Do you have trouble paying attention to a lecture or following a conversation?

As a teacher walks in the door does your mind walk out?

Are you having a hard time organizing schoolwork and setting time aside to study?

Do you find yourself being unable to block out surrounding noises?

Are you unable to retain information from day to day?

Have you ever been tested positive for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD)?

If you answered yes to any combination of the previous questions you may want to try neurofeedback.

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Neurofeedback is an exciting new approach for managing ADD/ADHD. With results like improved behavior and learning, improved school grades, increased self-esteem, better job performance, and greater realization of innate potential, neurofeedback has the potential to change your life or the life of a loved one or friend suffering from ADD/ADHD.


Your brain has billions of neurons that discharge electricity whenever stimulated. These electrical patterns are called brain waves. Our latest computer technology translates this information into a video display on a computer monitor. In neurofeedback training your brain waves get translated back into information you can learn from. Fine lines from the connectors placed on your scalp transfer your brain waves to a recording instrument that registers the different frequencies and amplitudes of the signals being produced. Changes in the brain wave patterns show whether you are concentrating, suppressing your impulses, and relaxing rather than drifting off, indulging in your impulses, and being tense.

Neurofeedback training converts the brain waves into game like displays in which you learn to control the brain waves. For example, teaching yourself to concentrate on an animated airplane on the computer screen enables it to take flight. The longer you stay focused, the longer it flies. As soon as you drift off or lose interest your airplane falls. Other games would include making a superhero fly or putting together puzzle pieces. You score only when your attention remains focused. You feel in control and successful while at the same time you are improving your brain's activity.


With neurofeedback you learn to exercise the pathways in the brain that control attention and mental processing. By doing so you gain a sense of what concentration feels like and at the same learn how to maintain your train of thought for a period of time. This enhanced brain activity becomes a natural part of your daily routine. Neurofeedback will empower you to get into the concentration zone. If learning how to control your brain waves sounds a little far fetched for you stop what you are doing and count to ten. You just controlled your brain activity. We have been doing it all of our life. 

The procedure is simple and with practice you can learn to control your brain waves without the help of neurofeedback. It is hard to explain to a person suffering with ADD/ADHD how to concentrate, but once he/she understands neurofeedback and learns self-regulation, difficult tasks become less stressful and easier to overcome.


Brain waves reflect what you are doing from moment to moment. When one part is active and producing fast brain waves, other parts take a rest and produce slow waves. The difference between ADD brain waves and non-ADD brain waves is their pattern. ADD sufferers usually produce more slow waves than non-ADD sufferers. Delta waves are the slowest brain waves. We experience these during sleep. Beta3 brain waves are for our highest level of concentration. Most people do not have a problem reaching Beta level, but if you have ADD you may feel trapped in the Theta or Alpha level, which by the way would explain your tendency to daydream or fall asleep in class. Neurofeedback’s goal is to teach you to recognize and use your calm (SMR) waves and your thinker (BETA) waves. By using the computer monitor to watch your brain wave activity you can train yourself to stay out of the Theta and Alpha levels. 


Not everyone with ADD or ADHD is a candidate for neurofeedback training. You must first visit a neurofeedback specialist to determine whether neurofeedback training is appropriate for you or your child. While the majority of all people with neurologically based attention problems could benefit from this technique; the neurofeedback provider must customize a program that meets your needs.

Therapeutic applications of Neurofeedback:

  • Addiction; Anxiety; Attachment Disorder; Autism; Autoimmune Dysfunction; ADHD/ADD Chronic Pain;
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Conduct Disorders
  •  Depression; Eating Disorder; Epilepsy
  •  Fetal Alchohol Syndrome; Learning Disabilities; Migraine; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  •  Pre-Menstrual Syndrome; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Sleep Disorders; Stroke; Tourette’s Sydrome; Traumatic Brain Injury

The following syndromes have potential therapeutic effectiveness using Neurofeedback: 

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  •  Dissociative Identity Disorder
  •  Cognitive Decline in the elderly
  •  Parkinson’s Disease 


Neurofeedback, unlike drugs has no negative physical side effects and the training appears to produce permanent alterations in learning and behavior. One study of one hundred and forty adults showed significant improvement for inattention, impulsivity, and variability of response time after twenty or more sessions of neurofeedback. Another study linked neurofeedback training to improved I.Q. scores for ADD children. The main reason being that the children learned how to concentrate through neurofeedback which enabled them to be more attentive and alert during the test.


Neurofeedback may be a new concept for you but this technique is based on twenty-five years of research. Dr. Barry Sterman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, first published articles on using neurofeedback with humans in 1972. In 1976, Dr. Joel Lubar, a professor at the University of Tennessee, focused his research on using neurofeedback to help children with ADD. Considerable amounts of research have been done in this field but because most of the articles were published in highly specialized journals, the lay public remained unaware of the vast possibilities of neurofeedback. Now, however, due to advances in computer technology we have been able to take neurofeedback out of the labs and transform it into a useful clinical tool that is being used today in psychologist's offices.


If you would like to learn more about Neurofeedback, call or stop by EduPsychWorx and talk to Dr. Dirkie de Villiers.

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