By Renee Chillcott, LMHC
It’s a typical Monday morning… Trying to get kids off to school – on time, trying to help my husband get off to work – on time, trying to clean up, stay organized, take care of everyone including the animals, and oh, by the way, trying to get myself off to work – on time. I feel stressed to say the least; but also feel an incredible uneasiness, sometimes panic feeling, I clench my jaw, my heart is racing, my headis pounding, I am often irritable and definitely not patient at this time. I arrive at work like the flash, in a whirlwind of energy, and then plop myself in a chair and try to focus on my day. Although I am no longer at home dealing with that stress, the feelings continue. Next up? My boss is unreasonable, I don’t enjoy my job or am having trouble with my co-workers… more stress. Fast forward to eight hours later and I’m behind on projects and not making deadlines, oh and don’t forget the meeting I had today where I completely spaced out and felt like a failure when I used to be so on top of my game. I am now sitting in traffic, frustrated and aggravated by South Florida drivers and rushing to pick up kids and get to soccer practice on time. After practice comes dinner and the bombardment of things I have to get accomplished before I can even attempt to lay my head on a pillow for the night and then the insomnia hits and I’m wide awake! My heart is pounding, I can’t get comfortable, my mind is racing, and my thoughts bounce from excessive worrying to all of things I need to do that I didn’t get done. I try to sleep to no avail and as the night progresses, my insomnia just gets worse. Nothing works to settle me down and if I get 2 hours of sleep tonight it’s a miracle. The alarm goes off and it begins again…
If I was on vacation,
I would feel better…
I wish this was true… but even when on vacation, these unpleasant feelings, thoughts and conditions persist.
If I didn’t have to work,
I would feel better…
Again, even if this was a possibility, new stresses will replace the work stresses.
Why can’t I remove enough stress to reduce my anxiety? And why can’t I handle stress like other people do?
The answer is simple.
Anxiety is a pattern in the brain and stress (physical or emotional) is a condition caused by an external force. Strong research evidence indicates that there are functional brainabnormalities associated with anxiety and panic disorder and posttraumaticstress disorder (PTSD). And Neurofeedback training corrects functional brain abnormalities. Simply put, Neurofeedback corrects the anxiety patterns in your brain, thus allowing you to handle stress with ease.
How does Neurofeedback work?
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.Allowing you to be more “flexible” in stressful situations.
What do I have to do?
While the client sits comfortably watching a movie or pictures appear 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) in the center of the frontal lobe (Anterior Cingulate) you will experience worrying, obsessing, not being able to let things go; or if too many “fast” waves (high beta) are firing in the left temporal or parietal lobe, you will experience trouble sleeping, racing thoughts, panic attacks, physically unsettled. The therapist adjusts a reward band to encourage more balanced activity and this encouragement or “reward” happens through an auditory reinforcement of “beeps” and sometimes through visual reinforcement of changes on the screen.
What should I expect?
Mental clarity improves when you operate a calmer, more efficient brain. As you learn to slow down “inner chatter” or activate a “sleepy” brain, you become more effective at responding to stress and adapt more readily to different situations, both psychologically and physically. Parenting becomes less exhausting, appointments are more easily kept, decision-making improves, sleep improves, frustration reduces and mood swings and overwhelmed/depression lifts.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Getting started with Neurofeedback is fairly simple. Call, text, or email our office to set up an intake session. At the intake session, you will receive a clinical interview, treatment plan recommendations, and a Neurofeedback session (if warranted in your treatment plan).
Call to make an appointment today!
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 Wellness Center, located in Boca Raton. At The Wellness Center, adults, teens, children and families enjoy a variety of services from multiple providers. Neurofeedback, Brain Mapping, Acupuncture, Nutritional Counseling, Learning Programs, and counseling are among a few of the services offered.
Brain & Wellness Center
7301 W. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Do I have anxiety? Or am I just stressed?
By Renee Chillcott, LMHC