Presented by Jeff Tarrant: Many people begin a meditation or mindfulness practice as a tool to assist with physical or mental health concerns. This makes sense given the wealth of research demonstrating the positive impact these practices can have on issues ranging from chronic pain to attention problems. Despite the obvious appeal and increased accessibility of meditation training with programs such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), it remains a significant challenge for many individuals to maintain a consistent practice (Brandmeyer & Delorme, 2013). Early meditators often complain that they do not know if they are â€œdoing it rightâ€ or give up before realizing any significant benefits. By providing the meditator with immediate feedback on their brainwave state, a neurotherapist can help define and refine the process, potentially increasing motivation, interest and impact. Incorporating neurofeedback into a meditation practice can potentially help with these concerns. In addition, because meditation and neurofeedback are both involved in the training of mental states, it seems obvious that these practices could be used to enhance each other, either in an attempt to achieve deeper states of meditation or by combining them as a treatment intervention for specific mental health conditions such as ADHD, anxiety or depression (Brandmeyer & Delorme, 2013).
In this program, we will explore four different styles of meditation practices based on the role of attention, intention, brainwave states, and brain regions involved; these include Focus, Mindfulness, Quiet Mind and Open Heart (Cahn & Polich, 2006; Tarrant, 2017a). Based on the differences of each style, we can identify how and when to use each particular neuromeditation practice with specific mental health concerns (Tarrant, 2017b). For example, Focus practices involve practicing sustained attention and reducing mind wandering. While these may be an ideal practice for ADHD, they can also be an important practice for the management of anxiety and depression as the mind is trained to shift attention away from ruminative thoughts. Similarly, while Mindfulness may be best suited for stress and anxiety, it can also be helpful for ADHD as a person gains skill in self-awareness and reflection.
This workshop will provide research and practical strategies to use each of the meditative styles with clients struggling with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It will help attendees learn how to select a meditation style based on client presenting concerns and will demonstrate introductory approaches to 2 channel and sLORETA neuromeditation protocols.