The careers of the scientist/practitioners in the field have undoubtedly had in common the experience of gradually rising expectations about what is possible to achieve in terms of improved self-regulatory capacity and mental functioning with the aid of neurofeedback. One might have expected some plateauing after a while, a firming up of one’s expectations, but the surprises keep coming and they are consistently on the upside. In our own experience, one of the biggest surprises has been the growing effectiveness of neurofeedback with PTSD, along with the related conditions of developmental trauma and the autism spectrum. All of these conditions had seemed so utterly intractable in the past.
This collection of data has allowed us to firm up some expectations even for those PTSD symptoms that are not commonly encountered in an individual practice. The data have the significant advantage of being drawn from a wide variety of sources, and therefore include contributions to outcome variance that would not be an issue in a formal research design. This gives any findings an intrinsic robustness that could not be matched in any single funded study. The accumulated data are relevant to clinical effectiveness in realistic settings, and thus answer the probative question that confronts policy-makers.
In conclusion, the evolution of Infra-Low Frequency training over the last six years has given us a technique that bridges the disciplines of traditional biofeedback and of conventional neurofeedback. It is frequency-based in its construction, along with the rest of neurofeedback, and yet one is training on a time-domain waveform that is more characteristic of biofeedback. This waveform tracks the transitions in differential activation in real time, as seen through the shaping function of the operative ILF band-pass filters. ILF training is an alternative to biofeedback for restoring autonomic regulation, and it exceeds prior neurofeedback approaches to affect regulation. These are the principal keys to the resolution of PTSD, which ILF training accomplishes efficiently.
All this is best understood in a systems perspective in which core regulatory functions are targeted as a first priority, yielding comprehensive coverage of the state regulation issues that dominate in psychopathology. Of course ILF training is not exhaustive, either in the perspective of neurofeedback or of biofeedback. In application to complex disorders such as PTSD, and with the objective of optimal functioning in mind, multiple brain challenges are called for. That means bringing our “multiple intelligences” to bear from a variety of scientific and clinical perspectives. It is time to break down the internal barriers within our discipline to bring that about.
Excerpts taken from EEG Info Newsletter
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