Presented by Lisa Merrifield, PhD: This clinical workshop is designed to raise awareness of some of the more common medical factors that can jeopardize neurofeedback success. The primary goals are to educate clinicians to recognize potential medical impediments, in terms of problems that might be accommodated, worked with or helped; and to improve treatment efficacy and efficiency. The presenter will share with the participants a strategy for identifying and prioritizing treatment techniques, and for assessing change from a stance of Constructive Awareness.
We will review a range of medical factors that may affect patients who present in the office of an experienced clinician. Categories addressed will include the following:
1) Developmental and genetic differences
2) Scars, plates, shunts, and stimulators
3} Inoperable benign masses, post-tumor excision, “missing brain parts,” both congenital and surgical
4) When the patient is medically ill – helping with autoimmune disorders, asthma, working with cancer (active and in remission) mold, lyme disease, other inflammatory factors; neurodegenerative illnesses.
Participants will be exposed a specific model, developed by the presenter, for stratifying and prioritizing a range of symptoms that simultaneously affect multiple domains of functioning. Then we will work through some examples to help participants see how this can play out in the clinical environment. In conjunction with this we will discuss how to frame the unfolding improvements, to maximize an appreciation of what is changing (or not), and whether to stay on an unmodified course, or whether adjustment is necessary.
We will discuss the options for adjustment; how to weigh the relative advantages of incorporating other disciplines, changing the pace of treatment, or pausing altogether. Any disruption to an expected course of treatment can easily be perceived by the client as a withdrawal of support, or inferred as reflecting reduced confidence in their prospects for recovery. We will give special attention to presenting treatment modifications in a way that is likely to be received as personalized and supportive of the client’s best possible outcome.