• banner image


    Biofeedback is a mind-body technique that involves using visual or auditory feedback to gain control over involuntary bodily functions such as blood flow, blood pressure, and heart rate, and more. 

    Biofeedback can be used in addition to psychotherapy, separate from talk therapy, or integrated with psychotherapy in sessions with a specially trained provider. 

    Biofeedback is a non-invasive learning technique that puts you more in control of your body and your emotional reactions. Training sessions will teach your body to regulate itself and to maintain that balance. Because the body craves regulation and efficiency, 

    these changes are self-rewarding. Your physical body and mind feel better when your brain makes use of the learning, thus the changes tend to become permanent. 

    Who is a good candidate for Biofeedback?

    Clients who may be having a hard time grasping mindfulness, meditation, etc. on their own.

    Clients who have less insight about the cognitions associated with their difficulties.

    Clients who are unsure about the efficacy of therapy or hesitant about participation in therapy.

    Clients who have a lot of insight but continue to have a great deal of physiological stress.

    Clients who tend to have more physical manifestations of their stress.

    Clients who have health conditions or chronic pain that is exacerbated by their mental health.

    Clients who will practice strategies outside of sessions.

    Clients who are technologically savvy enough to use a device after instruction and demonstration.

    Clients with a history of trauma and going into the details of trauma is too overwhelming at the time.

    Clients who are not making progress in treatment and may benefit from an additional tool in the toolbox.

    What To Expect During Your Visit

    You don’t need any special preparation before your biofeedback therapy. Successful biofeedback training requires a great deal of participation and motivation, so bring an open mind and willingness to follow through with the instructions provided. 

    Before your first session, write out the symptoms that are bothering you most, their frequency and duration, and anything that triggers symptoms. This is to ensure that your therapist fully understands what you would like to be addressed during biofeedback training. 

    At each session, we will assess progress in meeting goals set at the beginning of treatment. Sessions will include review of homework assigned in the previous session, assessment of symptoms and progress, and guided training using biofeedback devices.

    The Science Behind Biofeedback

    We will discuss the science behind biofeedback and the autonomic nervous system in more detail during our sessions. However, here is a general overview of how heart rate variability biofeedback works in the body. 

    All biofeedback focuses on the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is a component of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary physiologic processes including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and sexual arousal. It contains three anatomically distinct divisions: sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric. You may know the sympathetic nervous system as the “fight or flight response.” Biofeedback allows you to build the skill set of regulating your autonomic nervous system by gaining control of your sympathetic and parasympathetic responses. 

    Heart Rate Variability

    In the beginning of your treatment, your psychologist will assess how your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are working together through the biofeedback device. Through this observation, you will begin to learn how to breathe in rhythm with your heart beat in order to calm and regulate your physiology and mood. 

    Slow paced breathing is a central component of HRV biofeedback because respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) amplitude (peak-to-trough heart rate difference across the breathing cycle) increases with slow breathing. To accomplish this,you will spend some time looking at the screen and some time with your eyes closed, as directed by your therapist. 


    Content to come…