who suffer from anxiety disorders, depression, and other psychological conditions; it also assists those with learning disabilities since it allows them to increase their attention span. SMR neurofeedback works best if you have easy access to movement since it stimulates movement. It also helps improve your brain's ability to respond quickly to stimuli by increasing its processing speed during SMR training sessions, which lets you think faster.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Neurofeedback

The most remarkable strength of this approach is its ability to monitor heart rate and breathing through an electrocardiogram (ECG), making it possible to provide feedback on autonomic regulation in a more accurate way. That also makes HRV neurotherapy particularly valuable for treating difficult cases such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

HRV neurofeedback is particularly effective at treating ADHD symptoms because it can help patients learn how to self-regulate their heart rate and breathe in a way that maximizes parasympathetic activity. This method has also been used successfully to treat anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems, or even serious cases of insomnia.

Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) Neurofeedback

CAT uses images or pictures to show different areas of the brain being activated during different activities. However, CAT neurotherapy allows for a more dynamic potential for change and working with many different kinds of stimuli. Unlike other methods, which only require patients to respond when certain activities are presented, CAT neurofeedback allows for more flexibility in training brain activity patterns. It is also possible to give immediate feedback when there is an abnormal pattern within the data acquired from EEG or ECG Neurofeedback.

In this way, individuals receive instant visual reinforcement once the desired target frequency or activity level is reached. That enables a much larger variation in tasks performed in a session and a higher degree of precision when treating difficult cases such as anxiety, addiction, sleep disorders, and attention deficits.


Alpha neurofeedback helps with inattentive ADHD problems in children and sleep issues like insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness. It's also useful for people with high blood pressure or chronic pain because it eases muscle tension and reduces the brain's response to pain signals. This type of neurofeedback technique is good for controlling emotions since it can help regulate your moods by making you more aware of your body's reaction to stressful experiences at any given moment during training sessions.

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