Tag Archives: teens

How Do You Soothe Yourself?

In Learning to Self Soothe, Courtney Martin writes about learning from her infant daughter, how one self soothes. “We have a video monitor, so Hands behind headI have actually been able to watch my baby girl learning her own way around discomfort. She does things with her little, pudgy, perfect body that I never could have done for her or taught her to do. My nephew, too, surprised his parents with his soothing techniques. He had his hands perfectly positioned behind his head, like an old man soaking up some rays on the Coney Island board walk.”

Stone with wordI love what Martin writes next, “It’s been a bit of a revelation for me. We all have our ways to feel okay in the world. Some of us whistle. Some of us smoke. Some of us carry a stone in a pocket. Some of us maniacally refresh Facebook. Some of us pray. Some of us eat. Some of us walk. Some of us work. Some of us run away.”

How do you self-soothe? Is it working for you?

I think about pre-teens and teenagers when I think about self-soothing and how different the methods are from the ones used in infancy. Teens smokingEverything about kids between the ages of 11 and 19 are changing and it is a time in their lives when they are most cognizant of these changes. Some of these kids feel so out of control that they either give up and start using drugs, alcohol and/or sex to cope, while others study and are so driven to have straight A+’s on their report cards. Both sets of kids, the ones who give up and the ones who are above average students are trying to cope and self-soothe. What many of them have in common is fear/anxiety and/or sadness/depression.

When I am lucky enough to incorporate neurofeedback into my work with a pre-teen or teen, I am hopeful and expect that he/she will feel more confident, more relaxed and better able to cope naturally with changes in a short period of time.

The type of neurofeedback that I use is, NeurOptimal®.NeurOptimal® is essentially a brain workout. It trains your brain to be neuromore flexible and resilient. Without pushing it in any specific direction, the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system interacts with your central nervous system in a way that improves neural plasticity. A mind that is more flexible adapts and responds quicker and more appropriately to changes in your environment.  The more easily your brain adjusts to changes encountered in a normal busy day, the better you feel. A lack of brain fitness, on the other hand, can leave you drained and stressed at the end of the day.” NeurOptimal can help you to learn safer, more effective ways to self-soothe.

If what I wrote resonates with you or if you are a pre-teen, a teenager or a parent and are interested in learning more about what I do or more about NeurOptimal®, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me.

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Teens Are More Common Than We Think

A recent study from Canada, by Dr. Gabriela Ilie, shows that one in five students suffer from concussions fragile growing brain(the most common form of traumatic brain injuries). That is a staggeringly large population. The paper goes on to note that this one of the first studies to focus on traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in adolescents. The story source was found in JAMA.

The incidence of TBI is more common than was assumed, as head injuries are not always reported. It seems common that teens will hurt their heads during a sporting event or simply from playing sports injury to headand falling but adults do not always seek medical attention for them. Perhaps the student feels better quickly and tells the adults that they are making too much of the situation and perhaps the adult erroneously thinks that the child is fine. If the child seems better, why would the adult take the child to the doctor or worse a hospital where the wait can seem endless? Hopefully, studies like these will have greater influence on the reactions of the adults.

The problem is that concussions can have long-term effects. The adolescent brain is still developing and the risk of another concussion seems to be more probable than it is for those who have images-1not had a TBI in the past. Successive concussions can create problems including, “lasting cognitive impairment, substance use, mental health and physical health harms. But, Traumatic brain injury is preventable,” said Dr. Ilie. “If we know who is more vulnerable, when and how these injuries are occurring, we can talk to students, coaches, and parents about it. We can take preventive action and find viable solutions to reduce their occurrence and long-term effects.”

One of the many wonderful ways that neurofeedback can help is in the treating of TBI. In an article called, Neurofeedback Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury, by D. Corydon Hammond, Ph. D., ECNS, QEEG-D, BCIA-EED; he writes that “Neurofeedback research has documented its value in the treatment of a variety of symptoms relevant to a brain injury population, including seizures, memory, concentration and attention, unstable mood, impulsiveness, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and even anosmia and physical balance. Preliminary research on neurofeedback treatment of TBI is very encouraging, but certainly more rigorous research is needed. child receiving nfThe accumulating work on neurofeedback led Frank H. Duffy, M.D., a Professor and Pediatric Neurologist at Harvard Medical School, to state in an editorial in the January 2000 issue of the journal Clinical Electroencephalography that scholarly literature now suggests that neurofeedback “should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used: (p. v). “It is a field to be taken seriously by all” (p. vii).”

To learn more about neurofeedback and how it can help with traumatic brain injuries, contact me.