Neurotherapy at Embark by Calo
Embark by Calo offers a unique neurotherapy experience for all of our 5 and 10-day family therapy intensives. First, our team will record a custom brain map for each member of the family. These maps provide information about how your family may neurologically interact with each other through a process called Neuro-Family Dynamics. Our trained professionals will look at the connections and activity of different brain regions to determine family challenges and triggers that stem from neuroplastic adaptations. This information is used to help guide the entire family towards improved communication, intimacy and connection.
The second purpose of the brain map for parents is that parenting a child with complex developmental trauma is very stressful. Experts in the field of stress have shown that chronic stress can have a degenerative effect on the body and brain. By recording a brain map we can see where the nervous system has been worn down and needs renewal and reintegration. This process helps to support parents’ resiliency and encourage movement in otherwise static family systems.
Your child will receive two brain map recordings. The first one will be recorded at the beginning of the week before the therapy begins. The second will be the last day of the intensive. These recordings will allow us to show you the changes that have taken place in your child’s nervous system over the course of the intensive. These reports can be later given to and utilized by a neurotherpay practitioner in your area if you decide that you would like to continue with neurotherapy at home.
Embark by Calo also offers a remote neurotherapy option, after an intensive has been completed. Remote neurotherapy is when neurofeedback equipment is sent home with the parents where they can continue to train their entire family. The sessions are supervised under the guidance of a clinical neurotherapist who will support the neurotherapy process. There will also be follow up about what was learned from the intensive to be sure integration into the home is taking place.
qEEG During Family Therapy
Embark for Calo uses a Quantitative Electroencephalograph (qEEG) recording devise for its brain maps. The qEEG is a 19 channel recording that records brain activity across the entire scalp. It provides a real-time image of how the brain functions in daily life. Using a normative database qEEG data can isolate instabilities and dysregulations. These markers are the origins of behavioral symptoms.
With the qEEG analysis the Embark team can develop unique treatment plans for your child. Ones that encourage the brain to self-regulate and increase the overall efficiency of neurological processing. The effects can improve mood, attention, sleep, anxiety, and many more symptoms. It helps the brain to support brain balance that foster a sense of safety which provides the opportunity for the brain to break out of traditional patterns and experience new ones.
Neurofeedback is one of the main forms of treatment during a family therapy intensive the Embark by Calo team will use that can help the brain change itself. This is possible through the reward system. The reward system is one of many systems in the brain that’s function is to inform the nervous system to something that it enjoys or wants to promote. When a child is experiencing neurofeedback this reward system will release dopamine, a neuromodulator, into the sub-cortical regions that will inform the brain to re-wire or change its frequency. In neurofeedback, the brain is given an arena to practice self-regulation and parasympathetic responses.
The result of neurofeedback is an increase in the efficiency of neurological processing. Examples of efficiency would be feeling less overwhelmed by loud spaces, cognitive processing speed will increase, quiet thinking, and improved attention, all of which will allow the brain to be more prepared for development as your child lives out their life.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a type of feedback that Embark by Calo will teach you and your child during the family therapy intensive. This technique creates a coherent connection between the heart and lungs. Our hearts send messages to the brain letting it know if we are safe, just as the brain can send messages to the heart indicating danger, or a need for it to pump faster. The idea is for the lungs to influence how fast and slow the heart beats. The lungs are the strongest volitional control we have over our heart. When we breathe-in it is ideal for our heart to speed up to distribute oxygen to the body. When we breathe-out it is ideal for the heart to take a rest and slow down. Often times with chronic stress the HRV rhythm is irregular or inflexible. By using HRV we can teach you and your child to produce coherent heart rhythms that will trigger a relaxing response and allow the body to calm itself. Continual use of HRV helps to improve memory, attention, and sleep. It also impacts anxiety, depression and reactivity to stress.