Neurofeeback uses real-time information, to the clinician and the patient, of EEG activity. The goal of neurofeedback is to help a person regulate their central nervous system activity. In addiction treatment, neurofeedback is often used to help regulate the addict’s ‘triggers’. Triggers are people, places and things that create desires in the addict to use their drug of choice. Studies have shown that the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of addiction is successful in reducing cravings and increasing positive emotions and behavior. The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) also publishes a bibliography of research studies related to the use of neurofeedback with a range of health problems. Neurofeedback has been shown to be an effective treatment for a number of disorders. Neurofeedback has research support for its effectiveness in treating eating disorders and attention deficit disorder. Some of the other disorders that neurofeedback has been found effective for include epilepsy, insomnia, headache and traumatic brain injury.
Neurofeedback is helpful in retraining an addict’s brain in addiction treatment to form new, more positive cognitive processes, which equate to new and more positive behaviors. At Sovereign Health of California’s Addiction Treatment Program, we use neurofeedback to encourage cognitive development.