Unlocking Brain Potential
What inspired the Othmers to spend 30 years developing neurofeedback and bringing it to people around the globe?
Dr. Siegfried and Sue Othmer had a son who came to receive a daunting list of major diagnoses and live with severe challenges. As scientists, the Othmers researched and pursued every possible means of help for Brian. Eventually they came across something called "neurofeedback".
Neurofeedback enabled Brian to become functional and experience a far better life. Several years later, Brian tragically died.
The Othmers were grateful that neurofeedback had given their son quality of life. In loving memory they formed the Brian Othmer Foundation for the advancement of neuro-feedback research and education, to fulfill their vision of research, exploration, and clinical services in neurofeedback.
Brian's legacy remains the continuing inspiration for their tireless work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my doctor know about neurofeedback?
While the origins of neurofeedback began with psychiatrist Hans Berger in the 1920's, relatively recently it became integrated as a treatment modality. Today many psychiatrists are studied in and some psychiatrists are providing neurofeedback, while an expanding number of mental health professionals are employing it as their primary means of helping clients. Neurofeedback has not yet become part of the curriculum of schools of medicine and psychology so it makes sense that some healthcare professionals remain unaware of it and/or its efficacy.
Why do some people use neurofeedback on a continuing basis?
Some people, such as professional athletes, astronauts, Olympians, performing artists, corporate executives, etc., utilize neurofeedback without limit to enhance performance in much the same way that concert pianists practice piano without limit. Neurofeedback also is used on a continuing basis by people as they age, to help maintain their brain function.
Does neurofeedback target illnesses and disorders?
The field of neurofeedback views symptoms as expressions of an underlying problem of brain dysregulation. Our concern is the bioelectrical functioning of the brain and the brain's internal regulatory networks. We equip the brain with what it needs, allowing it to improve these as well as its own stability. In turn, the brain can perform better as manager of the whole physical and mental system. Therefore, the decrease in or dissipation of some illnesses is a natural result of improved brain function.
Do I have to be off medications or completely free of alcohol when I get neurofeedback?
No. Neurofeedback still works because it speaks to the brain's electrical activity.
How many sessions are needed?
While improvements may be recognized after the first session, a group of sessions are needed in order to allow the brain to learn to function better on a continuing basis independently, or develop its ability to regulate itself and maintain an improved brain state without further neurofeedback. Because every brain and every person is unique, it is not possible to foretell the number of sessions an individual is going to need. Often, 25 to 30 sessions suffice. Sometimes more are needed.
How frequently are sessions needed?
Two to three sessions per week are recommended to keep the brain immersed in the work of regulating itself, building connections, and developing what may be described as akin to muscle memory.
Can I skip seeing my therapist or doctor while I am getting neurofeedback?
Importantly, during and after neurofeedback, healthcare professionals need to reevaluate conditions, as well as dosages, which may be decreasing in response to neurofeedback. As well, positive changes can present a need to update old perceptions of self, others, and the world; and therapists are trained to help guide such a process. Neurofeedback is not medical or mental health treatment so you must maintain regular communications with your physicians and therapist.
Does neurofeedback accomplish all of everyone’s goals?
Everyone stands to gain from having a more calm, focused, well-regulated brain. No procedure, medication, therapy, surgery, or type of treatment, including neurofeedback, is a panacea and produces the degree of result that every person desires. The vast majority of neurofeedback recipients are happy with their outcome.
What does EEG stand for?
EEG is an acronym for electroencephalography, the recording of brain waves.