By Renee Chillcott, LMHC
Mental health is a broad term that encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It can also have a profound impact on our physical health and daily functioning. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with situations and is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
At The Brain and Wellness Center in Boca Raton, our mission is to help bring education and optimal mental health to the clients that we serve. We enjoy utilizing all of our skills in order to enhance the quality of life and bring hope towards a better future for our clients.
HOW DO I REACH OPTIMAL MENTAL HEALTH?
Being mentally healthy can be achieved in different ways for different people. At our clinic, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all attitude. Instead we customize each session to fit the individual and base this on their needs, symptoms, and individual differences. We offer several different services in house and will not hesitate to refer for services we don’t offer if they’re needed. Through Neurofeedback, EMDR, and counseling, optimal mental health is within reach.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, focuses on the memories we have that were stored incorrectly and therefore continue to disturb us, even if we’ve reasoned them out. These memories get stored in the emotional part of our brain, so accessing them leaves us feeling as if we are still in the midst of them, all the same hurt comes back. EMDR allows the brain to tap into these feeling memories and conjoin them with more logical reasoning so that we can heal them. We don’t lose the memories but we lose the emotional grip they have on us.
What are the Symptoms that can be helped by EMDR?
High anxiety and lack of motivation
Memories of a traumatic experience
Fear of being alone
Unrealistic feelings of guilt and shame
Difficulty in trusting others
IS EMDR NEW?
Since the initial medical study in 1989 positive therapeutic results with EMDR have been reported with the following populations:
People who have witnessed or been a victim to a disaster
Clients suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Suffers of panic disorders and anxiety attacks
Suffers of phobias
Chemically dependent clients
Persons exposed to excess loss
Accident or burn victims
EMDR is similar to that of REM sleep, when our eyes move as we sleep, our brain is able to process the information we have collected through the day. In an EMDR session, your eyes are guided with hand movements or tappers, back and forth at a good pace. While the movement is happening, you may experience different memories, thoughts about the memories, feelings may come up and they may sometimes be intense. Through this process, you will be guided and supported. By the end of the process, your memory, and thoughts about the memory will be different. It won’t hold the same feelings for you anymore, and you may see yourself, and indeed your life, in a new way.
EMDR is a powerful tool with children as well, helping them move past fears and behaviors triggered by past events. It is done through play and can help move children through tough times with less stigmatizing affects. The children continue to work through therapy in play, with the EMDR allowing the brain to work out their feelings much faster.
There is no “right or wrong” way to benefit from counseling. Rather, it’s all about the “fit” and needs of our clients. At The Brain and Wellness Center we offer many different options and techniques of counseling to fit those needs. Different counseling styles and approaches for individual clients of all ages, couples and families; make us a unique and inviting place to heal and grow.
Kristan Torres, LMHC – Hope Christian Counseling
Tina Landeen, LCSW – Harmony Family Counseling
Renee Chillcott, LMHC –
The Brain and Wellness Center
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, has been studied and practiced since the late 60’s. It is exercise for your brain; allowing you to see the frequencies produced by different parts of your brain in real-time and then through visual and auditory feedback, teaches the brain to better regulate itself. Neurofeedback can be used to help detect, stimulate, and/or inhibit activity in the brain safely and without medication. It can help restore a wider “range of motion” in brain states, much like physical therapy does for the body.
While the client sits comfortably watching a movie or pictures appearing on the screen (a calm and focused state), the EEG equipment measures the frequency or speed at which electrical activity moves in the areas where electrodes have been placed. This information is sent to the therapist’s computer. The therapist is then able to determine what frequencies are out of balance. For example, when the EEG shows that you are making too many “slow” or “sleepy” waves (delta/theta) or too many “fast” waves (high beta), the therapist adjusts a reward band to encourage more balanced activity. This encouragement or “reward” happens through an auditory reinforcement of “beeps” and sometimes through visual reinforcement of changes on the screen.
WHAT TYPES OF CONDITIONS
DOES NEUROFEEDBACK HELP?
Symptoms of these conditions, among others, can improve through neurofeedback training:
• Anxiety • Sleep disorders • Depression
• ADD/ADHD • Sensory processing disorder
• Bipolar disorder • Seizure disorders
• Auditory/visual processing
• Chronic pain/Fibromyalgia
• Migraines/headaches • Traumatic brain injuries • Stroke • Cognitive decline • Peak performance
• Oppositional defiant disorder
• Rages/mood swings
• Reactive attachment disorder
• Autism/Asperger’s • Learning disabilities
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
WHAT IS A QEEG (QUANTITATIVE EEG) OR BRAIN MAP AND DO I NEED ONE?
The QEEG is a quantitative EEG. It’s also called a brain map and does just that…it gives us a map of what is going on with the entire brain at one time. We attach electrodes to the whole head, 19 spots, and then record the brain waves with eyes open for 5 minutes and with eyes closed for 10 minutes. This recording is then sent to an independent specialist be read and analyzed. They are able to not only give us a summary of significant findings but the report also shows the results of analyzing the data several different ways. The brain activity is not only compared spot by spot over the entire head, but we can also look at connections, symmetry, how different parts are communicating and all of this data is compared to a database of peers (same sex, handedness and age). It can help us see what areas need to be addressed more efficiently than just training spot by spot.
We don’t always need this data to make improvements in symptoms but we do recommend it in certain situations. A QEEG can also be helpful information when diagnosing and/or trying to decide the best medication/supplement recommendations.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Getting started is easy, just give us a call. The Brain and Wellness Center staff will answer all of your questions, and help you get scheduled. If you are wondering what services are best for you? We can help determine that at the time of the intake, in a telephone consultation, or you can schedule a face to face consultation and see our facility. Call, email or message us today! Brain and Wellness Center, 7301 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Suite 102A, Boca Raton, FL 33433. (561) 206-2706, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text us at (561) 206-2706 or visit our website at www.BocaBrainCenter.com.
Renee Chillcott, LMHC
Renee Chillcott is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor that has been practicing
Neurofeedback training since 2005. Renee attended The University of Central Florida where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in 1995. She then went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with Nova Southeastern University in 2001. She has been a mental counselor in a variety of settings including Outpatient Treatment Agencies, Alternative Education Settings, and Private Practice. Renee received her license in Mental Health Counseling in 2004. Renee decided to enter the field of Neurofeedback because there was very little information made available to people/parents about alternatives to medication. Through the use of Neurofeedback she saw more significant and permanent changes in not only her clients, but also her own family and herself. This inspired her to become the owner/operator of The Brain and Wellness Center, located in Boca Raton. At The Brain and Wellness Center, adults, teens, children and families enjoy a variety of services from multiple providers. Neurofeedback, Brain Mapping, Counseling, and Learning Programs, are among a few of the services offered.