Brainwave Biofeedback (Neurofeedback)

Brain wave biofeedback (also called neurofeedback) is a therapy in which patients learn to change their brain wave patterns. Changing brainwaves can have a beneficial effect on relaxation and reduce stress and its unhealthy impact on brain and nervous system. In one type of neurofeedback the training involves normalization of alpha and theta brain waves which are disturbed by long term substance abuse. Brainwave Biofeedback has shown dramatic success in several studies in preventing relapses from drug and alcohol addiction. This very promising treatment can be more fully understood by Reading "Effects of an EEG Biofeedback Protocol on a Mixed Substance Abusing Population" and "Effects of Neurofeedback on Chemical Dependency Treatment" by Scott WC,  Kaiser D, Othmer S, Sideroff SI.


Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) (
BCIA certifies practitioners in both biofeedback and neurofeedback. Their site provides an updated register of certified practitioners. Under Find a Practitioner in the top menu bar, you can do a Practitioner Search by name of the practitioner, city, state, or zip code. The letters BCIA after a name means the practitioner is certified in General Biofeedback. The letters BCN after a name means the practitioner is certified in EEG Biofeedback (or Neurofeedback). In addition information is given on disorders treated by biofeedback and the different types of biofeedback.

EEG Spectrum International (
This site provides a good introduction to neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) including its applications to various health conditions. In the "Find a Provider" section of the site you can locate by state a therapist or practitioner who has been trained in neurofeedback at the EEG Spectrum Institute.

Cri-Help (
Offers a wide range of therapeutic services including neurofeedback and acupuncture. See our Residential Treatment section for information on this Center.

Healthcare Connection of Tampa (
Specializes in the treatment of impaired professionals. Their program is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, behavioral modification and other psychotherapeutic approaches, and innovative techniques such as neurofeedback and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

RESEARCH: EEG biofeedback has been used for substance use disorders over the last three decades in conjunction with other therapies and may be useful in enhancing certain outcomes of therapy. Based on published clinical studies, EEG biofeedback is likely effective either alone for alcoholism or in combination with beta training for stimulant and mixed substance abuse and combined with residential treatment programs. Sokhadze TM, et al. EEG Biofeedback as a Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: Review, Rating of Efficacy, and Recommendations for Further Research. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2008 Mar; 33(1): 1–28.

Psychological improvements in patients with substance use disorders have been reported after neurofeedback treatment. This study examined the effectiveness of neurofeedback for opioid dependence disorder in 20 patients who were on Methadone or Buprenorphine maintenance treatment.  While both groups received their usual maintenance treatment, the experimental group also received 30 sessions of neurofeedback treatment. Those receiving neurofeedback experienced improvements in their mental health and reduction in substance craving. The study supports the effectiveness of neurofeedback training in addition to medication therapy in people with opioid dependence disorder. Dehquani-Arani F, et al.  Neurofeedback training for opiate addiction: improvement of mental health and craving.  Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2013 Jun;38(2):133-41.

These EEG documented changes are further proof that addiction is an illness of the brain.

Updated May 23, 2018