What is Cognitive Training, Neurofeedback, and Biofeedback?

These three non-invasive therapies may not necessarily be new, but they are extremely innovative techniques. Created as a way to meet the growing need for effective non-pharmacological approaches, these treatments were designed to help individuals with learning, mood, anxiety, and stress disorders, as well as cognitive and biological problems. All three therapies are customized for each client, and show greater results when used in an integrative fashion.

Both cognitive training and neurofeedback are exceptionally comprehensive, with pre- and post-data collection to determine the efficacy and areas of continued need. Each session generally takes about one to one and a half hours, depending on the specific protocol, and while the number and length of treatment depends on the client and the nature of the cognitive dysfunction, neurofeedback treatment typically involves a minimum of 20 sessions, while cognitive training usually requires 20 hours over the course of three to four months.

What is Cognitive Training?

Cognitive training is used to enhance specific cognitive skills through brain-based learning techniques. Most cognitive training exercises are actually done at home with the use of computer programs and can improve:

  • memory;
  • attention;
  • visual and auditory processing;
  • listening skills;
  • reading skills;
  • self-control; and
  • processing speed.

What is Neurofeedback?

Also called neurotherapy or EEG biofeedback, neurofeedback trains the brain to function more efficiently by measuring neuronal activity in the brain, and using real-time displays to monitor that brain activity on a computer screen. This enables the client to learn how to control their mental patterns, improving cognitive functions and thereby reducing the effects of:

  • learning disorders;
  • mood disorders;
  • anxiety disorders; and
  • executive dysfunction disorders.

What is Biofeedback?

Similar to neurofeedback, biofeedback is a sensory awareness training technique that teaches people how to improve their health, performance, and ability to cope with stress by recognizing signals from their own bodies. By monitoring their internal functions, clients are able to take steps to understand and control otherwise involuntary bodily processes, such as their respiration rate, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature.

This technique can be used to help clients who suffer from:

  • high or low blood pressure;
  • migraine and/or tension headaches;
  • digestive disorders;
  • attention disorders;
  • anxiety;
  • traumatic brain injury; and
  • insomnia.

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