Neurofeedback training has been shown to be effective for helping people with conditions like ADHD, insomnia, anxiety, seizures, and brain injuries. Clients usually visit a neurofeedback professional 1-3 times per week for a series of anywhere from 10-30 or even more sessions.

Some people have asked about devices that they can use themselves at home. It is not something that I would decide on lightly. Neurofeedback providers are cautioned to be careful when working with clients even if they are trained and experienced. It would make sense that an untrained layperson should be even more careful when working on their own brain or the brain of a family member. Not that they are invasively working on the brain as with surgery. They are rather working on the brain through training changes in the electrical impulses that allow the neurons to communicate and make things happen in the brain. This is very important stuff and you don’t want to make mistakes with it if you can avoid doing so.

Neurofeedback professionals study brain anatomy and function and many different subjects related to neurofeedback. If they are BCIA certified they need to meet several requirements including completing a neurofeedback training course, running a minimum of 100 practice sessions, and being mentored for at least 25 hours to make sure they are doing things correctly. It is not reasonable that a person who hasn’t done any of this would be able to simply purchase a device and start using it after reading a simple instruction manual.

Best practices in neurofeedback now include the client having a 19-channel EEG cap brain map done which includes protocol recommendations. The protocol includes what part of the brain is to be trained (sensor or electrode site) what frequencies are to be trained to be increased or decreased (Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, etc.) at a minimum. Other things like synchrony and coherence may also be included in the protocol. Just buying a device and randomly deciding to place the sensor or being limited to one or two possible predetermined sites is not at all the same as deciding what to do by assessment.

If a client wants to do home training it is recommended that they see a professional for a brain map or at least an assessment of selected sites. They should also do at least a few neurofeedback training sessions with the professional and then have the professional help them decide on home equipment that will enable them to continue the correct protocol at home. They should continue to consult with the professional as they do the home training. Most good home training equipment will allow for uploading or emailing of reports to the professional for review and additional guidance. It is also possible to do virtual sessions so the professional can watch the session being done live.

The final thing I want to discuss briefly is the quality of the equipment. Questions you should get answered include:

Does the equipment allow you to select the scalp training sites or are you limited to one site?

Can you or your professional neurofeedback consultant set and adjust the protocol or is it one size fits all?

Does the software show the raw EEG signal so that you can know if you have a quality, clean signal or one that is so noisy it is unreliable or even unusable?

Can you share data with a professional neurofeedback consultant for their input and feedback?

Does the equipment manufacturer or dealer offer technical support if you have problems or questions?

Can you clearly tell the difference between when you are meeting the training goals compared to when you are not?

This information will help you choose a device that will be more effective for you. I hope this has been helpful. Please contact me if you have any questions about this subject.

Harry L. Campbell

914-762-4646 –

Author of What Stress Can Do, Available on

Biofeedback Resources International Corp.

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Author's Bio: 

Biofeedback/Neurofeedback Training and Seminars are designed to teach clinicians biofeedback fundamentals and cutting-edge applications.