Did you know that you already have everything that you need to feel calm, secure, and in control in any situation? Our body has the resources to makes this possible, and we can learn and practice skills to have better control to this fascinating system. “Biofeedback” is a system that allows you to speed up this training process by offering rapid, highly accurate information about how your skills are actually working.
What is biofeedback?
Biofeedback measures physiological activity and provides real-time feedback to allow you to develop mastery over your physiological responses. When combined with psychotherapy and instruction from a trained provider, this feedback can be used to optimize your body’s response to relaxation techniques and other methods of mental control. This technique is especially helpful to counteract the harmful effects of stress on the body and on the mind.
Biofeedback uses sensitive medical/research grade technology (with sensors that measure things such as heart rate, sweating, muscle tension) to give you information about very small changes in your own body’s stress signals that are otherwise too subtle to notice.
Who is biofeedback for?
Biofeedback is great for a variety of people across ages. Biofeedback is a growing area that has research support for a variety of emotional and physical conditions including anxiety, chronic pain, migraine and tension headache, Raynaud’s disease, and TMD/TMJ. It can also be useful for learning how to better regulate physical symptoms associated with stress.
How long does it take?
Biofeedback sessions usually last 30-60 minutes and can be incorporated into your general therapy session. Sessions typically involve both discussion and time using equipment. The number of sessions needed varies by condition and how quickly you learn to control your physiological responses. After each session, clients are encouraged to practice the skills used during the feedback session. We typically recommend a minimum of 5-8 sessions to benefit. Biofeedback is a tool that can adjust to your skills level and can be useful at multiple points in a client’s treatment.
What to expect in our clinic?
Licensed Psychologists Mary Payne and JB Ward provide biofeedback services in our clinic. Both are actively pursuing certification through the national organization (AAPB/BCIA). An intake will be completed to assess the appropriateness of biofeedback for your presenting issues and a treatment protocol will be identified. Regular sessions will be scheduled. During the session, the appropriate equipment will be attached (e.g., respiration belt, BVP finger sensor, etc.). Once this is done, the therapist will collect you physiological data while walk you through the protocol with the appropriate feedback. This information is reviewed at the end of session. Sensors are disconnected and practice exercises are assigned.