I asked my son, Jeff, to write a piece for this blog and this week – he did! Jeff is how I became interested in neurofeedback and involved with Mind Source Solutions. He tried neurofeedback in 2011 and it made such an incredible difference in our lives that I became an instant believer.
I hope that Jeff will continue to contribute to this blog, revealing the world from his own perspective as someone who has struggled with brain abnormalities all his life before experiencing the benefits of neurofeedback.
“I’m not your pet named Zoloft”
About a year or two before Neuroptimal,
Stiff and stranded in therapist’s office,
the floor literally carpeted in tweed.
The Vantage Point behind psychobab’s desk
came with a built-in set of problems,
deemed only my own.
She referred to them as
“a piece of puzzle”
a “special —kind—of puzzle
in which one piece fits, but another goes amiss.”
It’s not that “puzzle” is, or has to be, a dirty word. But whenever I try to remember a specific episode of dialogue between myself and my first therapist, I get puzzle-like snippets like, “I named my cat after one of the drugs you’re taking, ‘Zoloft’, because pets can pull people out of depression.”
Throughout my therapy I never felt that I was making any real progress because I knew that my therapist believed that the clients she dealt with had a limit to their potential and I was clearly no exception. So whenever she’d try to implement any kind of strategy to get me to be more organized, to get me to be more socially appropriate, to get me to stop being so impulsive, I would resist. Sometimes, I would go out of my way not to do whatever it was she was asking of me. Maybe it was because, in her words, I had trouble seeing “the gestalt.”
But I believe there was another reason why our sessions together weren’t effective. It was because none of the strategies she suggested addressed some major contributors to my problem relating to other people. In addition to a lack of organization, impulse control, and cognitive flexibility, my challenges included a flatness to my facial and vocal expressions. These issues were directly due to my brain waves being too high. And, as I learned later, only Neurofeedback was able to bring them down.
I had my first NeurOptimal session in May of 2011. It was the day before what turned out to be my last therapy session with a licensed social worker. I started seeing her after I had ended sessions with the therapist mentioned above. Like my first therapist, this social worker tended to emphasis my limitations rather than my strengths.
So I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when, after swallowing my last pill of Risperdal, a heavy-duty anti-psychotic drug, she suggested that I return to my psychiatrist to ask for more. She said this knowing that I had been working hard for almost a year to get off all drugs because they posed a risk to my long-term heath!
During this session I mentioned to her that I was going to try neurofeedback the next day. She didn’t seem the least bit for or against the treatment. “So that’s going to help with anxiety?,” she inquired, seemingly indifferent to the possible effect – good or bad – neurofeedback might have on my personality and behavior. I guess she thought that I was just like her other patients, full of limited potential whatever treatment I might try.
“Let’s face it,” she would proclaim about my limitations, “everyone’s got ‘em.” Well, maybe she was right about that, but I think that had I been doing neurofeedback while I was still in therapy, it would have reduced the frequency of my brain waves. This, in turn, would have opened up new pathways in my brain that dealt with body language and tone of voice, impulse control, organization and, – what was apparently my own special bete noir- an inability to “see the bigger picture.”
If I had started Neurofeedback when I was seeing my first therapist, I think it would have made both she and later, my social worker, realize that the latent possibilities within me were greater than my limitations. And maybe, just maybe, when they saw that those possibilities could exist for me with the help of right brain-based intervention, they would realize that they could exist for their other clients as well.