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Technology Enhances Behavioral Health Therapy
From:
Dr. Kathryn Seifert, Trauma and Violence Expert Dr. Kathryn Seifert, Trauma and Violence Expert
Baltimore , MD
Monday, January 08, 2018

 

Severe and/or chronic trauma causes negative changes in the brain and neurotransmitter systems. Repeated, excessive cortisol generated in response to trauma interferes with healthy brain development. Consequently, the brain can become chronically hyper or hypo-aroused.    Those problematic arousal patterns interfere with brain development, logical thinking, learning and healthy interpersonal relatedness. Traditional trauma therapy can be greatly enhanced by teaching the brain's limbic and neurochemical systems to be soothed and "taught" to regulate themselves in a healthy way.  This can be accomplished through various kinds of biofeedback/Neurofeedback.  There are "no tech (no technology)," "low tech (low technology)," and "high tech (those using high technology)" methods of "brain training" and stimulation. Biofeedback and neurofeedback are generally high technology methods.

Biofeedback is a process whereby electronic monitoring of a ordinarily automatic bodily function is used to train someone to acquire voluntary control of that function. Neurofeedback, also called neurotherapy or neurobiofeedback, is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity, most commonly electroencephalography (EEG), to teach self-regulation of brain function. Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) uses a cell phone-sized device that stimulates the cranium and brain with a current that cannot usually be sensed by the consumer (below four milliamps). No serious side effects have been reported. Muse is a powerful, compact electroencephalography (EEG) system. The EEG headband monitors brainwaves while a phone app teaches individuals how to meditate and obtain optimal healthy brain wave patterns. TouchPoints are non-invasive neuroscientific wearables that use patent-pending BLAST technology to relieve symptoms in as few as 30 seconds. Virtual reality therapies developed and approved by the military, are used to promote the engagement of clients in treatment by simulating real-life circumstances, which further engages multiple senses of the individual. This is also a type of exposure therapy which has been used successfully in psychological treatment for decades. The above described NPPT technologies which use processes of operant conditioning, have also been successfully used for decades.  These technologies have been reported to help users cope with conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, depression, Parkinson's, Autism, addictions, and ADHD along with insomnia and general stress.

On the non-technological end of that spectrum there are the practices of Yoga, mindfulness, "EFT" (tapping) and meditation.  "Low technological methods include practices such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), and meditation applications for computers and smart phones, such as the Muse guided meditation.  High technological methods are neurophysiopsychotherapy (NPPT) treatment modalities, which include neurofeedback, cranial electrostimulation treatment (CES, which is FDA approved), virtual reality (FDA approved), and TouchPoints stimulation.

These technologies are being used as therapy support technologies that have a significantly positive impact on therapeutic outcomes when used with traditional psychotherapies. For instance, using these technologies during trauma treatment can increase outcomes by more than 20%. Some studies show that these technologies have better outcomes for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD when compared to traditional medications and therapy for these maladies.     At a time when trauma is at a significant problem in this country, ESPS is training therapists and implementing NPPT technologies to improve client outcomes. ESPS has currently three training practitioners in NPPT technologies to include Carla Sterling Ph.D., registered psychology associate, Eric Johnson (Ph.D. candidate) registered psychology associate, and Mike Tabib M.A., LCSW-C.

            ESPS has created a training track to further train other practitioners in NPPT modalities, which is currently being taught by Eric Johnson. The track includes didactic, clinical, and supervision experience that goes towards an in-house certification that allows practitioners to practice NPPT technologies within ESPS. The owner of ESPS, Dr. Kathy Seifert is an internationally renowned forensic psychologist, and attachment expert that plans to create a full training academy to include many training tracks such as trauma, attachment, forensics, and art therapy.

 

Dr. Kathryn Seifert is a leading voice internationally in the areas of trauma, violence, mental health, criminal justice and addictions. The CEO of Eastern Shore Psychological Services (ESPS), Dr. Seifert specializes in the assessment and treatment of individuals who are traumatized, at risk for violence and/or suffering from attachment problems. 

She has frequently appeared on national networks to discuss violence and mental health, appearing on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, the Huffington Post Live, Discovery ID, Fox News, and CBC in Canada. Dr. Seifert has written two books on the subject; the first, How Children Become (Acanthus Publishing 2006), was awarded the 2007 IPPY (Independent Book Publishers Award) bronze medal in the Psychology/Mental Health Category, and her second book, Youth Violence: Theory, Prevention, and Intervention (Springer Publishing 2011), is frequently utilized in the professional community and in college courses. 

As an expert contributor for Psychology Today, Dr. Seifert's blog, "Stop the Cycle," has amassed over 500,000 views. 

Dr. Seifert has lectured in Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, and across the United States. Past conferences and events include Maryland Psychological Association Annual Conference, Pennsylvania's NAMI Cherry Blossom Charity Ball, and the Conference on the Federal Response to Reducing Gun Violence, which took place following the Sandy Hook tragedy and was headlined by then Vice President Joe Biden. Additionally, Dr. Seifert speaks on Trauma and Attachment for PESI, INC

 
Dr. Kathryn Seifert
Founder
ESPS & CARE2
Salisbury, MD
4437541001
410-334-6960