Many people ask what brought me to becoming a neurofeedback practitioner. I can happily tell you a very long and twisted story if you have the time. But one of the main reasons I started this journey was Bessel van der Kolk, MD’s book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.
And while this book isn’t just about neurofeedback, there’s a chapter dedicated specifically to it. Dr. Van der Kolk explains what happens when the human brain undergoes physical, psychological, or emotional trauma. And the uplifting part is that the book explains what we can do about it. And yes, neurofeedback is one of the effective trauma modalities.
And here is the journey that the book started for my family and me. This is how NeurOptimal® neurofeedback changed my life completely.
Several years ago my husband and I adopted our daughter from foster care. Just like many kids who have been separated from their birth families and gone through trauma through no fault of their own, she had endured abuse and neglect and spent time in the foster care system.
When she moved in with us at the age of eight, she was a mess. We had a year from hell the first year she was with us. This poor kiddo was in a seemingly permanent state of “fight or flight.” Other adults had failed her in the past, so why would she trust us not to do the same?
Our family was in a constant state of crisis and stress, and we got negative reports from school weekly, if not daily. It got to the point that my heart would shrink seeing the school district number on my caller id.
“What did she do this time?”
“Will she be suspended?”
“Do they want us to talk to her?” (As if talking to her about “being nice” ever helped.)
She ran away from home several times, so I had the local law enforcement phone number on my speed-dial. A couple of times she made accusations about us which resulted in investigations by the Child Protective Services. After social workers got to the truth, they all said that we were in a lot of trouble with this kid. They wished us good luck and dismissed the case.
This was bleak.
I tried very hard to look for any resources that could help her and us. We tried three different types of neurofeedback before finding NeurOptimal®. My daughter was on various prescription medications with side effects that outweighed the benefits significantly. She had intensive counseling twice a week.
Things were still rough at home. If you have a loved one who is struggling with a disability, you probably relate to the feeling of frustration and desperation. It drains you emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
That’s where I found myself one day. I had nothing left to give. I was losing myself and needed support if I was to continue to give, give, give. If you are a parent of a child with special needs, I’m sure you have been there. You can’t give out of an empty vessel. At some point, you have to fill yourself up in order to serve others.
Having realized that I needed help, I turned to counseling for myself. Talk therapy alone wasn’t sufficient. But I wasn’t interested in trying medication, and I didn’t have a mental health diagnosis. It was my therapist who suggested that I try NeurOptimal®.
After the first session, nothing earth-shattering happened, but I felt more relaxed, and my nagging headache went away. I had been warned that it could take several appointments before I noticed any changes, so I waited patiently for this new modality to do something amazing.
After four sessions I felt less overwhelmed and more grounded. I was able to let go of negative repetitive thoughts stuck in my brain. I was starting to feel happier and lighter. I was feeling love and affection for my daughter again. That's when I realized that I had found something that could finally make a difference.
I rented a NeurOptimal® system for one month and used the heck out of it on myself, my daughter, my son, and my husband. At the end of the month, my daughter was having far fewer nightmares, was no longer jumpy or so easily startled (a common PTSD symptom), and we all felt much more relaxed.
I decided to purchase my own system so that we could continue seeing progress. Because, as we all know, life throws new stressors at us all the time, I needed to have an effective tool to fall back on that has proven to work. And if it helped me, I wanted it to help others as well. I took the certification courses from the Zengar Institute and opened my own practice. And here I am, ready to serve others change their lives as well.
If you are like I was, feeling stressed and desperate, give NeurOptimal® neurofeedback a chance. Download a free guide to see how neurofeedback can help your child.
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