Frequently Asked Questions
Masks are optional at this time.
Do you take insurance?
We do not take insurance or FSA cards. The reason is that we are not a medical provider hence we are not able to bill insurance or provide, or include diagnostic or billing codes on our invoices. Our invoices provide enough information for you to submit to your insurance should you choose to pursue reimbursement however, it is not guaranteed.
What is the cancellation/scheduling policy?
We are an appointment-only office, we have reserved time in our schedule exclusively for you. We have a 15-minute grace period for late arrivals. Clients who do not give 24-hour notice for cancellations will be charged an $85 fee. For clients with prepaid sessions, it will count against the remaining number of sessions. We understand illness and other life events can cause one to need to cancel last minute so we reserve the right to waive fees on a case-by-case basis.
If you are sneezing, coughing, vomiting, having a fever, a "little" cold, or a general unwell feeling is present please reschedule. We are a small business and our own health is important.
How many sessions does it take?
The answer to this is subjective to each client. We all respond differently. Some experience profound shifts after the first few sessions, while others may take significantly more. This is not a quick fix like we are accustomed to with pharmaceuticals and is more of a journey to see where it takes each client. For most clients, it is a journey into perspective shifts and self-discovery. Putting the client in control of knowing when they are okay vs not okay. Training the brain takes time and patience. The final number of sessions needed is based on how the client is feeling and what subtle shifts they are seeing. Whatever the number ends up being, it's a gift to the self of resiliency and flexibility in response to stress!
What can I do to make the most of my session?
NeurOptimal® works on a subconscious level so training happens regardless of what you are doing during your session. Most clients like to use the 33 min session time to relax. Many clients fall asleep, while others read, catch up on email, journal, and sketch. There are a few clients who like to quietly chit-chat with the trainer during their session or play a game. Our student clients can even do their homework during their sessions - many find that they enjoy the improved focus to get an assignment started, completed, or handed in. Outside of your session, you can support your training with continued curiosity about the shifts you are experiencing and why that may be happening.
Do you perform a "brain map" or QEEG?
No, we don't perform these because we don't need to. Brain mapping is a tool used in linear neurofeedback to diagnose disorders to dictate the protocol used during sessions. The NeurOptimal® system uses live data samples taken throughout your active session to provide real-time feedback so no brain mapping is needed. NeurOptimal® does not rely on diagnoses and predetermined protocols to help brains perform more optimally.
Is NeurOptimal® Linear or Non-Linear?
NeurOptimal® is Non-Linear neurofeedback. Our brains are non-linear and changing every day all day, so your neurofeedback system needs to be able to keep up! Our focus is on resiliency and flexibility which will affect reductions in many complaints. Diagnosis is not required to use NeurOptimal® and because there is no pushing or pulling your brain to meet a specific protocol there are no side effects. This is why we will refer to neurofeedback with NeurOptimal® as Training and not treatment. Little effort is made by clients to benefit from their training, they simply sit back and relax. Linear neurofeedback relies on brain mapping to be able to create a protocol for treatment based on a diagnosis. Like a snapshot in time of an ever-moving subject. Patients using linear then are heavily reliant on their technicians to change their protocols as their brain changes. The potential for side effects can increase due to their technician's ability to move fluidly with their client.
What are the clicks I hear during my session?
Those clicks, pauses, or static you hear during your session we call interruptions. That is the feedback the system creates in response to detecting "instabilities" in your cortical activity over the length of your session. NeurOptimal® is sampling data 256 times a second during your 33 min session. The system is looking for ineffective and inefficient patterns to interrupt. When a pattern is interrupted it allows the brain to decide whether to continue that pattern or not resulting in moving you away from discomfort.
Can NeurOptimal® make me smarter?
Sessions with NeurOptimal® may help you feel more focused and clear-minded so you can access the information you have more easily or be able to take in information and retain it. For example, say you get nervous taking tests and the result is that you perform poorly. What if you go into the test feeling relaxed, confident, and thinking clearly rather than worrying about the event of test-taking or the distractions of the sounds of the quiet room? Chances are you’ll perform better just because of your state of mind.
Will there be side effects?
Since NeurOptimal® only provides information during a session there is no way to over-train and have "side effects". However, like all modalities of self-care; therapy, meditation, and exercise, your body or mind will go through a period of adjustment that may feel uncomfortable because you are simply not used to feeling relaxed for example, or notice you have new boundaries with others. With NeurOptimal®, it's common for your awareness of yourself and others to shift, more "A-ha" moments and connections between feelings and behaviors, which to some may be uncomfortable or foreign at first.
Do you use protocols?
The NeurOptimal® philosophy is that sessions are training and not treatment, and "diagnostically agnostic" which means you don't need a diagnosis to benefit from training. Protocols are needed in linear neurofeedback because their training is based on a diagnosis and therefore you would need a treatment plan to match. Each training session with NeurOptimal® is a unique session for the brain you have that day you train. Much like a yoga class, you work with the body you came in with, in this case, the brain you came in with! During your session, the system scans your whole brain 256 times a second creating feedback based on changes it detects from microsecond to microsecond, no need for protocols to do this.
Why am I tired after a session?
Sometimes your brain may be tired after a session but it usually goes away after you get up and move or even after a short rest. NeurOptimal® scans your brain 256 times a second during your 33 min session, a bit like your brain running a marathon. As you train, you may find that you are not as tired after sessions as you were in the beginning. Doing neurofeedback with NeurOptimal® is like going back to the gym after it’s been a while - you'll be a bit tired. When you train either your muscles or your brain you build resilience!
I'm not experiencing big shifts like I did at the beginning of training. Why?
At the beginning of your training, there may have been a lot to shift so you may have experienced eye-opening shifts. As you continue to train the shifts become more subtle, still important, but may not be as drastic as at first. Much like doing a big clean-up of your garden after years of neglect; the initial effort is substantial, then as you tend your garden regularly over time the clean-up isn't as drastic.
Books you can read
"The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel Van der Kolk, MD
"Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma" by Peter A. Levine, PhD
"Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD
"Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma" by Sebern F. Fisher
"Hold Me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love" by Dr. Sue Johnson