A therapy that uses real-time displays of brain activity to teach self-regulation of brain function.


Neurofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that utilizes real-time displays of brain activity, most commonly electroencephalography (EEG), to teach individuals how to self-regulate their brain function. By providing immediate feedback on brain wave patterns, neurofeedback aims to help individuals learn to modulate their neural activity, leading to improvements in mental health, cognitive performance, and overall well-being. The therapy is based on the principle of operant conditioning, where desired brain activity is rewarded and reinforced through visual or auditory feedback.

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Neurofeedback has its roots in the 1960s when researchers discovered that individuals could learn to control their brain activity through feedback. In 1968, Dr. Joe Kamiya published a study demonstrating that participants could be trained to alter their brain wave patterns. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, advancements in technology and research led to the development of more sophisticated neurofeedback systems. In the 1990s, the field gained more recognition as studies began to show the efficacy of neurofeedback in treating various conditions, such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Today, neurofeedback continues to evolve, with ongoing research exploring its potential applications and benefits.


  1. Reduces Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions Neurofeedback has been shown to alleviate symptoms of various mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  2. Enhances Cognitive Performance By training the brain to function more efficiently, neurofeedback can improve attention, memory, and overall cognitive abilities.
  3. Improves Sleep Quality Neurofeedback can help regulate brain wave patterns associated with sleep, leading to better sleep quality and reduced insomnia symptoms.
  4. Reduces Chronic Pain Some studies suggest that neurofeedback can help alleviate chronic pain by modulating brain regions involved in pain processing.
  5. Enhances Stress Resilience By training the brain to better handle stress, neurofeedback can increase an individual's resilience to stressful situations.
  6. Non-invasive and Drug-free Neurofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that does not rely on medication, making it an appealing alternative or complement to traditional treatments.
  7. Promotes Long-term Benefits The effects of neurofeedback are often long-lasting, as individuals learn to maintain the skills they have acquired during therapy.

How It Works

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive brain training technique that uses real-time feedback to help individuals regulate their brain activity. During a session, electrodes are placed on the scalp to measure brainwave patterns using an EEG (electroencephalogram). This information is then displayed on a computer screen, often in the form of a game or visual representation. As the individual interacts with the program, they learn to control and modify their brainwave patterns, promoting more balanced and efficient brain functioning. Over time, this training can lead to improved cognitive performance, emotional regulation, and overall well-being.


While neurofeedback is generally considered safe, it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or severe mental health disorders, should consult with their healthcare provider before starting neurofeedback training. It's also important to find a qualified and experienced practitioner to ensure the best possible outcomes. Neurofeedback requires consistency and commitment, as multiple sessions are often necessary to achieve lasting results. Some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as fatigue or headaches, particularly in the early stages of training. However, these effects are typically temporary and subside as the brain adjusts to the training process.

How Much It Costs

The cost of neurofeedback can vary depending on factors such as the practitioner's experience, location, and the number of sessions required. On average, a single neurofeedback session can range from $75 to $200. Many practitioners offer package deals or discounts for multiple sessions, which can range from $500 to $2,500 for a complete training program. Some insurance plans may cover a portion of the costs, particularly if neurofeedback is recommended as part of a treatment plan for a specific condition. It's best to check with your insurance provider and the practitioner to determine your coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual or online neurofeedback options have become increasingly popular, offering convenience and accessibility for individuals who may not have access to local practitioners. Online sessions are conducted using specialized software and equipment that can be rented or purchased for home use. The practitioner guides the individual through the training process remotely, often using video conferencing tools. Online options may be more cost-effective and flexible, as they eliminate the need for travel and allow for more frequent sessions. However, in-person sessions with a local practitioner ("neurofeedback near me") may be preferable for some individuals who value face-to-face interaction and hands-on guidance. Local practitioners may also have access to more advanced equipment and techniques, and they can provide a more personalized experience tailored to the individual's specific needs.


Practitioners offering neurofeedback services should have relevant certifications and training to ensure they are qualified to provide safe and effective treatment. The Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) is the leading organization that sets standards and certifies practitioners in the field of neurofeedback. To become a BCIA-certified neurofeedback practitioner, individuals must complete a comprehensive training program, pass a written examination, and demonstrate practical skills. Other relevant certifications may include those offered by the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) or the Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) Certification Board. It's important to verify a practitioner's credentials and experience before starting neurofeedback training to ensure they have the necessary expertise to provide quality care.

Complementary Practices

Neurofeedback can be combined with other mind-body practices for a holistic approach to well-being. Mindfulness meditation and yoga can help enhance self-awareness and emotional regulation, which may improve the effectiveness of neurofeedback sessions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used alongside neurofeedback to address negative thought patterns and behaviors. Biofeedback techniques like heart rate variability training can further develop self-regulation skills. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are also important complementary practices to support overall brain health and optimize the benefits of neurofeedback.

Practitioner Types

Neurofeedback is typically provided by licensed mental health professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and clinical social workers who have received specialized training in neurofeedback techniques. Some neurologists and occupational therapists may also incorporate neurofeedback into their practice. Certified neurofeedback practitioners, who may come from various healthcare backgrounds, have completed specific training programs in neurofeedback administration. When seeking a neurofeedback practitioner, it's important to inquire about their qualifications, experience, and licensure to ensure they are properly trained and qualified to provide this specialized treatment.

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  • Q: What is neurofeedback and how does it work?

    • A: Neurofeedback is a non-invasive brain training technique that uses real-time feedback to help individuals learn to regulate their brain activity. During a neurofeedback session, EEG sensors are placed on the scalp to measure brain wave patterns. This information is then displayed on a computer screen, often in the form of a game or visual representation. By observing their brain activity and practicing specific mental strategies, individuals can learn to modify their brain waves and achieve a more balanced, efficient state of functioning.
  • Q: What conditions can neurofeedback help treat?

    • A: Neurofeedback has been used to address a wide range of neurological and psychological conditions. It has shown promise in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, and migraines. Neurofeedback may also be beneficial for individuals looking to enhance their cognitive performance, creativity, and overall well-being. However, it's important to note that neurofeedback is not a standalone treatment and should be used in conjunction with other evidence-based therapies and under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.
  • Q: Is neurofeedback safe and are there any side effects?

    • A: Neurofeedback is generally considered safe, as it is a non-invasive and drug-free intervention. Most people do not experience any significant side effects from neurofeedback sessions. However, some individuals may report mild, temporary discomfort such as fatigue, headaches, or dizziness. These side effects usually subside quickly after the session and can be minimized by working with a qualified practitioner who can adjust the training protocol as needed. It's important to discuss any concerns or pre-existing conditions with your neurofeedback provider before beginning treatment.
  • Q: How many neurofeedback sessions are typically needed to see results?

    • A: The number of neurofeedback sessions required can vary depending on the individual and the condition being addressed. Some people may start to notice improvements after just a few sessions, while others may need 20 or more sessions to achieve their desired outcomes. A typical neurofeedback treatment plan may involve 1-2 sessions per week for several months. The specific duration and frequency of sessions will be determined by your neurofeedback practitioner based on your individual needs and progress. Consistency and regular attendance are key to maximizing the benefits of neurofeedback training.
  • Q: Can neurofeedback be used in combination with medication or other therapies?

    • A: Yes, neurofeedback can be used in conjunction with medication and other therapies. In fact, combining neurofeedback with other evidence-based treatments may lead to more comprehensive and lasting results. For example, individuals with ADHD may benefit from using neurofeedback alongside medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and educational interventions. However, it's crucial to consult with your healthcare provider and neurofeedback practitioner to ensure that the treatments are coordinated and appropriate for your specific situation. They can help you develop an integrated treatment plan that optimizes the benefits of each approach.


Neurofeedback is a promising, non-invasive brain training technique that has gained increasing attention in recent years. By providing real-time feedback on brain activity, neurofeedback empowers individuals to develop greater self-awareness and emotional regulation skills. While it has shown potential in treating a variety of neurological and psychological conditions, it is important to approach neurofeedback as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, under the guidance of qualified practitioners. As with any therapy, individual results may vary, and consistency in training is crucial to achieving desired outcomes. As research continues to explore the mechanisms and applications of neurofeedback, this innovative approach may offer new avenues for optimizing brain health and overall well-being. If you are considering neurofeedback, be sure to discuss your unique needs and goals with a licensed provider to determine if it is right for you.