A type of psychological therapy that works with the brainwaves has come to Kemptville. Carol Williams has been practicing neurofeedback in Merrickville for five years. Neurofeedback is a process that uses EEG (electroencephalography) to record the waves of electrical activity happening in the brain, and broadcasts it onto a screen. The idea is that, if you have these waves shown to you through images or music, you can learn to exert some control over them.
“Our brains can get stuck on a particular wavelength,” Carol says. “This means we don’t have a lot of mental energy to make full use of other states. You want a nice even range between all the wavelengths so you can drop out of states easily.”
During a neurofeedback session, the participant sits in a chair with electrodes attached to their head. Their brainwaves are monitored by these electrodes, which broadcast the waves onto a screen. The participant watches the waves while listening to music, and, every so often, they will hear some static. “The interruptions in the music are triggered by interruptions in the brain,” Carol says. “It’s like driving down the 416 and hearing the rumble strips.”
Carol works mainly with youth who suffer with anxiety and depression, but also with people who have chronic pain. “I love seeing people change in such positive ways,” Carol says. “I’ve had parents tell me that they’ve seen more progress with this than anything else.”
While there is no conclusive research showing that neurofeedback is the “miracle cure”, it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt. Merrickville native, Jacob Dunning, battled depression throughout high school. When he heard about neurofeedback, he was sceptical at first. “It seemed silly,” he says. When he tried it, he liked the fact that you could see the brainwaves on the screen and track the progress of the brain. “It was proof that it wasn’t doing nothing.”
While Jacob says that it is difficult to tell what was the key out of his depression, he believes the six neurofeedback sessions he had were a contributing factor. “Neurofeedback can be a tool in tandem with things,” he says, “I would definitely recommend it to someone.” Carol Williams also works in Kemptville, once a week, at the Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic.