Published in the online publication: MyWestHartfordLife.com
West Hartford psychotherapist uses neurofeedback training to improve student performance
Monday – July 25, 2011
The student who can never sit still during a teacher’s lesson is often viewed as a “problem child.” However, in many cases these kids are in fact facing their own learning barriers, such as restlessness, inability to maintain visual focus and being easily distracted. As a result, the academic requirements make the child feel “bullied” by the environment as they do not sense that they are able to succeed.
West Hartford psychotherapist Rae Tattenbaum is a pioneer in the use of a unique training that has offered dramatic results helping children with all of the above difficulties. Neurofeedback training is a form of Biofeedback based directly on the brain’s electrical activity. The process includes monitoring the brain’s activity through the placement of tiny sensors placed on the scalp. While the therapist monitors the session on one computer, the client receives visual and audio feedback from another computer through images and sound that are controlled directly by their brain. Ultimately, this process can help quiet the brain treating a number of conditions that impact success.
“Time and time again I’ve seen neurofeedback accomplish major changes in children with conditions that impair the ability to focus,” said Tattenbaum. “This is a therapy and requires repetitive in-person sessions in order to work.”
Among the many patients Tattenbaum has treated over the years is Lebanon student Jack, starting when he was just 8 and a half. Jack was referred to Tattenbaum due to his inability to sit still long enough to learn subjects such as math and reading. Shortly after he began working with Tattenbaum’s multi-step program, change was soon evident.
In a journal, Jack’s mother Barbara wrote, “Jack’s DRA level was an 18 when he started with you back in 2009. I asked his teacher what level he’s reading at now and it’s a DRA of 34. Currently, the DRA level has increased to 39.”
His teacher also noted, “he continues to make solid progress, and I have noticed growth with his reading expression as well.”
During the neurofeedback process, Tattenbaum works on training the electrical activity of the brain, in turn providing the brain more information about itself. This process allows for better organization of the brain and clearer focus.
“The brain uses visual and auditory information to re-organize itself and release old patterns of “stuckness”. Neurofeedback allows the brain to relax, leading to an increase in alertness and focus,” said Tattenbaum. “Before long, people realize that fidgeting, daydreaming, planning events, worrying and other brain activity interrupt the feedback.”
For Jack, the neurofeedback training has changed him from a student who was unable to focus on the task at hand to one that’s determined to succeed in school.
“His DRP (degrees of reading power) was a 51, which is just a few points away from goal,” adds his teacher. “He made some incredible gains this year and we’re so proud of him!”
Rae Tattenbaum is a recognized leader in the field of Neurofeedback and Biofeedback and the innovator of a groundbreaking methodology. She is the first in her field to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach, which has been proven to enhance performance in business, academics, athletics and the performing arts, as well as increase mental balance, productivity and wellness for those with learning, attention and physical disabilities. A good portion of her practice involves helping children overcome anxiety and trauma.
Tattenbaum earned her MSW from the Columbia University School of Social Work after receiving a BA in Advanced Study in Theatre Arts at Hofstra University. Her office is located in West Hartford, Connecticut. She serves clients in Connecticut, New York, Boston and the New England area. You can learn more about her program online.