Neurofeedback | Attention Deficit Specialists

Learn about the Benefits of Neurofeedback Treatment.

EEG Biofeedback (also called “Neurofeedback”) is beginning to attract the attention of therapists and parents across the country as a promising new non-drug treatment to help children with Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD/ADHD). Biofeedback techniques have been around for decades, but have primarily focused on controlling such functions as blood pressure and muscle tension. Using state-of-the-art computer technology, EEG Biofeedback brings us a step into the future and goes straight to the source of the disorder by teaching the brain how to control itself.

Research has shown that brain waves in individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder usually contain excessive slow waves (theta) and not enough fast wave activity (beta) during activities requiring concentration and learning.

All neurological processes of the brain are conducted through an interaction of chemical and electrical processes (biochemical/bioelectrical processes). Thus, certain brain functions, including attention, can be measured with sophisticated, electronic instruments such as the electroencephalograph (EEG). Brain waves are generated as a result of biochemical/bioelectrical processes going on in the brain. EEG Neurofeedback can correct maladaptive brain wave patterns by teaching the child to manipulate his or her own brain wave patterns, decreasing the daydreamer Theta waves and increasing the attention enhancing Beta waves, through the use of special software and computer enhanced techniques which allow the child to monitor his or her progress in a video-game format. When the brain begins to self-adjust, sleep and bed-wetting problems decrease, energy and memory improves, the child can better focus and stay on task, and hyperactivity and impulsivity significantly drop. The most striking improvement is usually seen in a child’s self-esteem. For children who have spent a lifetime feeling they can’t do anything right, learning to control their brains can be a powerful motivational force. Many parents are now seeking alternatives to psycho stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin, which for many years have been the treatment of choice. Concern over side effects, partial effectiveness, potential for abuse, and the daunting prospect of long-term use have prompted many parents to look elsewhere for answers. Whereas, drugs have been effective in treating symptomatology, the underlying causative factor is left untreated—the brain itself. No parent really feels good about having their child dependent on drugs to alter performance. EEG Neurofeedback may offer their child a way to get off medicine and significantly improve behavior and performance at home and at school.

How does EEG Biofeedback work?

EEG Biofeedback is completely non-invasive; it does not change the brain, nor does it change the underlying personality. Electrodes, attached by a conductive paste, simply measure small changes in brainwave frequencies, amplify these changes, and translate them into feedback signals via the video game display. An individual then uses this feedback information in order to recognize and understand the effects of small changes in brainwave activity. Then, with this information, one makes appropriate changes in order to correct maladaptive patterns and strengthen more positive ones. During EEG Biofeedback Training, a computer-based EEG monitoring system processes signals from the brain and translates them into immediate feedback by means of a video game-like display. While individuals usually play video games with a joystick, mouse or control pad, clients who train with EEG Biofeedback “play” and “win” the games using their brain waves. During EEG Biofeedback, sensors or electrodes, usually one placed on the scalp and one on each ear lobe, measure the brain wave activity and translate it into visual and audio feedback signals.

How does the training affect individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder?

With the feedback from these games, an individual can strengthen his or her control over brainwave processes and normalize any dysregulations such as the slow wave activity associated with ADD/ADHD. For example, in order to “win” biofeedback games, a client must change their brain wave activity in order to reach certain goals set by the biofeedback therapist. Usually, for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder, they must decrease their slow wave (theta) activity and increase their fast wave (beta) activity; when they achieve these goals they are reinforced by the audio-visual rewards of the computer game. Most important, research has shown that once the brain learns to regulate itself, it continues to do so. Once learning and control is crystallized, as with riding a bike, re-learning is not necessary. EEG Biofeedback training allows individuals to gain more control over their brain state. As physical exercise usually increases flexibility and control, so does EEG Biofeedback, but for the brain. More brain control and flexibility has a great impact on a variety of mental activities: -increased attention -better sleep -increased feelings of well-being -less depression or pain -reduced negative feelings or behavior -better ability to relax. By training an individual to shift their patterns or to maintain certain patterns for longer periods, the resulting increased flexibility and strength enables one to more effectively meet the changing and varied demands of the environment.

What is the origin of EEG Biofeedback Training?

EEG Biofeedback training is a relatively new (late 1980s), advanced type of biofeedback that is being offered by a dramatically growing group of practitioners across the country. Unlike traditional methods of biofeedback, EEG Biofeedback impacts brainwaves directly resulting in a change to neurophysiology. More than 30 years ago, research indicated that individuals could learn to re-formulate their brain wave activity associated with slow or fast frequencies. Most of the original work was with individuals who suffered from seizures, a condition that was particular difficult yet amenable to treatment. More recently, research efforts have indicated that less neurologically severe conditions like depression, anxiety and stress, attention deficits, chronic pain, or chemical abuse, can also be improved through brain wave training. Most important, recent advances in computer technology have resulted in affordable equipment with the capacity, sensitivity and speed to enable a person to recognize and train brainwave patterns.

If it is so effective and beneficial, why haven’t you or your doctor heard about EEG Biofeedback?

Many individuals have heard about traditional methods of biofeedback (relaxation training, heart rate, hand temperature, etc.), but many have not heard about EEG Biofeedback. Many health professionals may be familiar with EEG Biofeedback, but they may only be familiar with common early experiments with alpha training, rather than Beta/SMR training or more recent advances in Alpha training. Unfortunately, although these early alpha training experiments were instructive, they were associated with 1960s counter culture movements, and consequently, did not gain much scientific credibility with the traditional medical community. However, over the past 30 years significant strides have been made in our understanding of neurophysiology, abnormalities, and scientific means to intervene, control, and improve brain functioning. We understand that all individuals, especially doctors or other health professionals, should maintain a healthy skepticism about any treatment modality which claims numerous benefits. Consequently, we have information for doctors or health professionals who may question the efficacy of EEG Biofeedback or who would simply like to further their understanding of what we consider to be the “Psychology of the Future.” In addition, we recommend that you refer any interested individuals to our website at

Why EEG Biofeedback BEFORE medication?

EEG Biofeedback, obviously, is not the only treatment for attentional difficulties or other disorders. However, medication like Ritalin, usually only offers a quick fix, a masking of symptoms, but often at the cost of long-term continual use or negative side effects. Some of the documented side effects of Ritalin use include loss of appetite, nutritional deficiencies, sleep problems, or blunted affect. Even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the American Psychiatric Association strongly cautions against the overdiagnosis of Attention Deficit and the over-prescription of stimulants like Ritalin. Even modest estimates indicate that the prescription use of stimulants for the treatment of ADHD increased over 400% between 1990 and 1996. Unfortunately, such treatments are not effective long term treatment because they do not get at the root of the problem: an electrochemical disregulation of brain function.  EEG Biofeedback, on the other hand, addresses exactly these maladaptive brainwave patterns which interfere with attention or other necessary neurological functions. Although psychopharmacological treatments are sometimes necessary, we believe that medication should not be used as a first resort. We are extremely wary of reinforcing the ritualistic connection between taking pills and health that is held by many individuals. Instead, we believe that adults and children have the capacity to learn and succeed in school and work without the use of medication. Therefore, we strive to help empower individuals to utilize their own resources and skills to acquire and maintain their physical and emotional health.

Our Approach is Different

Our approach is unique from that of many other EEG Biofeedback practitioners because we offer a multi-dimensional treatment program that addresses various aspects of an individuals difficulties. With a more holistic approach, we strive to blend traditional methods and incorporate alternative treatments in order to address multiple variables. Many practitioners and therapists use EEG Biofeedback as an adjunct to traditional therapies because EEG Biofeedback seems to speed up overall treatment and/or improve the effectiveness of other interventions, often reducing the risk of later relapse. Consequently, EEG Biofeedback, the cornerstone of our treatment program, is often integrated with other available services including:

  • ADD/ADHD Evaluation
  • Behavior Modification and Coaching
  • Parent Training and Support Groups
  • Psycho-Educational Evaluation
  • School Advocacy
  • Psychiatric and Homeopathic Consultation
  • Neurological Consultation
  • Nutritional Consultation
  • Individual, Group, and Family Therapy

Our staff includes highly trained, male and female therapists who have been professionally trained in EEG biofeedback, counseling and related skills. Attention Deficit Specialists is also affiliated with our parent company, CEPD (Center for Educational and Personal Development). CEPD offers additional psychological services, including treatments for anxiety, depression, panic attacks, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and head injuries. Ask for details about CEPD. In addition, we are also affiliated with EEG Spectrum International, Inc., a research organization and national provider of EEG Biofeedback. EEG Spectrum International has done important research studies that document the efficacy of EEG Biofeedback for Attention Deficit and other Disorders. For more information, visit their website at