Using Neurofeedback to Lower PTSD Symptoms

  • Devon E. Romero University of Texas at San Antonio https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6631-9650
  • Aneesa Anderson University of Texas at San Antonio
  • J. Claire Gregory University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Courtney A. Potts University of Alabama
  • Ashley Jackson University of Texas at San Antonio
  • James R. Spears University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Mark S. Jones University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Stacy Speedlin University of Texas at San Antonio https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8009-6377
Keywords: PTSD, Neurofeedback, Trauma, Affect regulation

Abstract

This study examines the effectiveness of neurofeedback training for individuals presenting with a primary concern of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. The present study includes 21 adult clients with 62% (n = 13) self-reporting as female. Participants completed pre- and postassessments including the Davidson Trauma Scale and Inventory of Altered Self-Capacities and participated in neurofeedback training sessions twice a week for one academic semester. Neurofeedback training involved decreasing 2–6 Hz and 22–36 Hz while increasing 10–13 Hz with a placement of T4 as the active site and P4 as the reference site. Study findings demonstrated statistically significant improvement in affect regulation and trauma symptom severity and frequency. We present limitations and implications for future research.

References

Beeson, E. T., & Field, T. A. (2017). Conducting brain-based research and program evaluation. In T. A. Field, L. K. Jones, & L. A. Russell-Chapin (Eds.), Neurocounseling: Brain-based clinical approaches (pp. 213–226). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119375487.ch13

Briere, J. (2000). Inventory of Altered Self-Capacities professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Briere, J., & Runtz, M. (2002). The Inventory of Altered Self-Capacities (IASC): A standardized measure of identity, affect regulation, and relationship disturbance. Assessment, 9(3), 230–239. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191102009003002

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: Academic Press.

Davidson, J. (1996). Davidson trauma scale professional manual. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems Inc.

Douthit, K. Z., & Russotti, J. (2017). Biology of marginality: A neurophysiological exploration of social and cultural foundations for psychological health. In T. A. Field, L. K. Jones, & L. A. Russell-Chapin (Eds.), Neurocounseling: Brain-based clinical approaches (pp. 45–60). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119375487.ch3

Gapen, M., van der Kolk, B. A., Hamlin, E., Hirshberg, L., Suvak, M., & Spinazzola, J. (2016). A pilot study of neurofeedback for chronic PTSD. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 41(3), 251–261. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-015-9326-5

Jones, M. S. (2015). Comparing DC offset and impedance readings in the assessment of electrode connection quality. NeuroRegulation, 2(1), 29–36. https://doi.org/10.15540/nr.2.1.29

Jones, L. K., Rybak, C., & Russell-Chapin, L. A. (2017). Neurophysiology of traumatic stress. In T. A. Field, L. K. Jones, & L. A. Russell-Chapin (Eds.), Neurocounseling: Brain-based clinical approaches (pp. 61–80). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119375487.ch4

Marzbani, H., Marateb, H. R., & Mansourian, M. (2016). Neurofeedback: A comprehensive review on system design, methodology and clinical applications. Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, 7(2), 143–158. https://doi.org/10.15412/J.BCN.03070208

McLean, C. P., & Foa, E. B. (2013). Dissemination and implementation of prolonged exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27(8), 788–792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.03.004

National Library of Medicine. (2002). EMDR. The Harvard Mental Health Letter, 18(8), 4–5. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/71492232/

Othmer, S., & Othmer, S. F. (2009). Post traumatic stress disorder—The neurofeedback remedy. Biofeedback, 37(1), 24–31. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/208152800/

Peniston, E. G., & Kulkosky, P. J. (1991). Alpha-theta brainwave neuro-feedback for Vietnam veterans with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical Psychotherapy, 4, 47–60.

Schumm, J. A., Dickstein, B. D., Walter, K. H., Owens, G. P., & Chard, K. M. (2015). Changes in posttraumatic cognitions predict changes in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms during cognitive processing therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(6), 1161–1166. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000040

Sherry, D. F. (2006). Neuroecology. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 167–197. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070324

Sitaram, R., Ros, T., Stoeckel, L., Haller, S., Scharnowski, F., Lewis-Peacock, J., … Sulzer, J. (2016). Closed-loop brain training: The science of neurofeedback. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18(2), 86–100. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn.2016.164

van der Kolk, B. A., Hodgdon, H., Gapen, M., Musicaro, R., Suvak, M. K., Hamlin, E., & Spinazzola, J. (2016). A randomized controlled study of neurofeedback for chronic PTSD. PLoS ONE, 11(12), e0166752. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166752

van Dijk, L., & Myin, E. (2019). Ecological neuroscience: From reduction to proliferation of our resources. Ecological Psychology: Gibsonian Neuroscience, 31(3), 254–268. https://doi.org/10.1080/10407413.2019.1615221

Published
2020-09-29
Section
Research Papers