Muir Wood utilizes BrainPaint® neurofeedback as in integral part of our recovery program.

Each resident receives two, one-hour sessions per week under the guidance of a Lead Recovery Counselor who has been trained specifically in BrainPaint® technology.

Neurofeedback (also know as EEG biofeedback) is well accepted by addiction treatment professionals as a safe learning strategy that teaches the brain to optimize focus, mood, and attention. Studies completed at UCLA have demonstrated that it can aid in optimal brain functioning, increase peak performance, and aid in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), severe conduct problems, and specific learning disabilities. Neurofeedback can also help in areas such as depression, mood disorders, and anxiety.

Biofeedback is an important component in therapeutic interventions for adolescent substance users, especially those with co-occurring ADHD and conduct problems. In several studies involving adolescents with ADHD and substance use disorder, neurofeedback proved more effective than medication for reducing symptoms of ADHD.

How is Neurofeedback administered?

The boys at Muir Wood describe neurofeedback as “similar to playing a video game.” A professional at Muir Wood, trained specifically in administering BrainPaint® neurofeedback, completes an interview and initial testing to determine brain function and to explain the process to the adolescent. Comfortable sensors are placed on the scalp, then boys work on a laptop as brain waves are monitored. The “video game” they are working on helps to train the brain to increase healthy and optimal brain wave patterns. Each session lasts about 45 minutes (including the 30-minute neurofeedback session and 15 minute set up and discussion). As activity in the desirable frequency band increases, the video games move faster, or some other rewards are given. As activity in an adverse band increases, the video game is inhibited. Gradually, the brain responds to these cues, learning new and optimal brain wave patterns.

The aim is greater stability, greater flexibility and faster recovery from anything destabilizing.

Neurofeedback is a very effective means of training the brain to function optimally. For most conditions, initial progress can be seen within ten sessions. Improvements are often seen in behavior, mental and athletic function and sense of well-being. Initial goals may be met at 20 to 30 sessions. In very severe chronic conditions and cases of hyperactivity and ADHD, training may take 40 or more sessions. Progress is monitored and tested along the way to maximize effectiveness.