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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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What is the effectiveness of neurofeedback in treating ADD

Customer Question

What is the effectiveness of neurofeedback in treating ADD/ADHD.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Many youngsters seem to be diagnosed with ADHD nowadays. That diagnosis must be confirmed before you take action, of course, because children don't all have the same level of attention and focus as they are developing.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your (presumably) son is quite young. Dietary factors may also play a role in his level of calmness and concentration. He may react significantly to sugars and sweets.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If the diagnosis is confirmed, doctors often prescribe stimulants containing amphetamines or amphetamine-like substances.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

A recent approach, however, has been using biofeedback to train the patients to regulate their thinking and state of mind, without the use of chemicals or any invasive techniques.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The results are on the whole very positive and promising.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Listen to this recent National Public Radio (NPR) report, for example:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130896102

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Let me recommend several books on the subject.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


the next book is only available in Kindle edition which you can read on your home computer without buying a Kindle device:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I have given you the best of the books available. I believe that you would be prudent and wise to try the biofeedback approach before going to the brain stimulants such as: Adderall, a combination of four amphetamine salts (racemic amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, racemic amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharide, and dextroamphetamine sulfate) and; Ritalin (methylphenidate) which possesses some of the structural and pharmacological similarities to cocaine.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


If it was my child, I would first try the biofeedback.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I wish your family great success and shall keep you in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Same information I could find myself for free. I was looking for a more in depth answer. I feel that $45 is too much for the same thing I found myself. Will not be recommending this service.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.

Hi! I'll be glad to follow up on Elliott's answer with you.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. It would be wonderful if we had a definitive answer to give you about the effectiveness of neurofeedback--or of any treatment--for ADHD. But we don't. The stimulants used as the main form of treatment today, for example, do not have a "standard" form of action in most children. I've seen such great differences in how different children react to the stimulants or even the non-stimulant medications that it is not possible to predict whether medications will help, or how much.

Neurofeedback has a body of research behind it now. But that research is not conclusive. Nor has it been based on large scale studies for the most part. So we don't have the evidence that even medications have to be able to say it is a worthwhile investment of your time and money. However, we do have a lot of anecdotal evidence and a fair amount of research evidence that neurofeedback can improve symptoms in many children with ADHD.

Is this enough for you to make the effort? I can only tell you that if he were my relative, I would make the effort. ADHD that is so severe that the child is non-functional in school might make medications a must. But otherwise, I would want my relatives to try neurofeedback. But there's one caveat:

I would want to interview the practitioners and make sure I have references for them and that they are experienced and that I have a good rapport with them. All of these are important to me in selecting a treatment. So, if you live in an area that's large enough to have practitioners specializing in this, then it is worth the investment as Elliott also recommended, in my opinion.


Okay, I wish you the very best!

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