Understanding PTSD and How Neurofeedback Can Help

Sad business man sit in hotel room

If you or a loved one have PTSD, it can be difficult to know the best way find help for PTSD.

Many who struggle with PTSD start with medication to manage the symptoms.  While medication may provide temporary relief of certain symptoms, there is not a single medication that can resolve all the symptoms that are common in PTSD.  Medication can lead to a never-ending cycle of medication adjustments, including different prescriptions for different symptoms and have side effects that make it difficult to function in day-to-day life.  Medication does not provide the long-term improvement for PTSD.Unlike medication, neurofeedback for PTSD in city of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is a non-invasive, drug-free alternative that targets the underlying brain activity responsible for PTSD symptoms. By training the brain to better regulate itself, neurofeedback can lead to long-lasting improvements in PTSD symptoms without the side effects associated with medication.


According to the Mayo Clinic, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic or terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it.

People with PTSD often relive the traumatic event in their mind, usually in the form of flashbacks.  Flashbacks may occur on their own without warning or be triggered by something that reminds them of the original trauma.  People with PTSD also experience negative changes in thinking and mood, including irritability, outbursts of anger, trouble sleeping, sudden mood changes, feeling more distant from others, and being easily startled. They may also have physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea.

Many active and retired military call Fort Walton Beach and the Florida Panhandle home, but it’s not only military veterans that experience PTSD.  Any traumatic experiences can contribute to PTSD, including automobile accidents, child abuse, domestic violence, disasters, sexual assault, sex trafficking or traumatic violence. 

Traumatic Experiences that Contribute to PTSD

Automobile Accident     Bullying     Combat Exposure     Child Abuse/Neglect    

Community Violence     Complex Trauma     Early Childhood Trauma     First Responders 

     LGBTQ and Trauma     Natural Disasters    Racial Trauma     Sexual Assault

Sex Trafficking     Spiritual/Religious Abuse     Terrorism and Violence

PTSD can cause distressing symptoms such as severe anxiety, insomnia, recurring nightmares, and flashbacks.  These symptoms can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, often leading to depression and feelings of nonreality.

Neurofeedback for PTSD is Non-invasive and Drug Free

The treatment of PTSD typically includes different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy, such as EMDR therapy, as well as medications to help manage the symptoms.  There is a growing body of evidence that neurofeedback for PTSD is effective, with long-lasting results and without side effects common to many medications used to treat PTSD. 

While medication can sometimes be effective in treating the symptoms of PTSD, medications often have a wide range of side effects, including dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Medication changes the brains chemistry with the use of chemicals.  Additionally, medication only addresses the symptoms of PTSD, rather than addressing the root cause of the condition. 

Neurofeedback, also referred to as EEG biofeedback, is a non-invasive, drug-free alternative that targets the underlying brain activity responsible for PTSD symptoms. By training the brain to better regulate itself, neurofeedback can lead to long-lasting improvements in PTSD symptoms without the negative side effects associated with medication.

Neurofeedback Brain Training Improves PTSD Symptoms

Man stress out and cover his face by his hands

Neurofeedback for PTSD in Fort Walton Beach has become more popular as an alternative method for improving a wide range of PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, and flashbacks.  Studies have found that neurofeedback, often referred to as brain training, is effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD. Neurofeedback targets the brainwave patterns that are associated with PTSD symptoms allowing the brain to regulate the patterns, which leads to a reduction in symptoms over time.

Long-Lasting Results of Neurofeedback for PTSD

Another advantage of neurofeedback for PTSD over medication is that it can lead to long-lasting results. While medication can provide temporary relief from PTSD symptoms for some, it does not address the underlying brain activity that causes these symptoms. Neurofeedback, on the other hand, helps the brain teach itself, leading to lasting improvements in symptoms. Upon successful completion of neurofeedback for PTSD, the brains negative response patterns operate on a sub-conscious level and release trauma along with false beliefs often associated with PTSD, so one can enjoy life with a new and healthy perspective. 

Other Benefits of Neurofeedback for PTSD in Fort Walton Beach

Neurofeedback has been shown to be effective in helping a wide range of issues, not just PTSD.  After completing 5-8 neurofeedback sessions, clients often notice they are sleeping better.  They report falling asleep faster, sleeping longer without interruption, and waking up more rested.  Many also report having less anxiety and family members notice they are not as irritable and short tempered.  Neurofeedback can improve a variety of other mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, sleep issues, and addiction.  It is a safe, non-invasive option for alleviating symptoms without the side effects associated with medication. 

Neurofeedback can be used in combination with other treatments, such as therapy and medication, to enhance their effectiveness. Healthcare providers in the Fort Walton Beach area may use neurofeedback as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for PTSD.  Therapists refer clients in Fort Walton Beach to Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback for brain training.  In conjunction with psychotherapy, neurofeedback can improve the effectiveness of therapy and often reduce the need for medication.

Neurofeedback for PTSD with EMDR Therapy

Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback therapy, uses sensors to measure brain activity and then teaches the brain to self-correct the electrical activity, or re-regulate the brain. This can help with many symptoms of PTSD including anxiety, depression, mood swings, nightmares, insomnia, and the way you respond to stress.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Defined by EMDR International Association, (EMDRIA) as “an evidence-based, clinician led, psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)…[and] other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms.  EMDR therapy works by changing one’s responses to trauma by tapping into the body’s natural resources for healing, (AIP or adaptive information processing), in this case in response to traumatic events or memories.

For over 10 years, Pamela Downey, MS, LMHC, has worked with PTSD clients from Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  In her experience, she has seen the combination of neurofeedback and EMDR therapy work better together to improve PTSD, than therapy alone.  “Neurofeedback works with the brain in a bottom-up capacity helping the persons brain unstick itself from patterns that are creating symptoms. When utilized together, both can be more effective.”

It is typical to recommend starting with neurofeedback for PTSD, as neurofeedback is effective at helping the brain with self-regulation, improving many of the symptoms of PTSD and preventing clients from being highly distressed in the process of EMDR therapy.

Upon completion of neurofeedback sessions, a reassessment of symptoms will indicate if EMDR therapy is needed, in some cases therapy won’t be necessary.  If EMDR therapy is necessary, the brainwaves have normalized to healthier patterns, which often leads to fewer EMDR sessions.

3d medical figure with brain highlighted

Choosing a Provider of Neurofeedback for PTSD in Fort Walton Beach, FL

If you are in Fort Walton Beach and are considering neurofeedback as an option for PTSD, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced neurofeedback provider. Look for a provider who has been properly trained in neurofeedback and has experience working with PTSD. Additionally, look for a neurofeedback provider who uses an evidence-based system and who can tailor a plan to your specific needs.Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback has been providing neurofeedback for PTSD to clients at both of their locations, in Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback utilizes a scientifically validated protocol developed by world-renowned experts in the field of biofeedback.  The system demonstrates improvements with all symptoms of PTSD along with issues that commonly result from dysfunctional families, grief, and other upsetting life experiences.  After 10 sessions of neurofeedback for PTSD, 85% of Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback clients with PTSD report improvements. 

Neurofeedback for PTSD in Conclusion

PTSD is a mental health condition caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.  Treatment for PTSD has typically included medication and therapy.  However, there is evidence that demonstrates neurofeedback in Fort Walton Beach has many benefits to help PTSD without relying on medication.  By training the brain to regulate its brainwaves, neurofeedback can lead to long-lasting improvements in PTSD symptoms without the side effects associated with medication.  

Neurofeedback, or brain training, can be a stand-alone option for PTSD or used in combination with therapy and medication to enhance their effectiveness.  If you, or a loved one is considering neurofeedback for PTSD in Fort Walton Beach, be sure to choose a qualified and experienced provider who can tailor a plan to your specific needs. With neurofeedback, you can teach your brain to regulate itself and reduce the symptoms of PTSD for good.