15 April 2015

BFE 18th Annual Meeting in Rome

As spring comes to a start, we at the BFE mark the end of our annual BFE Meeting which this year was held in Rome, Italy. Months of preparation came to fruition with clinicians and clinical leaders from all over Europe and the world converging over 5-days to learn about the latest methods and practices in biofeedback. We are extremely pleased with the results of the event, and we would like to thank all attendees, workshop presenters, scientific day speakers, and poster presenters for making the conference a success. Below, Jon Bale, the BFE's research manager, shares his perceptions of the Rome conference, as well as what the event means for the BFE's online education and software for the next year.

The BFE conference is always such a hurricane of events, with rarely a moment to sit down. There are so many interesting workshops and scientific presentations to check out, as well as people for me to engage  to learn about the exciting work they are doing in the field. Aside from the little hiccups that accompany all live, multi-day events, I'm extremely proud of everyone that helped coordinate the event and grateful to all of those who attended. It has always been a goal of ours to provide clinicians of all skill levels and students the opportunity to learn directly from the expert in their fields, and I definitely believe that standard was maintained this year.

My conversation with attendees left me with several positive, stand-out impressions of  the meeting. Amongst these highlights are:

Linda Walker, MHR, LPC presented two workshops, one on "Pratical Tips for Getting the Most out of Biofeedback"and the other on "Z-Score Neurofeedback: Tips and Methods for Effective Integration in Practice". Her name has long been cemented as the BFE's most popular online instructor, and it was confirmed by participants that her hands-on approach to learning, with calm and clear explanations, made her a winner here as well.

Mari K. Swingle, Ph.D., daughter of well-known psychologist and author Dr. Paul Swingle,  presented three times during scientific day on the neurofeedback assessment and training of digital technology and internet addictions. Due to the fascinating (and even frightening) nature of this topic of internet addiction, i-technology and youth, the BFE has invited her to present a webinar on this timely topic. Keep your eyes open for that. (You might say to yourself: "Yes, but Dr. Swingle already has spoken on that...". Well, from whom did you think he learned this?)

Biofeedback and sports fans received quite the treat: 2-days from Dr. Lindsay Thornton, 2-days from Dr. Penny Werthner, and a scientific day presentation where heavy hitters of the field Dr. Bruno Demichelis and Tim Harkness of Chelsea F.C. converged for a talk on the "Unique Peak Performance Database". Attendees of the scientific day got to witness quite the passionate discussion.

 Those that are interested in sleep issues will be happy to hear that the BFE has asked Lothar Niepoth, head of the German Biofeedback Society, to present his 1-day workshop on "Biofeedback in the Treatment of Insomnia" as full online class.

Dr. Steven Baskin received quite glowing reviews for his 2-day workshop on "Biobehavioral Considerations in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Headache Disorders". Participants enjoyed his hands-on approach and ease of interaction. If the BFE is lucky, we may also be able to share some video of his workshop.

Who doesn't love a conference room that's reminiscent of some type of United Nations round-table discussion? Attendees of Drs. Lynda and Michael Thompson's workshop certainly enjoyed it.

Although I was left a bit exhausted by the end of the conference I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet with and learn from, I look forward to the next meeting and I hope to reencounter the many new colleagues and friends made this year. From my all my online work during the year, I very much enjoy finally putting faces to the voices with whom I teach and speak to.

The BFE would like to thank everyone who attended our Rome meeting. We hope that the conference provided you with the opportunity to make new friends, connect with colleagues and share knowledge and expertise with participants from around the world. We were fortunate to welcome workshop presenters who are leaders in their respective fields, along with a diverse group of speakers and poster presenters who addressed a wide variety of biofeedback topics as part of the scientific program.

We would also like to thank our host, the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, for providing a location for our meeting. Special thanks go out to our sponsors – without their support the conference would not be possible.

It is indeed a pleasure when so many members of the biofeedback community come together to share ideas. Thank you again for being a part of BFE 2015.
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