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Question
Posted by: mikky | 2010/06/10

Neurofeedback Therapy

CS - Please give me your opinion on Neurofeedback Therapy. I have noticed youre a fan of CBT and almost always suggest Psychotherapy with a CBT slant.

I have been in therapy now for over a year ... I have low self esteem, have developed a really bad case of negative thought processes, a past traumatic event still gives me anxiety and I have been diagnosed with depression. I have tried a course of anti depressants but felt like I was ''numbed'' and ''out of it''

Basically my brain feels like a bee-hive constantly buzzing ....
I recognise what needs to change but cant physically get my brain to do it. Im consumed with negative thoughts and it eventually manifests itself in a panic attack of sorts.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm actually not sure which form of therapy you're asking about. Yes, I am often blamed ( especially by the wholly ignorant ) for favouring CBT. It developed from Behaviour Therapy ( which was developed in good part by my late friend ( actually born in SA ) Joe Wolpe, whioch was shown in good research to be very effective in a number of conditions and problems, but concentrated on changing inconvenient BEHAVIOURS. Other people I respect developed this into Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy than also took into account cognition - thoughts - and the changing of unhelpful habits of thought.
The evidence from good quality research, of its effectiveness in a surprisingly wide and growing range of conditions, is clear.
As a scientist, though a human scientist, I favour therapies with good evidence that they are safe and effective, evidence that goes beyond the claims of their practitioners, as claims alone prove very little.
If someone can show me a good quantity of good quality research showing any other variety of therapy to be better than CBT, I would switch to recommending that therapy instead.
Now, to return to clarifying your question.
There is Biofeedback therapy, which uses gadgets and equipment to provide you with access to measurements of some of your physical reactions, such as pulse rate, or skin conductance as a measure of arousal, and so on - and it has indeed been shown that we can work with feedback like this and learn a surprising degree of control over some body reactions to events which we would not expect.
There is another variety of therapy, often quite earnestly marketed, called NLP or Neurolinguistic Programming, which is atually very different, and uses another strong theoretical model in a strictly talking therapy, and claims great success. I have seen some studies showing some success for it in some situations, but haven't yet been highly impressed ; and I have earnestly tried reading some of its major books, and find them too turgid and dense to be readable, so maybe I'm missing something. But there are people who swear by NLP< and I think there are a number of practitioners of it in SA.
I know the evidence for CBT being effective in anxiety and depression, and in dealing with past trauma, so you wouldn't be surprised if I recommended it in the situation you describe.
Whatever this other therapy is you are considering - jot down some of your natural questions, about how it works, what is involved, etc., and ask the practitioner to discuss these issues with you, before deciding to embark on it

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/06/10

I'm actually not sure which form of therapy you're asking about. Yes, I am often blamed ( especially by the wholly ignorant ) for favouring CBT. It developed from Behaviour Therapy ( which was developed in good part by my late friend ( actually born in SA ) Joe Wolpe, whioch was shown in good research to be very effective in a number of conditions and problems, but concentrated on changing inconvenient BEHAVIOURS. Other people I respect developed this into Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy than also took into account cognition - thoughts - and the changing of unhelpful habits of thought.
The evidence from good quality research, of its effectiveness in a surprisingly wide and growing range of conditions, is clear.
As a scientist, though a human scientist, I favour therapies with good evidence that they are safe and effective, evidence that goes beyond the claims of their practitioners, as claims alone prove very little.
If someone can show me a good quantity of good quality research showing any other variety of therapy to be better than CBT, I would switch to recommending that therapy instead.
Now, to return to clarifying your question.
There is Biofeedback therapy, which uses gadgets and equipment to provide you with access to measurements of some of your physical reactions, such as pulse rate, or skin conductance as a measure of arousal, and so on - and it has indeed been shown that we can work with feedback like this and learn a surprising degree of control over some body reactions to events which we would not expect.
There is another variety of therapy, often quite earnestly marketed, called NLP or Neurolinguistic Programming, which is atually very different, and uses another strong theoretical model in a strictly talking therapy, and claims great success. I have seen some studies showing some success for it in some situations, but haven't yet been highly impressed ; and I have earnestly tried reading some of its major books, and find them too turgid and dense to be readable, so maybe I'm missing something. But there are people who swear by NLP< and I think there are a number of practitioners of it in SA.
I know the evidence for CBT being effective in anxiety and depression, and in dealing with past trauma, so you wouldn't be surprised if I recommended it in the situation you describe.
Whatever this other therapy is you are considering - jot down some of your natural questions, about how it works, what is involved, etc., and ask the practitioner to discuss these issues with you, before deciding to embark on it

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