Archive for the ‘Diffusion of Innovation’ Category

A Year-End Perspective

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

As we approach the year-end, my thinking goes to the big-picture issues as I look back on the progress the field has made over the past year and project forward to how the field of neurofeedback will likely progress in the coming year.

Several anecdotes tell the tale. At our recent training course someone commented on how frustrating it must be to be sitting on what we know and yet have the larger world just go by without any awareness of this field. Over time we have gotten used to the slow rate of “diffusion of innovation” that characterizes the health field in particular. But we also realize that the field is growing in a healthy way with the gradual but relentless accretion of new mental health professionals into the discipline.

Every new practitioner will benefit some 30-150 clients and their families over the course of a year through neurofeedback. Collectively we are helping well over 100,000 people per year in the United States. Eventually this “population pressure” will tell. They will eventually no longer just represent isolated individuals. Rather, they will encounter others who have similarly benefited. It will become a movement. (more…)

A Neurofeedback Service Delivery Model

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

Last week the discussion was about a service delivery model of neurofeedback that allows access by those who most need it, namely the poor. Most neurofeedback clinicians probably have no contact with the poor at all, so that message may not resonate, least of all as a way to sustain a practice. But the model also applies more generally, in a manner that hopefully touches us all.

We increasingly see “self-regulation practice” as becoming a life-long preoccupation, even for those who consider themselves quite functional. If neurofeedback is to be a part of that, then it cannot be on the standard fee-for-service basis. In that regard, our own situation was rather unusual. We originally paid something like $15,000 in 1985 dollars for neurofeedback services for our son Brian, but the need there was obvious, as was the substantial benefit derived. There was no option but to proceed. Sue and I have each done many neurofeedback sessions over the years since, and that would never have occurred if we had had to pay for every session. In our larger family, there is also the example of Sue’s father, who did neurofeedback daily for a number of years prior to his death in the early nineties due to progressive supranuclear palsy. And currently Sue’s mother is doing daily neurofeedback in her own home at the age of 94, taking a NeuroCybernetics system through its paces largely by memory. For most people, this could not happen if services were charged on a retail basis. (more…)

Women in Science

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

When Larry Summers casually interjected his by-now famous comments into a discussion of women in science, he found out that the President of Harvard University cannot just shed his label and make off-the-cuff remarks without it gaining notice. Summers suggested that a shortage of native ability might be one of the reasons that women did not populate the upper reaches of the fields of mathematics and the hard sciences.

The flood of commentary that rippled forth from this discussion exposed an issue that was still festering in our society. It also brought back memories on the milestones of progress out of our own lives. Exemplar #1 was the fact that Sue was the only female physics student in her class at Cornell back in 1962. When Sue then turned out to be consistently the first or second in her class, behind only the son of a Cornell physics professor who had gotten physics along with his mother’s milk, her classmates had a choice of regarding her as competent in physics, or as a girl, but not both. In the classrooms and the laboratory courses, Sue had in their eyes become “one of the boys.” (more…)


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