There is so much potential we can unlock when we work with the mechanisms of the brain directly. Through clinical applications of evidence-based treatments, we can tap into unconscious mechanisms to create a permanent drug-free solution.
Unlike many psychology practices, we come from a strength-based perspective based on Positive Psychology, the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. Instead of "what's wrong?" we seek to understand "what happened" and go from there; this is a trauma-informed approach and is the center of our practice.
Additionally, our practice is unique in that we pair neuroscience with psychology, starting with a map of the brain and combining evidence-based neurofeedback with psychotherapy to produce optimal results. If helpful, we also offer neuropsychological testing to rule out other diagnostic pairings such as learning differences and unique learning styles. While diagnostic evaluations are typically done through clinical interview and patient history, we take a more in-depth approach and utilize brain mapping to gain insight into the mechanisms of your brain process. Often, one is labeled with a diagnosis that may fit the behavior, but when we go deeper into looking at the brain, we see that the diagnosis is inaccurate. For example, children who are depressed will often have behavior that looks like ADHD. We can look at the map of the brain to validate or amend the diagnosis. That way, treatment is accurate, efficient, and effective.
What is Brain Mapping? Our brain cells communicate via electrical impulses, called brainwaves. These waves vary in speed and are associated with different activities, from problem-solving to sleep. The relative amounts and interactions between each type of brainwave affects how we think and feel: too much of one type might contribute to anxiety, too little of it might contribute to poor focus. The good news is that we can actually encourage new brainwave behavior: we can teach the brain to increase one type of wave, for instance, or to balance the relationship between waves. This is one of neurotherapy’s primary goals, and the first step is to measure a person’s current brainwave behavior, through a process called brain mapping.
How Does Brain Mapping Work? qEEG brain mapping gives us a comprehensive picture of a person’s brainwave activity: identifying patterns that may be contributing to symptoms, and pointing to areas for improvement - not only for symptom relief, but also for optimal functioning. The brain mapping process in our clinic consists of three steps:
1. EEG DATA COLLECTION We begin with an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures brainwave activity through sensors placed on the head. This is completely benign process and as comfortable as sitting in a chair.
2. qEEG: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS We then analyze the EEG results using data from normative scans to identify problematic patterns and generate a visual representation of the findings: called a brain map or quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG).
3. RESULTS INTERPRETATION Our clinical staff meets with patients to review their brain map, interpreting the results in the context of symptoms and goals, and planning for neurofeedback treatment where relevant.
Gamma: associated with peak mental states & cognition. Too much can contribute to anxiety and stress; too little can contribute to ADHD and learning difficulties. Beta: associated with alertness & problem-solving. Too much can contribute to anxiety and stress; too little can contribute to ADHD, mental slowing and depression. Alpha: associated with calmness, meditation, relaxation. Too much can contribute to poor focus; too little can contribute to anxiety, OCD and stress. Theta: associated with creativity, intuition & insight. Too much can contribute to issues with focus and attention; too little can contribute to anxiety and stress. Delta: associated with sleep & regeneration. Too much can contribute to mental slowing; too little can contribute to poor sleep and fatigue. Infra-low Frequencies (ILF): believed to set the tone for the rest of the brain’s activity. While most neurofeedback systems cannot detect or train ILF, our clinic’s can.
PARENTS: Let us help you effectively and efficiently work with your child or teen. Dr. Johnston-Jones has a specialty in helping parents create healthy families and retaining close relationships with their children. She is the author of the acclaimedTransformational Parentingbook and has helped hundreds of parents learn psychological best practices to help their children and teens grow to their potential..
ATHLETES: If you are an athlete, we can help you improve your brain wave production for peak performance. We start with a brain map to see how you compare to other adults your age and the areas you could improve from, then through neurofeedback and psychological coaching, help you reach your brain/ mind potential and thus athletic potential.
ADHD / ADD: Whether you've been officially diagnosed or not, if you find that you have difficulty paying attention and concentrating and this can sometimes interfere with your life, we can help you. We start with a brain map to see how you compare to other adults your age and the areas you could improve from, then through neurofeedback and psychological coaching, help you reach your brain/ mind potential.
CHILDREN AND TEENS:
If your child is having trouble focusing in school, managing their emotions, is sometimes anxious or is addicted to their screens or other harmful substances, or has low self esteem, we can help you. Dr. Johnston-Jones is a mother of two teens and also an expert in brain development.
In 20 sessions or less, she has a 100% success rate working with hundreds of children and teens through her work in hospitals and private practice. Dr. Johnston-Jones has worked with children who were about to get kicked out of school who are now successful college students, middle schoolers who avoided leaving the house due to anxiety who are now honor roll high school students, students who were bullied, who are LGBTQA and started with low self esteem and depression who are now happy, integrated human beings.
We conduct brain mapping and psychological pre and post testing to ascertain areas that need to be worked on as well as therapeutic progress. The evidence-based practices of Interpersonal Neurobiology / Attachment Theory, Neuropsychology, Neurofeedback, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Hypnosis, Art Therapy, Play Therapy, Positive Discipline, Parent Education, Psychodynamic therapy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy are used depending on the needs of the child.
How is your brain health?
You may find yourself easily tired, overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating. You may feel emotionally overwhelmed too. You may find yourself avoiding people or finding your happy place in a video game or social media rather than the real world. These are signs that your brain may have developed brainwave patterns that aren't compatible with your life.
Fortunately, there is a drug-free and completely non-invasive treatment to regulate the brain called Neurofeedback. It is like physical therapy for the brain. Symptoms are often completely and permanently eliminated in a few months. The Journal of Neuropathy published an excellent article. Here is the research summary (abstract):
EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) originated in the late 1960s as a method for re-training brainwave patterns through operant conditioning. Since that time a sizable body of re-search has accumulated on the effectiveness of neurofeedback in the treatment of uncontrolled epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, alcoholism, posttraumatic stress disorder, and mild head injuries. Studies also provide encouraging indications that neurofeedback offers a treatment alternative for use with learning disabilities, stroke, depression, fibromyalgia, autism, insomnia, tinnitus, head-aches, problems with physical balance, and for the enhancement of peak performance. At a time when an increasing number of people are concerned with negative effects from relying solely on medication treatments, neurofeedback may offer an additional treatment alternative for many conditions. This article assists the reader to understand how neurofeedback works, how assessment al-lows neurofeedback to be individualized, and briefly reviews evidence for the neurofeedback treatment of many conditions. The public is cautioned that in selecting a practitioner for the treatment of the kinds of medical, psychiatric and psychological conditions cited above, a practitioner should be licensed for independent practice in their state or province and should ideally also be certified by a legitimately recognized body. - From Hammond, D. C. (2007). What is Neurofeedback?.Journal of Neurotherapy, 10(4), 25-36.