Is Neurofeedback Right For You?

Neurofeedback has become a trendy therapy in mainstream culture. Celebrities like Tobias Harris use it to improve focus, Tony Robbins credits it with helping him become better at multitasking, and even Betsy DeVos has invested in neurofeedback companies. While neurofeedback claims dramatic improvements in brain function, the most robust studies suggest that it is no more effective than a placebo.


Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, evidence-based treatment that works by changing brainwaves and reprogramming neural networks. It is based on the theory of operant conditioning, which teaches the brain to respond to positive or negative stimuli by altering certain brainwave frequencies. The technique is non-invasive and involves attaching electrodes to the patient’s scalp. This gives the patient instant feedback about how their brain is functioning. This feedback enables the patient to gradually recondition brain activity. These changes in brain activity are often associated with improvements in mood, physical health, and emotional well-being.

Neurofeedback uses EEG sensors to measure brainwaves and show the activity on a computer screen. The computer shows the brain waves and compares them with target patterns. The goal is to make the patient’s brain function more similar to that of an “ideal” brain state. In this way, the patient can learn to achieve more healthy brain activity and reduce the symptoms of mental health and substance use disorders.


Neurofeedback is an effective treatment option for a variety of neurological conditions. It can help with symptoms of depression, attention deficit disorder, panic attacks, and insomnia, among others. As the name implies, it involves placing sensors on a patient’s head that measure brainwaves. The Neurofeedback patient then plays a video game or watches a movie. The video game or movie plays normally when the patient’s brain is in a proper rhythm, while the video game or movie stops when it falls out of this rhythm. The goal is to train the patient’s brain to get back into the rhythm. Neurofeedback has been shown to help people of all ages, and is suitable for children as young as three years old.

While neurofeedback can be used for a variety of conditions, most individuals respond differently to it. Most people will notice some improvements after two to five sessions. However, some people may need as many as 20 or 50 sessions to see any improvement. This is because changes in the brain usually occur slowly and over a period of time.


Neurofeedback is a proven treatment that has been around for over 20 years, but it’s expensive and not always accessible. Some clinics offer a sliding scale or substantial discounts for multiple sessions. Depending on the practitioner, neurofeedback can cost anywhere from $100 to $270 per session. Neurofeedback is not affordable for everyone, especially for children. However, the long-term effects of neurofeedback can far outweigh the initial costs.

In addition to the price of a neurofeedback treatment, neurofeedback equipment is not cheap. A QEEG costs $375, which includes monitoring progress weekly. Then, there’s a $275 handover fee, which covers instructions on how to use neurofeedback equipment. There are also ongoing costs, such as one hour of telephone supervision each week for 15 minutes.


Evidence-based neurofeedback is a practice that uses scientific data to guide treatment decisions. For instance, using the qEEG technique, practitioners can visualize brain activity in three dimensions. The resulting data can be compared to a database of norms and a client’s complaints.

Neurofeedback has been studied in the treatment of ADHD and epilepsy. In children, this therapy has been shown to reduce hyperactivity and inattention symptoms. However, it is still debated whether Neurofeedback can be a viable alternative to medications.