The Good News 2019

In today’s world, everyone strives to achieve peak performance, but only some will achieve it.

Kathy Abbott, Psy.D., P.C., has been enabling local residents to achieve peak performance through Neurofeedback, a drug-free method of retraining the brain to work more effectively.

A Licensed Clinical Psychologist with more than 25 years of counseling experience and 16 years of doing Neurofeedback, Dr. Abbott’s office is located at 3317 W. 95th St., Suite 205, in Evergreen Park.

Because Neurofeedback helps the brain regulate itself, it is able to address a number of disorders and disabilities, and improve performance. Improvements are made in learning disabilities, head injuries, attention disorders such as ADHD, Asperger’s disorder and anxiety.

Neurofeedback provides training effects that do not wear off, such as the ability to focus.

Dr. Abbott conducts an interview about the patient’s history, and she then conducts an assessment to diagnose symptoms and identify goals. This typically includes an qEEG brain scan or what is sometimes called a brain map. The EEG assessment illustrates what parts of the brain need to be trained.

Using these results, the therapist creates a brain-training plan and programs the computer to enhance desired brainwave activity. 

The procedures involved with Neurofeedback are painless. Sensors are attached to the scalp. These measure natural, electrical impulses in the brain and record them. Using a program similar to a computer game, people learn to control the computer display. Individuals are reinforced for successfully performing tasks specific to their protocol. If undesirable brainwave activity interferes, the game or video slows down or dims.

As the brain begins to respond to the cues it is given, the learning of new brainwave patterns takes place. This is known as operant conditioning. The term “neuroplasticity” has been in the news for the past several years. It is known that the brain is plastic–in other words it is able to reorganize itself and change connections between different parts of the brain. Neurofeedback works partly because the brain is able to adapt and change.

A Neurofeedback training session usually takes about 45 minutes, and it is recommended that the individual does Neurofeedback at least two times a week because the brain is being trained to learn something new.

Due to an increasing body of research, Neurofeedback is gaining acceptance as a viable alternative to medication in working with ADHD and related disorders. More than 700 groups nationwide are using EEG biofeedback for ADHD, according to the Association for Applied Psychotherapy and Biofeedback, an organization of biofeedback practitioners.

Researchers have reported that 80 percent of individuals experience an improvement in symptoms, and 60 percent experience significant improvement in symptoms and have experienced less need for medication.

Dr. Abbott also provides individual counseling for depression, anxiety and EMDR for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Dr. Abbott has been a member of the board of directors of the International Society of Neurofeedback and Research and was chair of the society’s public relations committee for several years. Also, she is a founding member of the Neurofeedback Centers of Greater Chicago (eegchicago.com).

The latter is a network of independent, experienced clinicians specializing in Neurofeedback in the Chicago area. All of its clinical psychologists are board certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.

In addition, Dr. Abbott has written a chapter on the use of neurofeedback to decrease drug side effects due to drug withdrawal.

For more information about achieving peak performance through Neurofeedback, call Dr. Abbott at (773) 807-0936 or visit the website at drkathyabbott.com.