changeahead My daughter is a senior in high school.  That means we have spent much of the past year focusing on ACT testing and scores, college applications, essays, etc., etc.  On February tenth all of the hard work, anxiety and stress of this past year came to an end as she received her acceptance into her number one choice of schools, which also happens to be both of her parents’ alma mater, so to say we were all thrilled would be putting it mildly!   But something else also happened once the dust settled, I realized that very soon my first born will be leaving for college, not only a huge life change for her but a major life transition for me.  While the abstract idea has always been there, now it is staring me in the face and is something I can no longer ignore.   What does that mean for me?  The past 18 years my primary focus has been on parenting my kids, and in two short years they will both be in college.   So part of my “job”, and a lot of my identity is going to change.  While I will always be mom to my son and daughter my role in their lives will without a doubt soon be different.   I am sad about my kids leaving home but I also realize once I have readjusted there will be many positive aspects of my new life, such as more time for me and my husband to do things on our own without worrying about 2 other people’s schedules, and time to begin focusing more on myself and consider other interests in my life I may not have had time for before.   I joked as senior year started that I wasn’t quite ready for this but it was coming whether I was ready or not.   Life moves on and changes are going to happen, whether we are ready or not!  Getting married, starting a new job, moving into a new house, having a child, the list goes on and on, are all positive changes in life.  But even the positive changes are stressful and can be hard to deal with.  There may be mixed emotions, I can absolutely relate to feeling very happy and very sad at the same time as we approach graduation day.   There might be feelings of loss, even about a much anticipated event, and there can also be an identity shift, all things I can currently relate to.  Major life transitions cause stress, that is a fact.  If you don’t take care of yourself the stress can lead to increased anxiety, health problems and even depression.   During major life transitions it is important to pay attention to yourself and take care of yourself.

The following article by Dr. Shannon Kolakowski talks about ways to make the most of life transitions and has some good pointers on how to take care of yourself during major life changes.
https://trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-goals-life-coaching/kolakowski.shtml


I believe one of the most important things to do during any stressful time is to rely on your support system.  It can be helpful to turn to supportive people in your life during these times.  If you feel like you need some added support surrounding a major change or transition in your life give me a call or send me an email and we can set up an appointment, 706-425-8900 or beth@ca4wellbeing.com    Beth Jackson, LCSW  Alpharetta, Georgia   profile415  

IMG_1120

School will be out soon and now is the time to enroll your child in a brain enrichment program.   A brain-training program called neurofeedback is available in the Athens area and is designed to rewire neural pathways into efficient, highly functioning pathways. Neurofeedback training can help your child with ADD/ADHD by increasing focus, attention, memory and organization. It can improve sleep and decrease anxiety and depression. Neurofeedback can train your child’s brain for flexibility and peak performance—it’s a great way to give your child an edge in their education and in their life.

It all begins with obtaining a qEEG brain map. An individual will wear something that looks like a swim cap. This cap has EEG sensors inside of it, which allows for brainwave activity to be measured and recorded. Once that data is obtained, a brain map is generated which pinpoints the areas of the brain where inefficient brainwave patterns are operating. Those patterns are retrained into efficient, higher functioning neural pathways.

Training the new neural pathway is quite simple with neurofeedback. It’s very similar to training a new muscle through repetitive movement at the gym, only it’s neural pathway training and it’s more fun!   Neurofeedback training consists of watching a movie for 30 minutes on a movie screen while your brain trains and moves into the programmed zone. When the brain moves into the efficient brainwave pattern, the movie screen stays light and when the brainwave pattern defaults back to the old inefficient pathway, the movie screen will turn dark. The brain brilliantly seeks to stay in the new efficient pathway so that the movie may be viewed. This is a form of operant conditioning and will entrain/rewire a brain to stay within the efficient neural pathway.

The training is as enjoyable for an individual as watching a movie or a favorite television show. The brain is doing the work on it’s own as it is being guided by the neurofeedback software. Neurofeedback is non invasive and does not have negative side effects like so many of the prescription drugs used to manage similar issues in the brain.

Contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner, at Counseling Associates for Well-Being for brain training in the 2016 Summer Program. (706) 425-8900 or pamela@ca4wellbeing.com

Pamela-Key-Photo

IMG_1500

Maybe you’re the kind of person that has trouble focusing. One thought seamlessly leads to another and that thought takes you to something else and so on, making it difficult to complete the task at hand or listen to a speaker for more than a few minutes without your mind wandering.

Perhaps your mind races about with one exciting idea after another, inhibiting your ability to concentrate on one concept for any length of time. You could be coping with ADHD, depression or anxiety, any of which can cause you to lose focus or make it hard to find it in the first place.

For whatever reason, an inability to concentrate is more than frustrating. It impedes kids’ schoolwork and adults’ careers. It strains friendships, stresses family relationships and detracts from self-worth.

The good news is the mind can be directed to concentrate better through neurofeedback, a non-pharmaceutical method of retraining wayward electrical impulses in the brain.

Measuring brain waves

While it’s normal for brain waves to vary in rate according to what a person is doing, some people’s brains get stuck in a too-fast or too-slow pattern for extended intervals, making it hard for them to focus. For example, a prolonged period of a slower state, which is called theta, can cause people to drift and make it hard for them to return to full awareness. On the flip side, experiencing the fast beta state for too long can leave someone too anxious or too excited to concentrate. Neurofeedback works by assessing and retraining such electricity in the cortex, or top layer, of the brain.

To begin, a map of a person’s electric activity in the brain is created by having the individual sit in a chair and don a thin cap fitted with 19 sensors that detect and measure the activity in the brain’s cortex. The results are compared against a normative sample, bringing to light any areas where the electrical activity is too fast or too slow, either of which can impede concentration and focus.

Re-training electrical activity

To retrain electrical brain activity, the practitioner will place one to four sensors on the individual upon those spots where the activity reads as too fast or too slow. The sensors, which are connected to a computer that’s linked to a video monitor, read the person’s brain activity as the individual begins to watch a movie. When the person’s brain activity fires too quickly or too slowly, as determined by the sensors, the image on the monitor screen dims. As the brain’s electrical impulses go toward the norm, the picture brightens and a click sounds, thereby reinforcing the better brain activity on two levels.

Each session lasts about 30 minutes, with two sessions per week recommended. The number of sessions required varies with the type of problem experienced by the individual and his or her response to training. Some people get a “tune up” session after six months or a year, and many people have been able to modify or stop taking related medications after treatment.

Although the brain likes to stay on a set course, the positive reinforcement achieved by neurofeedback challenges it to shift accordingly and permanently, thereby calming overactive impulses or boosting ones that are too slow, helping improve a person’s ability to focus and concentrate.

Better and better

Neurofeedback also can help with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It also can contribute to peak performance in athletics, music and dance. Members of the Italian soccer team underwent neurofeedback therapy before winning the World Cup in 2006.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information supports neurofeedback as a viable treatment for ADHD (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19715181). The treatment can be “efficacious and specific,” that is, equal to or better than the current accepted standard of care, as rated by the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research.

Typically, changes are seen gradually over time, with, perhaps, a child’s teacher noticing a student’s improved behavior first, followed by the child’s parent and then the child himself.  Gradual shifts that can lead to desired change and increased well being.

Pamela Key provides neurofeedback services for children and adults at Counseling Associates for Well-Being. Contact Pamela at pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

pamela-key

rtd_lise_program_yurtd_eitim

School is officially out and summer has begun. While summer is filled with many fun activities such as family vacations, lazy days at the pool, and adventures at camp, it is also a great time to improve your brain through neurofeedback!

Neurofeedback is a process of self-regulation of the brain that retrains neural pathways into effective, efficient, functioning brainwave patterns. It’s a high tech way to retrain your brain to work in a way that allows greater ease in dealing with life’s challenges – whether it’s work, school, relationships, sleep, or the ability to relax. Neurofeedback training can help you or your student in a variety of ways including:

  • Improve attention, focus, and motivation
  • Ease anxiety during pivotal transitions between elementary school, middle school, high school, and college
  • Retain academic knowledge in order to counteract summer learning loss
  • Give your high achieving student an edge for next academic year
  • Decrease irritability, mood swings, and depression

Take this summer to do something BIG for your brain. Neurofeedback is the pathway to a better brain – and a happier life!

To start your journey to improve your brain, please contact Pamela Key at pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

pamela-key

mother and child

Have you ever been taken by surprise by how angry you become by an interaction with your child? Have you felt feelings of shame and regret by how harshly you spoke to him or her? Have you promised that you won’t get angry like that anymore only to find yourself lashing out at your child, yet again?

Shefali Tsabury, PhD explains in her book, “Out of Control,” the mechanism behind these flashes of anger. “Each time our subconscious agenda doesn’t get met, we enter the space of a hurt child. Because our hurt self wasn’t healed when we were children, if someone reawakens this hurt within us, we erupt. This is why our children can trigger such fury in us.”

Daniel Seigel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., authors of “Parenting from the Inside Out,” discuss rearing children as a chance for parental development. “When parents don’t take responsibility for their own unfinished business, they miss an opportunity not only to become better parents but also to continue their own development. People who remain in the dark about the origins of their behaviors and intense emotional responses are unaware of their unresolved issues and the parental ambivalence they create.”

Dr. Tsabury explains in her book, “The Conscious Parent,” why we experience such intense emotions while parenting. “Through our children, we get orchestra seats to the complex theatrics of our immaturity, as they evoke powerful emotions in us that can cause us to feel as though we aren’t in control–with all the frustration, insecurity, and angst that accompanies this sensation. Of course, our children don’t “make” us feel this way. They merely awaken our unresolved emotional issues from our childhood. Nevertheless, because our children are vulnerable and mostly powerless, we feel free to blame them for our reactivity. Only by facing up to the fact that it isn’t our children who are the problem, but our own unconsciousness, can transformation come about.”

If you would like to address unresolved emotional issues, I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we will find ways to heal your childhood wounds. You will learn how to give compassion to yourself, your children, and your parents. Becoming a conscious parent will allow you to be the peaceful, loving, patient mother or father you have always dreamed of being.

Come on in. Let’s talk about it.

s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com             706-425-8900 ext. 709

Susanna Rains Moriarty

Susanna Rains Moriarty

Pamela-Key-Photo

Are you looking for help with ADD or ADHD? Is homework for your child always a struggle? Concerned about the use of medication for control of ADD/ADHD? These concerns can be overwhelming at times and fortunately QEEG Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Training can help!  Neurofeedback can provide effective solutions for Attention Deficit Attention and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder.

A QEEG Brain map can be obtained which can identify the inefficient neural pathways that are seen with ADD/ADHD. Neurofeedback can then be utilized as a process of self-regulation of the brain that retrains neural pathways into effective, efficient, functioning brainwave patterns; thus eliminating or reducing the need for medication intervention.

Check out this video of the Dr. Phil show discussing ADD/ADHD and neurofeedback.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP3sKWrEhwg&feature=youtu.be

For additional information about QEEG Brain Mapping and how Neurofeedback works, please contact Pamela Key @ Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

 

Pamela-Key-Photo

Are you or do you know someone who is struggling with attention and focus in the classroom or in life in general?  Is medication the only treatment that you are aware of being offered to help?  If so, check out Neurofeedback as an effective ADHD treatment.

Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive alternative option for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  It teaches the brain to stay attentive and focused through self-regulation.  It retrains the inefficient neural pathways into efficient neural pathways that more easily attend and focus to tasks.  Neurofeedback has now been accepted by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Level 1 “Best Support” intervention for ADHD.  Compelling published research supports its effectiveness.

The efficacy of neurofeedback has been documented in over fifty peer-reviewed, published journal articles.  These research studies show that the effectiveness of neurofeedback is equal to or greater than any other therapeutic intervention for ADHD.  In addition, the positive effects of NFB are maintained, and in some cases, even increase once the treatment ends.  In contrast, the benefits of stimulant medication stop as soon as the medication is discontinued, and over 50% of the individuals taking a stimulant medication are reported to have one or more significant adverse side effects (e.g., poor appetite, irritability, stunted growth, and sleep problems).  It is no surprise that individuals and parents of children with ADHD are fearful of using stimulant medications on a long-term basis and often seek a non-drug alternative.

For more information about neurofeedback and how it may help with attention/focus issues; please contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner at Counseling Associates for Well-Being.  (706) 425-8600 or pamela@ca4wellbeing.com