20 June 2013

In Montreal with Dr. Paul Swingle

This is a guest post by the BFE's Research Manager Jon Bale.

Jon Bale and Dr. Paul Swingle
As the BFE's Research Manager, I spend most of my time moderating online sessions, teaching online classes, or guiding the software development of the BFE's suites. The opportunity to attend the 1-day Swingle Workshop at the end of May, held in Montreal, was therefore a welcomed change to my work in the digital realm. Facilitating the workshop also presented the chance to finally meet Dr. Paul Swingle in person. It's funny to think that with the 4 years of work Dr. Swingle and myself have done together - including the ClinicalQ & BrainDryvr Suite, Swingle Grand Rounds, Dr. Swingle's Webinar Series - we have never actually physically met.

The 1-day workshop gave a brief introduction to Dr. Swingle's ClinicalQ & BrainDryvr method, but the majority of the day focused on the interpretation of ClinicalQ assessment results. Dr. Swingle dispensed of tips and advice for reading relevant statistics true to his personality: calm and direct, with a touch of humour. "Whenever you get elevated slow frequency in the front of the brain and elevated slow frequency in the back of the brain in a young person, smoking dope is the likely culprit. To be fair, in Vancouver it's already a 50 percent chance of being right when accusing a young person of smoking dope."

Dr. Swingle's style of interaction was consistent with my experiences of him in our online sessions. Participants freely asked questions and referenced their own cases, all of which Dr. Swingle comfortably answered after a thoughtful pause. I did not see any appearance of his inner "New Yorker", with the rough and tough personality, that he enjoys mentioning about himself. Clinicians, including myself, seemed to be enamored with his breadth of knowledge. As one individual described him, "I am just in awe of Dr. Swingle and his work."

Finally meeting Dr. Swingle was quite a pleasure for me, after all these years. In this video, he shares a few words about the workshop, his ClinicalQ and BrainDryvr software suite and the BFE.

If you wished to attend Dr. Swingle's workshop, but could not due to scheduling constraints, please feel free to have a look at the upcoming BFE webinars being given by Dr. Swingle. While the workshop covered a wide range of clinical topics, his 1-hour online webinars each focus on a specific disorder. In addition, the BFE hosts monthly grand rounds sessions with Dr. Swingle during which participants can present cases to Dr. Swingle for review.

Upcoming webinars include:
Attention Problems in Children ADHD - August 13, 2013 - 3:00-4:00pm EST
PTSD - November 12, 2013 - 3:00-4:00pm EST

Grand Rounds:
Summer Session: Jul 11 | Aug 8 | Sep 12
Fall Session: Oct 10 | Nov 14 | Dec 12

We hope to see you online soon!

17 June 2013

Dr. Robert McCarthy Interview - Part 3: IM Suite | PTI Protocol | A Case Study

Dr. Robert McCarthy is the author of the new Integrative Medicine software suite published by the BFE. We recently had a chance to ask him a few questions about his approach to Integrative Medicine. This is the final post of a three part series. 

Click here to read Part 1. Click here to read Part 2.

What is the Integrative Medicine Suite?
It is a comprehensive package that will allow [clinicians] to do everything with patients from intake through state-of-the-art psychophysiological assessment and risk profiles for development of psychophysiological disease, to structuring the practice in a way that can help employees organize themselves in the same direction. So what I think that it is really unique about our suite is its thoroughness and comprehensiveness and its A-to-Z format. (The suite is an add-on to Biograph Infiniti software.)

How do you see the Integrative Medicine Suite standing apart from other BFE suites?
Well the thing that makes the Integrative Medicine Suite appealing is its incorporation of a voluminous amount of forms and assessment techniques and paper-and-pencil assessment techniques and practice structure that I know a lot of the other suites do not offer.

One of the features of the suite is the Paradoxical Temperature Increase protocol. Could you talk a bit about that?
The paradoxical temperature increase phenomenon has been observed and studied for a rather substantial period but has not gotten the focus that it really should. Paradoxical temperature increase is associated with trauma. It's a standard measure of post-traumatic stress disorder and also a measure of which medical patients are predisposed and at greater risk to develop psychophysiological disease. It's an objective measure to the degree at which someone has been adversely affected by trauma and victimized in some form or fashion during their developing and how it contributes to the predisposition to develop psychophysiological disease.

Paradoxical temperature increase may also be a way of screening medical patients for who represents the greatest need group to get involved with biofeedback and other forms of psychophysiological treatment.

The PTI Protocol looks for a paradoxical temperature increase marker, or PTI marker. What does it mean when an individual shows that marker?
What's interesting is that the PTI marker is seemingly not modified by talk-therapy involvement. It only responds and disappears in reaction to biofeedback treatment. We need to do, in particular, peripheral finger tip temperature training and skin conductance work to really eliminate this marker. The question becomes, and time will tell as we do subsequent scientific research, the paradoxical temperature marker's disappearance in essence lowers our predisposition and risk for development of later-life psychophysiological disease. I suspect based on the research I have already done that is going to be the case in the future.

Dr. McCarthy will be hosting a series on online sessions during which he will present case studies from his practice and share his expertise participants.

Integrative vs. Traditional Medicine – A Case Study

Let’s use an interesting case for purposes of our discussion that I only saw two weeks ago. This mid-life woman woke up one day and felt her whole face was paralysed. She became petrified and immediately went to see her primary care doctor. Her primary care doctor referred her to a neurologist; the neurologist then evaluated this patient and referred her to an expert in myasthenia gravis. Loss of facial muscle control can be an early sign of myasthenia gravis. He then requested an MRI and concluded this patient did not have myasthenia gravis. It's at this point after extensive medical examination void of biological findings and financial expense that we usually receive referrals. You might imagine how happy these patients are at this point. No one has been able to figure out what’s going on so the conclusion almost always is either nothing, or a mental health problem. Once sitting down and talking with this patient at length, I learned something that no one else knew about because she never told them. In the six months immediately preceding paralysis of her face, she had received thirty botox treatments across her forehead from a local nurse. Her reason for not telling the other professionals involved in this case was two-fold: (1) the nurse who gave her the botox treatment said this couldn't possibly be the etiology of her facial paralysis; and, (2) she was embarrassed that she had done this to herself and that the physicians might scold or be critical of her. Such patient fears representing unresolved parent-child conflict, is not uncommon.

In some research surveys, as many as 60% of medical patients admit to doing or taking things that they would never share with their physician for fear of being ridiculed, laughed at or dismissed. This ranged from cosmetic procedures to over-the-counter supplements, vitamin-based health fruit drinks, etc. In reality, what this means is that physicians are treating approximately 60% of patients blind-folded and without knowledge of their entire circumstances.

We routinely do a detailed, comprehensive evaluation and learn a great deal about patients. We know from a lot of what we see on television, and in the media with movie stars, that it is possible to have adverse reactions to botox injections. There's even been a recent study that suggested botox crosses the blood-brain barrier and can potentially destroy neurons. Such information is certainly not being given to the public in terms of making a totally informed choice or informed consent.

What other examples can you share about how your approach helped to address mind-body issues?

Another case involved a client who went through $30k or $40k worth of medical tests, and everyone involved agreed that they could not find any biological basis for her symptoms. Physicians often make the mistake of telling people there is nothing wrong with them, rather than requesting integrative medicine consultation. In this particular lady's case, her hair started falling out, her gastrointestinal distress flared up, and she could not sleep. She then made the rounds starting with a primary care doctor, endocrinologist for blood tests and radiologist for a CT scan. People were genuinely concerned she might have some form of cancer. Once cancer was ruled out, she was referred to us for further consultation.

Immediately upon talking to her she said: ”I came here because a friend of mine told me I need to, but this can't possibly be related to anything emotional.” The patient then proceeded to tell me she has a marriage that makes her want to pull her hair out. You get these dynamically-meaningful metaphorical statements from medical patients all the time. With minimal inquiry, she proceeded to tell me that her son, who was in his 20s, was jogging a few years ago, and dropped-dead of a heart attack. Even the autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death which still haunts her. She then told me about a host of other tragedies and trauma incurred over the course of her lifetime, but saw them as isolated incidents without any lasting impact on her well-being. In summary, she still harbored a tremendous amount of unresolved grief over her son’s death, exacerbating a chronic post-traumatic stress disorder developed during childhood when she repetitively witnessed an alcoholic father brutally beat siblings, but not her. People don't usually connect earlier life trauma with adult physical symptoms, but they are connected; and, physicians as a rule don't have the mental health background to connect these pieces of the puzzle. Even battered woman or men who are still being physically abused by their spouse don’t reveal these circumstances out of guilt and shame.

Your integrative medicine approach seems to address many of the problems in today’s healthcare system. Why isn’t this approach the norm?
The allopathic medical community, and there are exceptions, remains antagonist toward the integrative medicine field and any treatments that do not employ medication or surgery. Comparatively, osteopathic physicians having been trained to appreciate the multi-factorial complexity of health issues, and, in that sense, are aligned with mental health professionals as an outgrowth of training.

This covert tolerance, sanctioning and condoning of the medical field’s antagonism and abrasiveness toward other health care professions, as well as frequent dismissal of valid scientific tools and treatment approaches like qEEGs, neurofeedback, biofeedback, etc. must stop. Patients being disempowered by being told that all their physical problems are genetic, they will need to take medication forever, and there is nothing they can do, without awareness or access to integrative medicine alternatives, remains a sad social injustice.

I have a head-injured woman we are working with whose mother brought her to a regional medical center that specializes in head-injury treatment. This mother was so impressed by the changes in alertness she saw in her daughter, that she asked the doctor who was in charge of the entire regional medical center head-injury clinic, "Do you know anything about neurofeedback?" The specialist openly admitted she had never heard of neurofeedback. The patient’s mother then said, "Well I know Dr. McCarthy would be the kind of person who would be more than glad to give you information or talk to you about it". The physician looked up and said “I'm not interested in it and we have no interest in ever using it here". Now, that kind of response is extremely foreign to me because as a practicing clinician for the past forty years I’ve always been avidly interested in anything that holds some promise for helping patients.

And that nicely sums up Dr. McCarthy’s commitment and dedication to providing the best possible care for his patients. The BFE is pleased to offer online Case Conferences during which Dr. McCarthy shares case studies from his practice along with his expertise in the field. To learn more about the contents of the Integrative Medicine software suite, click on the link below to view an introductory video.

Integrative Medicine Software Suite - Video
Integrative Medicine Software Suite
Online Case Case Conferences with Dr. McCarthy
Integrative Medicine Online Class

Any questions can be directed to the BFE Integrative Medicine team at reddrmccarthy@gmail.com.

8 June 2013

Dr. Robert McCarthy Interview - Part 2: Benefits | Education | Migraines

Dr. Robert McCarthy is the author of the new Integrative Medicine software suite published by the BFE. We recently had a chance to ask him a few questions about his approach to Integrative Medicine. This is part two of a three part series.

Click here to read Part 1.

How does an integrative medicine approach benefit your patients? I think you touched on it a little bit already in the case of Attention-Deficit\Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADHD is only one area, but we work with the full range of medical disorders. For example, we work with people who have multiple sclerosis, hypertension, gastroesophageal reflux, ulcers, tinnitus, migraine headaches, tension headaches, panic attacks, cancer, and the list really goes on to eventually cover about 80% of medical disorders. Roughly 80% of all medical disorders are considered psychophysiological in origin.

So, the mind-body connection is all about how emotional well-being affects one’s health and vice versa?
Integrative medicine really means working with the patient as a whole system and various aspects or parts of that person. If you can conceive of a pie with a lot of slices each representing an aspect of an individual, and, yet all the slices collectively comprise the pie or bigger picture. Most medical or psychiatric disorders come about as a result of the multi-factorial influences of numerous slices from that pie. All these slices contribute in some meaningful way to the bigger picture, or who and what we are, and how we are affected by certain aspects of ourselves. What we try to do in our practice is to address as many of these “slices” as we can, without prioritizing their importance or potential significance. Genetic predisposition may be one slice, diet another slice, exercise yet another slice, personality another slice, mental status another slice, etc. Diet seems to represent an extremely importance “slice”, and potential contribution to our health and well-being, virtually ignored by the entire medical field, despite knowing that our chance of developing some form of cancer is directly proportionate to the volume of meat we consume.

How does biofeedback enhance your integrative medicine practice?
In order to work with patients as a whole system, one must be able to evaluate and treat various dimensions of neurological, somatic, and emotional issues. Otherwise, you are too limited in your usefulness to patients and the many ways they can potentially recover and heal. When patients come for their initial diagnostic interview, rarely do they not describe a matrix of neurological, psychiatric and physical complaints that need to be addressed. By understanding psychophysiology, we're able to provide a comprehensive integrative medicine treatment approach that enables people to achieve therapeutic goals not possible within a uni-dimensional therapeutic framework. In essence, we are teaching patients how to develop healthier, happier and more fulfilling, meaningful lives.

How do clients find out about your practice?
The majority of patient referrals are received from primary care physicians (Family physicians, internists, pediatricians, Obstetricians, Gynecologists), then neurologists. Many patients committed to a holistic health orientation also find us on the internet. So they might have been searching for a significant period of time, looking for some treatment other than drugs or surgery that was going to provide them relief. Many psychophysiological disorders are complicated by what is called secondary gain. In other words, sometimes we derive gratification or benefit from remaining symptomatic. It is quite common to work with patients and have their psychophysiological disorder go into remission, but, in doing so, realize all the major changes they need to make in their life. When patients are unwilling to make those major life changes, symptoms can rapidly return and keep the patient immobilized.

One woman I recently worked with had literally been all over the world seeking out specialized migraine headache clinics, without relief. When we started focusing on diaphragmatic breathing, she suddenly noticed her migraine and intra-cranial discomfort disappear. So, her diaphragmatic breathing, progressed to heart rate variability training and eventually hemoencephalography (HEG). Within two to three month, this patient’s migraines were gone.

Unfortunately, she remained married to an alcoholic man who continued to binge drink. Eventually, she came to the conclusion that a lot of her stress and headaches had to do with conflicted feelings about her spouse’s drinking, and unhappiness surrounding her marriage. She came from an extremely religious family that pressured her to remain married to this man. Within a short time, her migraine headaches returned to pre-treatment levels.

Hence, we see these scenarios in the lives of patients a great deal when working with psychophysiological disorders, where something else in their life is stressful and they refuse to address the conflict that would require major changes and disruption in lifestyle. Dr. Erik Peper emphasizes in his new book the commitment we as individuals must take to “Make Health Happen”. The reality is most patients want to get better but they sometimes don't want to invest the time and effort to do the necessary work to bring this about, even terminal cancer patients.

Do you think we rely too much on prescription drugs?
Poly-pharmacology represents a growing social problem. It's not unusual today for us to see patients on ten, twelve or fifteen medicines, prescribed by different practitioners. Some of the medicines may be redundant. Our universal therapeutic goal with all patients is to help them get down to the minimum amount of medications absolutely necessary. I think people really have to be more honest and truthful about the unknowns involved when we mix several medicines in our body. We only do research in the field of medicine by testing a new drug and its relative efficacy in comparison to a placebo. I know of no research whatsoever that helps us understand the intricacies of how people and their bodies may be potentially impacted when given prescriptive “cocktails” involving three, four, five, ten or twelve medicines. Therefore, it is important to streamline as much as we can by using integrative medicine treatment options which most people and practitioners have still not heard about.

Biofeedback, neurofeedback, cranial electrical stimulation, audiovisual entrainment and computerized cognitive training are almost as foreign today to most patients and physicians as they were years ago during development. Drug companies obviously have a vested interest in this information not getting out. So we constantly strive to expand the awareness of our patients and exert their right to choose from a comprehensive list of treatment options. Our position is that all health care providers should be educators, and not try and impose their personal belief system on others. We educate patients about all their options and then it's up to the individual patient within their belief system to use whatever available techniques or treatments they, ultimately, choose. It is quite interesting to note that in Suzanne Sommers’ recent book and review of cutting edge cancer treatment, many oncologists stated they would not undergo chemotherapy if diagnosed with cancer.

On the topic of educating clients about the various treatment options that exist, how do they react to this approach?
When we introduce patients to the field of integrative medicine and all their scientifically-based treatment options, their first question is usually, “Why did my physician never tell me about this stuff?” Or, in many cases, physicians make critical comments or totally dismiss these techniques. Here are two funny patient stories. Quite a few years ago, a Myrtle Beach internist returned after attending a medical conference at Harvard. He told our patient that if qEEGs and neurofeedback were any good, they would be doing it at Harvard and he would have certainly heard a lecture about it during his Harvard Conference. When we provided that physician information about Dr. Frank Duffy and his work with qEEG and neurofeedback at Harvard, we never heard from him again. Similarly, a patient came to us after relocating from Los Angeles, California. In the twelve years prior to relocating, he received various medications and treatments for an intractable depression at UCLA. When I suggested he complete a quantitative electroencephalogram, and had never heard of the technique before during his twelve years of treatment at UCLA, I was quite surprised. Out of curiosity, he contacted his old psychiatrist and inquired as to where on the UCLA campus quantitative electroencephalograms were given. The psychiatrist told him in the building right across the walkway from my office. We can all still be close, yet so far away.

Once we get past a patient’s initial skepticism, they usually become curious. In most patients, that curiosity gives rise to further interest and integrative medicine treatment involvement. Once they start benefiting, then these procedures develop a momentum of their own. I once had a migraine patient who we helped a great deal refer fifteen other patients plagued by the same problem.

So, we still have a lot of work to do to educate communities about the benefits using an integrative approach including biofeedback and neurofeedback.
I don't know if you are aware that in the United States there are a lot of primary care physicians restructuring their practices. Instead of requiring the traditional fee for service all of us are familiar with, these physicians now charge an annual fee of several thousand dollars. However, as a result, they are now able to spend forty-five minutes with you each and every time you come to them with a problem. This extended examination period permits in-depth discussion and a more comprehensive evaluation. Unfortunately, due to the annual fees involved, it isn't accessible to lower socio-economic segments in the population, but does represent the rebellious idea that superficially “windmilling”patients in and out of exam rooms after just fifteen minutes has its drawbacks and may not be the ideal way to practice medicine.

President Obama actually came out a few weeks ago and said that “brain mapping” would now be required and routinely used for certain medical disorders like asperger’s, autism, etc. under his new National healthcare system. Texas is the only State in this country that for years has had a law requiring insurance companies to reimburse neurofeedback services for certain medical conditions such as head injury, stroke, ADHD, etc. So, regardless of one’s political affiliation, President Obama is getting some sound scientific input from health care professionals on the need for specific changes.

In a May 2013 post on the American Psychological Association website, Washington, DC writer Rebecca A. Clay talks about the importance on integrating physical and behavioral health.

Treating Mind and Body
“A Sixty-eight percent of adults with mental health conditions also have medical conditions, and 29 percent of adults with medical conditions have mental health conditions. "If that's not a reason to integrate mental and behavioral health care into primary care, I don't know what is," said Rebecca B. Chickey, MPH, director of the American Hospital Association's section for psychiatric and substance abuse services.”


In Part 3 of this series, Dr. McCarthy will talk about some of the features of his new Integrative Medicine Software Suite and will present a couple case studies.

5 June 2013

Dr. Robert McCarthy Interview - Part 1: Intro to Integrative Medicine | Building a Referral Network | ADHD

Dr. Robert McCarthy is the author of the new Integrative Medicine software suite published by the BFE. We recently had a chance to ask him a few questions about his approach to Integrative Medicine. Here is part one of a 3 part series.

How did you become interested in the field of Integrative Medicine?
I became interested in the concept of Integrative Medicine many years ago while completing postgraduate studies at the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training in Manhattan. It became rather obvious to me that many psychotherapy patients over the course of their treatment reported an improved global health and physical well-being. For example, numerous medical conditions either improved or went into remission, and they were less susceptible to viruses and colds than was originally the case. In the early to mid-70s, this was certainly not something openly talked about or published by professionals, although the roots of biofeedback in operant conditioning date back to the 1930s with Thorndike and his cat experiments.

One of the Faculty members I took a course with was a psychiatrist, Dr. Clara Torda. Dr. Torda was the Chief Psychiatrist at Jacobi Hospital in Queens, New York if I remember accurately. Rumor was that in ten years as a practicing psychiatrist, she only wrote one script for a psychiatric bipolar patient requiring mood stabilization. Other than that, she remained a devoted psychoanalyst. I later learned that Dr. Torda specialized in the treatment of epilepsy, and found that weekly participation in group counselling was as or more effective in controlling seizures in patients than the standard medicines used at the time.

Dr. Torda tried to publish her research results, as she was also a staunch and devoted scientist, over the next ten years, but was unable to do so because all the medical journals she approached said that the majority of their advertisements were paid for by drug companies who would get upset about these results and might withdraw their ads. So, after almost a decade of attempting to publish the positive impact of group counseling experiences on reducing epileptic seizures, she gave up. So that piqued my interest and got me going in this direction.

How long have you been practicing Integrative Medicine?

I've been a full-time practicing mental health clinician for the last forty years. However, it’s the last twenty-five years that I have specialized in biofeedback and what we now call integrative medicine.

Is your practice in Myrtle Beach, SC predominantly comprised of mental health professionals?
The field of integrative medicine represents a diverse community of healthcare professionals that cuts across just about every specialty you could think of. Even though the only professionals working in my office (McCarthy Counselling Associates, PA) are mental health providers trained in biofeedback and integrative medicine, we routinely interact on a daily basis with other health care professionals in the community, particularly physicians and inpatient residential settings.

Tell us about building a referral network...
Originally, we had to do a lot of canvassing and reaching out to other health care professionals, resources and treatment programs in the community. Doing this can get very frustrating and stressful at times - with minimal responsiveness. However, after 20 years of persistence and "stick-to-itiveness", while continuing to educate health providers in the community, we now receive a large number of referrals from physicians, including specialists. For example, the Neurology group in town actually refers clients to us for quantitative electroencephalograms (qEEG) now to help clarify differential neuropsychiatric diagnoses. We view this as a major accomplishment, along with our ongoing affiliation with three of the most well-respected primary care practices in the area.

In addition, when I originally moved to this area twenty years ago the County school system said they did not accept outside opinions from anyone. Here we are after working with the school system for the past two decades, receiving an abundance of referrals for Attention-Deficit\Hyperactivity Disorder, learning disabled, asperger’s and autism spectrum disorders.

You bring up a topic that certainly receives a lot of media attention. What is your approach to diagnosis and treatment of ADHD?
The major problem today surrounding the controversial diagnosis of Attention-Deficit\Hyperactivity Disorder is simply the way many clinicians arrive at a diagnostic conclusion when assessing children, adolescents and adults. Recently, a study reviewed by Dr. Rabinowitz, Chief Scientist at Duke University, in his monthly newsletter, pointed out the questionable reliability and validity of pencil-and-paper questionnaires, and called for the greater use of quantitative electroencephalograms (qEEGs) whenever attempting to diagnose this disorder.

If you take a child to any clinician, whether it is a pediatrician, psychiatrist, family physician, neurologist, psychologist, social worker, licensed professional counselor, marital and family therapist, or psychiatric nurse practitioner, and we only talk to you about your family member’s symptoms and behavior, even if supplemented by checklists, and reach a diagnostic conclusion as to whether the individual has or doesn’t have Attention-Deficit\Hyperactivity Disorder, we'll be right about 60% of the time and wrong 40% of the time. From a research perspective, 50-50 represents coin flipping. Whether clinicians are willing to admit it or not, we're really not doing a whole lot better than coin-flipping with interviews and checklists. On the other hand, if we incorporate the results of quantitative electroencephalograms (qEEGs), the accuracy rates increase to well-above 90%, and are on a similar par with the results of MRIs and CT scans.

The other thing that hampers the medical community is not properly identifying co-existing or co-morbid psychiatric disorders. What traditional physicians often miss are learning disabilities, anxiety and mood disorders. In fact, several research studies have suggested it is actually more common to have Attention-Deficit\Hyperactivity Disorder and a learning disability, rather than either condition alone. Prescriptive medications can quickly aggravate and produce negative side effects by unknowingly aggravating these comorbid disorders. Approximately 5% of bipolar continuum patients have Attention-Deficit\Hyperactivity Disorder. What's nice about the qEEG is not only does it represent a state-of-the-art technique for diagnosing ADHD, but it also gives us the opportunity to thoroughly assess brain functioning in other ways.

Another thing the qEEG can show is configurational patterning associated with properly medicating children. While the DSM-IV talks about three subtypes of the disorder, Dr. Amen (one of the three leading brain researchers in the world) feels he has identified seven neurological subtypes. Only three of the seven subtypes defined by Dr. Amen respond well to the unilateral use of psychostimulant medication. Of greater concern, psychostimulants can make the other four subtypes as defined by Dr. Amen, worse. Commonly, we see children with ADHD and an anxiety disorder unilaterally prescribed a psychostimulant that causes them to become even more nervous, tense, restless, fearful, and unable to sleep. It’s like throwing gas on a fire to put it out. Patients and parents alike assume it’s a problem with the medicine, not a partial diagnosis and the prescribing doctor. Had this same child initially been given a qEEG and prescribed a psychostimulant along with an SSRI, the SSRI could have controlled the anxiety while the stimulant activated the frontal lobes. The patient would have progressed and family members would be happy. It's this interaction with co-morbid disorders that requires the kind of objective scrutiny that only neurofeedback and qEEGs

Although you are a proponent of the use of neurofeedback for ADHD, you seem to feel that pharmaceuticals have their place.
Absolutely! Our practice is not in any way anti-medicine. We provide scientifically-based treatment alternatives, and in some cases non-medicine treatment alternatives that eliminate the need for medicine. Approximately 50% of patients who do neurofeedback may no longer need medicine; while the other 50% of patients will likely need a combination of medication and neurofeedback to do as well as they are capable of.

In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics upgraded neurofeedback to a Level 1 treatment for ADHD. Click here to view chart. 

The INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE SOFTWARE SUITE is now available in the BFE Online Shop.
"Dr.  Robert McCarthy's Integrated Behavioral Medicine suite provides an extensive methodology for developing a very detailed  psychological profile for patients. The results will allow the clinician-practitioner to know which peripheral and EEG  based  modalities are most relevant for biofeedback training and  monitoring.  Although psychophysiological profiles have been in existence  since the 1940s this one is the most extensive developed so far."
Joel F. Lubar Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
University of Tennessee
Director Southeastern Neurofeedback Institute Inc.
BCIA Senior Fellow-EEG, Board Certified in Neurofeedback QEEG Diplomate

In Part 2 of this series, we will discuss the benefits of Integrative Medicine and the need to educate both patients and doctors about this approach. Dr. McCarthy will share a case on how he used biofeedback to a client with headaches.


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