Biofeedback is done to measure feedback of physiological functions that are otherwise not monitored consciously. Physiological activity (e.g. blood pressure, respiration, brainwaves, or muscle activity) is measured to help individuals with ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety and other disorders gain more control over functions they would usually be unaware of. The benefit is to increase concentration, lower anxiety, and to better control mood and stress levels, This is an empirically tested technique and has even beenknown to treat disorders related to digestion, hypertension, chronic pain and more physical disorders.
One device used for biofeedback is electromyography (EMG), which measures electrical activity of muscles. The sensors are attached to parts of the body that are more sensitive to tense conditions like the frontalis, or forehead.Increased stress or tension experienced by the brain is reflected in the form of fluctuations in electrical signals as a result of muscle contraction. The EMG measures these fluctuations allowing the individual to become more conscious of building tension. Through this awareness the individual can relieve some tension and train to apply this awareness in various situations in order to gain more control.
Neurofeedback is aspecific biofeedback technique where brainwaves are monitored in an effort to improvean individual’s understanding of the distinction between the brain and the mind. Thoughts and feelings can have an impact on brainwave activity, which can have an effect on many other things. During the neurofeedback process a computerized system aids in training the brain for better control of thoughts and feelings. Electroencephalography (EEG) is used to measure brainwaves through sensors placed along the scalp. Brainwaves are represented through visual and/or audio, which helps the individual to visualize their brain response and reach a level of awareness that allows them to alter their brainwave activity.Individuals can learn to produce a normal EEG pattern through training. Without the use of neurofeedback and EEG the task of controlling brainwaves through self-regulation is impossible. Thus, through neurofeedbackthe awareness of how thoughts and feelings can influence brain activity becomes possible and individuals can learn how to gain better control.
In addition to the abovementioned techniques for controlling brain activity, psychotherapists use different approaches to look into the psyche of the brain. Such approaches include psychodynamics, the cognitive approach, behavioral approach and eclectic approaches. No one approach can be considered perfect, but many professionals have been able to treat various disorders with just one approach that they are comfortable with using. Skill level and experience both play a role in how effective a single approach can be for a single psychotherapist.
The eclectic approach is one of the more advanced approaches today because it is so flexible and it’s fit to the client’s needs. The eclectic approach is built around what the client needs specifically and it integrates multiple treatments. Click here to read and understand more about various psychological approaches.
Another important aspect of therapy is the interaction between the therapist and the client. To help improve the therapist-client relationship activities can be implemented such as homework assignments, reading journals etc. for the client to complete. This is to check the behavior and thought patterns of the client, and helps to strengthen the trust between the therapist and the client.
Biofeedback uses information about physiological functions as a proxy for brain function, and helps clients control their brain function to improve their overall wellbeing. Therapy is often combined with biofeedback for optimum results. It is up to the therapist to choose a treatment approach based on how they believe the client will benefit.