Neurofeedback NY Trainer & Founder, Natalie Baker:
Why I introduced neurofeedback to my practice….
“In the summer of 2010, during a brunch after a meditation program, one of the participants handed me the book, A Symphony in the Brain, by the New York Times science writer, Jim Robbins. He asked if I would give him my opinion about this new type of therapy called neurofeedback that, as described in the book, was significantly reducing the symptoms associated with epilepsy, ADHD, PTSD, brain injuries, anxiety disorders, addictions, and more. I said I would but felt skeptical that anything that sounded so simple could help treat all those different conditions. I started reading the book and soon realized that neurofeedback was doing what I was trying to do with my therapy clients—only better and faster! It was training the brain to come back into the present and use the present as the reference point for whether or not the world is a safe place, whether or not there are any real dangers present or anything to be angry, anxious or depressed about right now. Moreover, neurofeedback was training the nervous system to drop whatever fixation the client was experiencing — to an object, a substance, a way of thinking, or feeling.
I started researching neurofeedback, talking to different psychotherapists who were using it in their practice, and over and over again I heard how effortlessly their clients were letting go of the past and being able to relax in the present.
As a result, the clients’ overall functioning was improving much more quickly than if the therapist had just used talk therapy.
While there are a number different neurofeedback devices on the market, after extensive research I decided on Zengar Institute’s NeurOptimal trainer for a number of reasons: The first and most important reason is that it is effective and safe. The training adds nothing to the brain; it simply feeds back information and so minimizes any side-effects. The trainee’s brain automatically decides how to use that information to optimize it’s functioning. In this way it is non-invasive, nor is there an operator external to the system deciding what it needs. With other systems, a “trainer” uses protocols to train the brain of the individual for such issues as anxiety, ADHD, etc. With NeurOptimal there are no protocols; rather the training provides a mirror for the brain to see how inefficient and inappropriate it is, allowing it to adapt naturally. An analogy: your body might be out of alignment, tilting, and you don’t realize it until you see yourself in a mirror, and then you straighten up. A real case in point: I have a client who, as a result of having been severely physically threatened as a child, would respond with rage towards anyone close to her in public spaces (for instance, in a crowded subway). After her seventh neurofeedback session she no longer felt anger in these situations but rather would notice her body shifting to create more space for herself: the brain responding appropriately and efficiently to the present moment. What a relief!
The second reason I selected NeurOptimal was that it is less expensive for consumers than other systems that need an expensive brain map to be generated by a technician before training can be done.
The third reason I selected NeurOptimal is that it does not require me to become an expert in neuroscience. I can do my job: caring for my clients, and it does its job: giving feedback to the brain about its behaviour. The system is fully automated and designed so that successful training is determined by the client’s central nervous system noticing shifts in its thoughts, emotions and behaviour, not by a human “expert” interpreting a graph on a screen.
I am pleased to have found another support for clients to ease their suffering and to enable them to live life to the fullest.”
Natalie N. Baker, LMHC
Licensed Psychotherapist Neurofeedback Trainer
Email: natalie [at] neurofeedbackny.com
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