Children coming from homes where neglect or abuse happened, often times did not learn how to self-regulate as there was not a safe adult to consistently take care of them. These experiences are traumatic, which have profound effects on the nervous system. Now as older children, adolescents or even adults they find it difficult to self-regulate. Self-regulating takes various forms but in general it is the ability to control one’s behaviors, emotions and thoughts in order to achieve long-term goals.
Examples of dyregulation include:
the absence of empathy
Behavioral dysregulation can look like outbursts such as:
acting aggressively towards others
threats to kill oneself
While the opposite of outbursts would be:
lack of engagement.
Physiological dysregulation is experienced in a variety of ways:
lack of body awareness
lack of focused and sustained attention
Neurofeedback is an intervention aimed at the circuitry of the brain that regulates the traits of fearfulness, shame and rage. Through repetition the brain can create new neural pathways, calming fear and the over aroused autonomic nervous system. Neurofeedback is used to stabilize the brain and improve resilience, which allows for the development of more choices in how to respond. With the advances in our understanding of the brain and the technology available, we have to treat the brain! Trauma does not have to have the pervasive, long enduring grip on one’s life.
Neurofeedback’s Impacts Can Include:
Improved sleep - falling asleep and staying asleep easier
Improved emotional control - less temper tantrums, more affectionate
Greater feelings of calm
Improved ability to handle change
Improved social awareness