About Calgary Neurofeedback
Calgary Neurofeedback is your local source for NeurOptimal® neurofeedback: the technology for training your brain back to wellness. Our passion is to help people who struggle PTSD, anxiety, and depression, but neurofeedback can also help with a variety of other conditions, including ADHD, brain injuries, peak performance, and stress.
We are a home-based business, located in the Patterson area of Calgary, Alberta. We offer our NeurOptimal sytem for rent so that you can get the best benefit in a short amount of time. We currently do not ship out the unit, but rather require that you come and pick up and drop off the system.
In 2001 after a series of extremely stressful events, I found myself anxious and deeply depressed for the first time in my life. Where I had previously been a happy, healthy individual without ever having experienced depression and not a single panic attack, I now found myself in a world that was foreign and terrifying. It was as if time had been split in two—“before” and “after” the trauma. The person I had been prior to those events seemed like a distant memory. I stopped dating, I stopped going out, I felt distant and isolated, and I pulled away from my best friends and family. I seemed to be triggered by everyone and everything.
“While it is clear that ordinary, healthy people may become entrapped in prolonged abusive situations, it is equally clear that after their escape they are no longer ordinary or healthy people”. Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery
Having had a social work degree before all this happened, I knew where to find resources. I threw myself into therapy wholeheartedly. Over the years I did everything: counselling, acupuncture, iridology, massage, medications, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), emotional freedom techniques (EFT), and “The Work of Byron Katie.” I attended support groups, survivor groups, and psychoeducational therapy groups. Although the treatments didn’t cause more harm, when they were ineffective, I felt extremely demoralized.
In 2017 I was very frustrated and felt like I could very well be like this forever—able to work and function, but distrusting everyone around me. I was able to “pass” as normal at times, but my relational life was severely damaged.
"The damage to relational life is not a secondary effect of trauma, as originally thought. Traumatic events have primary effects not only on the psychological structures of the self but also on the systems of attachment and meaning that link individual and community. Mardi Horowitz defines traumatic life events as those that cannot be assimilated with the victim's ‘inner schemata’ of self in relation to the world. Traumatic events destroy the victim's fundamental assumptions about safety of the world, the positive value of the self, and meaningful order of creation. Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery
The difficult truth that I learned from all this is that many people were struggling like me: half of all PTSD sufferers jump from therapist to therapist, technique to technique with only small increments of improvement. Even with well trained therapists, about half of all PTSD patients are helped by therapy.
At this point, I knew that I could very well spend the rest of my life like this. So I decided I was ready to try more alternative approaches. I did a lot of research. I came across stories of people who swore that neurofeedback had either resolved or greatly helped their mental health issues. I found a practitioner in Calgary and started immediately.
The first thing I noticed when I started doing NeurOptimal® sessions was that it was just a calm way to spend half an hour, giving me a slight break from the usual ongoing noise of my mind. Next, a few days after my first session, I noticed my anxiety wasn’t triggered by the chatty man sitting next to me at an event—I was almost always triggered by men, so this was unusual.
Each week, there seemed to be little moments where I felt different. I remember one very difficult, emotional day when I came into the neurofeedback office in tears, upset, angry at life, and feeling hopeless. For the first ten minutes of my session, I just listened to the music and cried. After the next ten minutes, I felt a little less agitated and was able to look around the room, coming out of my internal world, seeing things around me. For the final ten minutes, I felt like I could breathe again. My problems hadn’t been solved, but somehow I felt more able to breathe. I went home that day and was able to clean the house instead of just lying on the couch as I had been doing for days on end.
After ten sessions I thought to myself, “I need to have this thing. Maybe I can get my life back.” I knew then that I would buy my own system, and start up a practice to help others like me.
NeurOptimal® is now part of my healing story. On it's own, it is unlikely to take me to the finish line because it doesn't address the beliefs behind my fears, but it helps me learn and progress without having full blown anxiety attacks, and that counts for a lot. So while healing is an ongoing challenge, NeurOptimal helps me with my symptoms—my ups are a little higher and my downs are less severe.
I am most grateful for the times when NeurOptimal® has helped me climb down from the edge of panic, communicate my feelings better, and begin to feel hopeful again. NeurOptimal® is not a panacea, but it’s a tool for health. I am so excited to share this exciting new technology with you.