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Archive for the ‘Biofeedback’ Category

Report on the Annual Conference of the Biofeedback Society of California

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

BSC Conference 2014
T he 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Biofeedback Society of California was an upbeat and rollicking affair. It got underway with a look back at the work of the Menninger group and the Life Sciences Institute by Patricia Norris. Ostensibly the key research objective there had been to study the dimensions of human consciousness, but in fact there was considerable engagement with the use of biofeedback for therapeutic purposes as well. The work with prisoners extended over nine years, and it reached a number of prisons. Support for this work was withdrawn at a time when the State of Kansas was facing a budgetary crisis that caused the cancellation of nearly all rehabilitation programs in the prisons, with the exception of some attention to violent sexual offenders.

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Brian’s Legacy eBook Now Available

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Brian's Legacy by Siegfried Othmer, PhDW ith this newsletter, we are pleased to announce the release of our new book, “Brian’s Legacy”, the core of which is our son Brian’s journal, written during his college years. Through his journal we get to experience Brian’s evolving understanding of his own condition, his ongoing struggle to improve and manage his own health, and the gradual emergence of a more mature self. In my own contribution to the book, I provide some background on the challenges our family faced while raising a troubled child, and I provide my reflections on many of Brian’s journal entries. The book tells the story of our lives together, and also describes the path we traveled to the discovery of neurofeedback, which eventually became our life’s work.

Start reading today and get inspired!

Available on Kindle
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Paradigm Paralysis, Panacea Paranoia, and Placebo Paralogism

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

EEG Info NewsletterThe field of neurofeedback has found itself subject to conflicting forces over the past decades, and it may be helpful to articulate some of the key factors that are driving our evolution as a discipline. On the one hand, we are subject to the constraints of a health care practitioner guild, and on the other we find ourselves in the much more uncertain terrain of frontier science. The demands of both are in essential conflict. The practitioner guild must represent to the world that a coherent system of practice exists, one grounded hopefully on a coherent model that is subscribed to by all of the practitioners. Guidelines and standards of practice likely follow to clarify for practitioners the choices that have been made for the sake of a credibly defensible public posture.

On the other side we have the practical realities of frontier science, acknowledging that we are just beginning to understand the very powerful tool that we have at our disposal. The original hope (which I shared at the outset) was that a simple set of protocols derived from the original Sterman/Lubar research would serve our collective purposes. These simply needed to be pushed forward into general practice, while being subject merely to some subtle refinements. Our original NeuroCybernetics system was designed with very little flexibility because we did not see a need for it. This simple world view has had to be jettisoned.

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Breaking News on PTSD & Neurofeedback

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Today the web-based newspaper The Daily published a front-page article on Infra-Low Frequency Neurofeedback in application to PTSDToday the web-based newspaper The Daily published a front-page article on Infra-Low Frequency Neurofeedback in application to PTSD. Along with the article there is also a six-minute video that illustrates the training procedure and basic approach. Reporter Katie Drummond did her homework on this topic over a number of months, finally coming out to our office from New York and showing up at our office with a video crew in order to try the training herself and to get acquainted with the principals.

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Infra-Low Frequency Neurofeedback for the Autism Spectrum

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Our own work with the autism spectrum using neurofeedback goes back some twenty-five years.Neurofeedback is a highly promising emerging therapy for the autism spectrum. At issue here is a tool for the direct training of brain function, one that has already shown itself highly effective in addressing a wide range of “mental health” concerns. As has been the case for other therapies, its application to the autism spectrum has been complicated by the inherent complexity of the condition we confront. In the following, we recapitulate the development of neurofeedback for the autism spectrum and give some guidance to both therapists and parents with regard to the choices open to them.

Our own work with the autism spectrum using neurofeedback goes back some twenty-five years. In those early days of the field, the principal application of neurofeedback was to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but the very same procedures were clearly also helpful for a variety of other issues. So it came naturally to want to try these methods also with children on the autism spectrum. These early attempts were just as likely to make things worse as they were to make things better, so we quickly placed a virtual fence around autism and decided we did not know enough to venture there. Some years later, a few practitioners in our network reported some good results with newer techniques, so the door was once again opened to working with the autism spectrum.

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Dysponesis

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The authors refer to errors in energy expenditure that interfere with nervous system function, i.e. the notion of inefficiency, resulting in reduction of the organisms productivity and disturbance of its emotional reactivity, ideation, and central regulation of various organs of the body.The Dysponesis Hypothesis
We are always casting about for better ways to frame the work that we do in order to make it comprehensible to other professionals and lay persons. Sometime it helps to dip into past history to see how others wrestled with the same issue. One notion that has threaded its way through is that of simple inefficiency in brain regulatory function, which naturally leads to the suggestion that our training improves regulatory effectiveness through promoting higher efficiency in the regulatory mechanisms. It’s a simple concept with a certain amount of face validity, and also offers the virtue of vagueness where we are still uncertain about the details. Another slightly different theme is that the brain sometimes works against itself, that its efforts to right the ship are sometimes counter-productive.

The term dysponesis encompasses a variety of dysfunctions in which the CNS operates counter to the desired end-result. In considering the possible utility of this term in modern parlance, I am going back to an article written by George Whatmore and Daniel Kohli back in 1968 (Behavioral Science, 13(2), 102-124, (1968)), and reprinted as a book chapter in the text Mind/Body Integration (Erik Peper, Sonia Ancoli, and Michelle Quinn, editors), which was first published in 1979. The authors were two physicians in private practice.

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