A client was referred for individual therapy for substance abuse, an eating disorder, and trauma. We started to work together after she had completed a stay in residential treatment. She is brilliant, funny as hell, and suffers greatly. We had been working for several months with traditional talk therapy using DBT, ACT, and Attachment Theory to promote change and insight and healing. She was making progress, but progress was slow, and trauma and emotional dysregulation kept popping up and making this client feel hopelessness and shame.
So, I suggested we trial neurofeedback. We did two sessions per week. I used protocols to enhance SMR frequencies which help with creating a calm and focused energy and help with regulating sleep and mood. We also used Alpha Theta Training to address trauma in a gentle way.
After a few sessions, she was more regulated and able to articulate thoughts and feelings in session. She was able to do tasks that previously felt overwhelming, like making phone calls, running errands, and walking her dog. This has built momentum as she's gained confidence and she now has found her voice with her partner and with work. She has made friends. She has described herself as happy.
Another interesting result is that she felt pain in her neck and back that she had previously been numb to. Noticing the pain helped her take better care of herself and not get more injured.
Trauma is now more easily addressed as she is more grounded and confident in her day to day life and as she is more able to articulate her experience rather than freezing or avoiding.
The journey is not over, but she has made progress in the span of a few months that would have taken a few years with talk therapy alone.