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Old 02-18-2019, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Neurofeedback Therapy

I thought this article was pretty good. I think neurofeedback has a lot of potential but the lack of double-blind, placebo/control group studies and empirical evidence concerns me. I do not doubt that it works for some people and if or how it works doesnt matter if clients feel it is beneficial but the cost factor and the fact that many of the patients that this is promoted to are economically disadvantaged I think should be scrutinized.

Read this before paying $100s for neurofeedback therapy | Psychology Today

Quote:
A new paper in American Psychologist, by Robert Thibault and Amir Raz at McGill University, states that "placebo factors permeate EEG-nf [EEG-based neurofeedback] and likely account for the majority of relevant experimental findings and clinical outcomes". In other words, most of the benefits seem to be a placebo effect based around the experience of attending a clinic and receiving attention from a caring practitioner, rather than having anything to do with learning to control your own brain waves. "EEG-nf entails a degree of deception," the authors conclude, "—the putative mechanisms differ from the actual underlying mechanisms. Moreover, cheaper and less time-intensive options may be available." Thibault and Raz urge the research community to spend more time researching the nature of the placebo effects involved in neurofeedback therapy to better understand how it works and how its benefits might be exploited more cheaply and easily to the advantage of patients. They also draw attention to the massive conflict of interest in the research field: in a literature review, they found that "the first author on 37 of the 39 publications included (i.e., 95%) either runs a private EEG-nf practice or sells neurofeedback equipment."
Quote:
In Lancet Psychiatry, a new triple-blind, randomised controlled trial of neurofeedback therapy for adult ADHD compared with sham neurofeedback (client thinks they're getting neurofeedback but they're not) or CBT-style therapy. All three groups showed improvements in symptoms. The neurofeedback group showed no greater improvements than the other groups. The authors, led by Dr Michael Schönenberg, provide this useful summary of the implications of all the available evidence concerning neurofeedback therapy for ADHD to date: "This study adds to first evidence from other studies that investigated the effects of neurofeedback in children with ADHD or other clinical disorders and observed no advantage for neurofeedback when compared with sham treatments. Our results suggest that although neurofeedback training is effective in reducing ADHD symptoms it neither outperforms sham neurofeedback nor group psychotherapy. As such, neurofeedback cannot be recommended as an efficient approach in the treatment of adults with ADHD."
Quote:
I don’t doubt that most neurofeedfback therapy clinicians are well-meaning and well-trained. But looking at the literature, it seems there’s good reason to be skeptical about using their techniques, especially as a short-cut to elation and enlightenment.

Most of all, I find it worrying how they present their services to the public. They make grandiose claims, like the brain changes being permanent. They big up their technical wizardry (“Our chairs are based on NASA designs” boasts the Brainworks website). And what's more, they continue to dally with New Age mysticism (Brainworks offers spiritual retreats and says their approach brings “spiritual neuroscience firmly into the 21st Century”). Just as in the flower-power days of neurofeedback, they still can’t make up their minds whether to clothe themselves in the white coats of science, or to dress up in the loose robes of woo.
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