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Benefits of Neurofeedback with Depressive Disorders and Depressive Episodes


Depressed mood disorders include a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Depressed moods are disabling and prevent a person from functioning at their optimal level. “I just want to sit around and play solitaire. I don’t feel motivated; I feel so tired and low on energy. I don’t know why”.

The pattern for depression and some subgroups of depressed mood disorders such as dysthymia may be recognized using QEEG (brain mapping). The National Alliance on Mental Illness states, “studies have shown consistently that the left front portion of the brain becomes less active during the depression.” We have also seen that a lack of healthy processing of brain waves in the middle and anterior parts of the brain may also contribute to the symptoms of depressed mood. Since different regions of the brain may be involved in the symptoms of depressed mood disorders, a brain mapping is a necessary assessment utilized to guide the treatment plan. . Neurofeedback using QEEG-guided protocols has aided clients with depressed mood disorders in regulating and increasing left frontal activity, increase the symmetry of processing between the left and right frontal regions of the brain and bring up the processing speed of areas of slow activity.

Neurofeedback clients often report a decrease in depressed mood symptoms in a few sessions. Clients have reported feeling increases in motivation and in energy. “I’m getting out of the house and getting things accomplished.” Our clients also report improvements in sleep and waking up feeling refreshed in the morning.

Psychotherapeutic interventions are often integrated into the Neurofeedback treatment plan for clients to see their outside therapist for their mood disorders. In addition to areas of dysregulation in the brain, we have also observed that changes in physical health, hormone levels, toxicity, gastrointestinal health, and food allergies can affect brain health and mental health conditions. The Brain & Life Renewal Center strongly suggests that our clients be under the care of a competent medical provider to rule out the potential physical health problems that may be contributing to their condition. We also recommend never stopping or decreasing any medication unless advised to do so by a competent prescribing physician.

Resources on the Benefits of Neurofeedback with Depressive Disorder or Depressive Episodes

  • Allen, J. B., & Cavendar, J. H. (1996). Biofeedback alters EEG asymmetry. Psychophysiology, 33(suppl), S17, (Abstract).

  • Baehr, E., & Baehr, R. (1997). The use of brainwave biofeedback as an adjunctive therapeutic treatment for depression: Three case studies. Biofeedback, 25(1), 10–11.

  • Baehr, E., Miller, E., Rosenfeld, J. P., & Baehr, R. (2004). Changes in frontal brain asymmetry associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder: A single case study. Journal of Neurotherapy, 8(1), 29–42.

  • Baehr, E., Rosenfeld, J. P., & Baehr, R. (1997). The clinical use of an alpha asymmetry protocol in the neurofeedback treatment of depression: Two case studies. Journal of Neurotherapy, 2(3), 10–23.

  • Baehr, E., Rosenfeld, J. P., & Baehr, R. (2001). Clinical use of an alpha asymmetry neurofeedback protocol in the treatment of mood disorders: Follow-up study one to five years post therapy. Journal of Neurotherapy, 4(4), 11–18.

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