Blog: Articles on Psychological Wellbeing, Relationships, Brain Health, Counselling and Neurofeedback
Welcome to the blog of Sojourn Counselling and Neurofeedback. Articles posted here are written by our clinical staff and relate to services we offer or conditions we address. We hope they will be helpful to you in some way, whether you're considering counselling for yourself or someone else, gathering information on a mental health related issue, or just want to find out more about who we are and what we do.
Counselling Versus Neurofeedback: How to Choose Between Two Effective Approaches to Mental Health
At Sojourn Counselling and Neurofeedback, we often find ourselves addressing a common and understandable concern: "Should I pursue counselling or neurofeedback as the right treatment for my mental health?" The confusion between these two approaches is not uncommon and signifies the complexity of mental well-being and the various paths available towards healing and improvement. Choosing between counselling, which emphasizes emotional growth and understanding, and neurofeedback, a method that centers on adjusting underlying brain activity, might seem daunting.
The decision is indeed a deeply personal one, and our dedicated team of specialists recognize the importance of making the right choice. With empathy and expertise, we've put together this guide to illuminate the unique benefits of both approaches, helping you navigate the best fit for your specific needs and aspirations. Whether you are dealing with trauma, anxiety, ADHD, or other mental health challenges, our objective is to provide you clarity and confidence in selecting the most suitable path to a brighter inner world. In the following article, we explore the intricacies of both counselling and neurofeedback, breaking down how each might cater to your individual situation.
While a more detailed description of neurofeedback can be found elsewhere on the website, it is important to know what the purpose of the treatment is in order to know if it is the right fit for you. Neurofeedback primarily works by recording your brain’s electrical activity, and mirroring it back to you through audio/visual feedback. This feedback provides information to your brain about its own activity, and can help it make subtle shifts towards improved functioning.
Common Struggles Addressed Through Neurofeedback
It’s very common for clients to come into Neurofeedback feeling stuck, stressed, unhappy with how they’re coping with life, and struggling with anxiety, ADHD, or sleep issues (Oliveira, et al, 2022). These struggles have corresponding negative thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and underlying patterns of brain activity. While counselling would focus on how a person is feeling or thinking about their situation, neurofeedback focuses more on the underlying brain activity.
Counselling for ADHD: An Emphasis on Emotional Growth
For someone with ADHD, traditional counselling might be able to help with coming to terms with the diagnosis, and examine the emotional impact on self-esteem, and find strategies for managing this condition, for example. Counselling could establish effective coping mechanisms for the various difficult symptoms of ADHD, and flush out the many areas of your life that are impacted (social life, work, household chores, etc.), along with strategies to manage life better. Coming to terms with a diagnosis of ADHD can help make the shift from blaming yourself with harsh inner dialogue whenever you are hyper fixated on the ‘wrong’ task, or feel the ADHD-paralysis effect your ability to complete a task, and move towards self-compassion in the understanding it isn’t your fault. The shift from self-blaming to self-compassion can be a game changer for brightening up your inner world, and is an example of the kind of emotional growth that can occur within counselling.
Neurofeedback and ADHD: Targeting Brain Activity
On the other hand, neurofeedback can help improve the executive functioning of the ADHD brain, and work on the brain activity that is underlying a lack of focus, the difficulty sitting still, or even memory issues. Neurofeedback helps the brain make slow, subtle improvements. While improvements are often noticed after the first or second session, like learning anything, it can take some time for these improvements to produce a long-lasting effect. However, someone with ADHD could expect to see a gradual, steady improvement in their ADHD symptoms as they persist, and find themselves having more inner stillness, clarity, and an improved ability to navigate the many stressors of life with increased resilience and capacity (Gevensleben, et al, 2009). This might have a similar end result in brightening up one’s inner world and making the mind a kinder place to call home. If it becomes easier to complete tasks and the brain is better able to focus and stay organized, the inner critic normally poised to blame is quieted with fewer reasons to attack.
The Complementary Nature of Neurofeedback and Counselling
While neurofeedback and counselling can both be effective treatments for the same conditions, they address them at different entry points.
The good news is that counselling and neurofeedback can really complement one another, so you don’t necessarily need to choose one or the other (Hey, 2020). It can be helpful to start with some neurofeedback treatments for the initial sessions, and then take a deeper dive into yourself via talk therapy once the brain has improved its capacity to self-regulate through difficult emotional experiences.
Individualized Treatment Plans: How We Approach Care at Sojourn
At Sojourn Counselling and Neurofeedback, we deeply appreciate the uniqueness of every individual who walks through our doors. Recognizing that no two mental health journeys are alike, we place great emphasis on crafting an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, goals, and circumstances.
Whether it's a path of emotional growth through counselling, the targeted brain activity shifts of neurofeedback, or a combination of both, our dedicated team is here to explore these options with you. It's not merely about choosing a therapy method; it's about understanding your underlying struggles, your aspirations for wellness, and your readiness for change. Our process starts with a comprehensive assessment and open dialogue, where we listen empathetically to your concerns and answer any questions you might have.
For some, counselling might offer the safe space needed to explore emotions and build strategies for managing conditions such as anxiety or depression. For others, the scientific approach of neurofeedback may provide a more immediate path to alleviating symptoms like sleep issues or ADHD. Often, a blend of both treatments can be the key to unlocking the full potential of healing and self-improvement.
Our therapists are trained not only in the technical aspects of neurofeedback and various counselling techniques but also in the art of human connection. We believe in a collaborative decision-making process where your voice is valued and your choice respected. Together, we explore the paths, understanding that the right treatment plan is as individual as you are.
Through ongoing support and assessment, we ensure that the treatment remains responsive to your evolving needs, making necessary adjustments to foster continued progress. Success stories at Sojourn are testimonies to our commitment to personalized care; they echo our belief that the journey towards mental well-being is a collaborative adventure, enriched by trust, empathy, and expertise.
In choosing Sojourn, you're not just selecting a treatment method; you're engaging in a partnership devoted to your unique path to healing and growth. Our doors are open, and our team is ready to guide you on this empowering journey. Feel free to explore our therapist profiles to find the one that resonates with you, or reach out to us directly. Your story, your path, your healing – we're here to walk it with you.
Frequently Asked Questions: Neurofeedback vs. Counselling
Choosing the right mental health treatment can feel like an intricate puzzle, especially when it involves comparing two distinct methodologies like neurofeedback and counselling. At Sojourn, we've listened to your concerns and compiled answers to some of the most common questions that our clients often ask. We hope these insights assist you in making informed decisions about your mental well-being.
1. How long does each treatment session take, and how many sessions will I need? Counselling sessions typically last about 50-60 minutes, while neurofeedback sessions may vary between 30-60 minutes. The number of sessions required depends on individual needs and progress, which our therapists will discuss with you during your initial assessment.
2. What are the costs involved for neurofeedback and counselling?
At Sojourn, we strive to make mental health treatment accessible. Costs can vary based on the therapist's expertise, treatment method, and session length. Detailed information about fees is available on our website, and we encourage you to contact our office for specific inquiries.
3. How can I know if neurofeedback is working for me?
Neurofeedback often shows gradual improvements, and some clients notice changes after the first few sessions. Regular communication with your therapist helps track progress, and ongoing assessments ensure that the treatment aligns with your goals.
4. Can I switch between treatments or combine them? Absolutely! We believe in a flexible approach, and our therapists are skilled in integrating neurofeedback and counselling as needed. You can always discuss your feelings and progress with your therapist to determine the best course of action.
5. How do I choose the right therapist for my needs at Sojourn? Our therapist profiles are available online, each providing an overview of their specialties and approaches. We encourage you to explore these profiles to find a fit that resonates with you. Our team is also here to assist you in finding the right match for your unique situation.
6. Can counselling and neurofeedback be used together to treat the same issue? Yes, these treatments can complement each other beautifully. It's possible to begin with neurofeedback to improve brain regulation and then explore deeper emotional work through counselling, or vice versa. Collaborative planning with your therapist ensures a cohesive and effective treatment plan.
Your path to wellness is deeply personal, and we at Sojourn are committed to supporting you every step of the way. We understand that more questions may arise as you embark on this journey. Feel free to reach out to us, explore our main website, or schedule an appointment through our online booking platform. Together, we'll find the path that best suits your needs and fosters your mental and emotional growth.
Navigating the landscape of mental health can often feel like a journey through uncharted territory. The choices between therapies, understanding methodologies, assessing personal needs, and even selecting a therapist, all come with questions and considerations. At Sojourn Counselling and Neurofeedback, we strive to illuminate that path, offering guidance, understanding, and evidence-based treatment options tailored just for you.
Whether it's the scientific allure of neurofeedback or the deep human connection of counselling, or a blending of both, we believe in a care approach that resonates with who you are. Our therapists are here to listen, empathize, educate, and collaborate, ensuring that your treatment plan is as unique and evolving as you are.
Your mental well-being is not merely about overcoming challenges; it's about thriving, growing, and embracing a kinder, brighter inner world. Whether you're dealing with anxiety, ADHD, stress, or sleep issues, our doors are open, and our hearts are committed to walking this path with you.
At Sojourn, we've seen the transformation that individualized care can bring, the resilience that can be nurtured, and the profound healing that's possible. We invite you to explore our services, meet our therapists, and reach out to us with any questions. Our online booking platform is here to make your appointment scheduling easy and personalized.
Your journey towards mental well-being is a courageous step, and we're honored to be a part of it. Welcome to Sojourn, where your healing begins, your growth is celebrated, and your future is brightened. Together, we'll make the mind a kinder place to call home.
Gevensleben, H., Holl, B., Albrecht, B., Vogel, C., Schlamp, D., Kratz, O., ... & Heinrich, H. (2009). Is neurofeedback an efficacious treatment for ADHD? A randomised controlled clinical trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(7), 780-789.
Hey, C. (2020). Neurofeedback and counseling as integrative treatment. Asia Pacific Journal of Neurotherapy, 2(1), 6-11.
Oliveira, J., Pellow, J., Tsele-Tebakang, T., & Solomon, E. M. (2022). Experiences of neurofeedback therapists in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Health SA Gesondheid (Online), 27, 1-8.