Coping

When faced with a life-changing diagnosis, it is more important than ever to care for our bodies.  What makes that difficult is a sense that our bodies have betrayed us with the news of an uncertain recovery. Adjusting to the consequences of a cancer diagnosis, brain injury, stroke, or the onset of degenerative illness can be overwhelming for patients and their families. 

Often, the treatments carry challenges as well. Surgery, illness or injury may have permanently altered your body. Treatments such as chemotherapy and immunosuppressants can significantly impact your quality of life. You may benefit from guidance in managing chronic illness in yourself or a loved one, or minimizing side-effects of treatment. 

A combination of neurofeedback and rehabilitative therapy can be helpful in managing the encompassing impact of your diagnosis. We can take steps to preserve and strengthen cognitive functioning, recover speech, ease seizures and movement disorders, minimize chronic pain, and promote resilience wherever you are in your journey. 

 
Relationships

Our support systems are the foundation of our wellbeing. When symptoms get in the way of our ability to connect with loved ones, we can feel frustrated and alone. You could be looking for a way to manage conflict in immediate or extended family, or contemplating important life decisions such as whether to stay or leave your current relationship. Symptoms may have isolated you, or challenged your ability to be the partner or parent you want to be.  

One of the most important relationships in your life is the one you have with yourself. By gaining insight to exactly how your body responds to stress, you can learn personalized strategies to manage that unique response, and take an important step in cultivating resilience. You can approach the challenges in your life with flexibility and clarity, and trust in yourself to navigate them skillfully.

 
Stress

Stress can amplify a range of disabling conditions. The nervous system designed to protect us can become over-responsive and actually do more harm than good. Often, my patients say they are relaxed, and are surprised to see just how much residual tension is still at work in their bodies. 

With with so few opportunities to recover, we need to learn how best to use the time we have to manage the countless sources of stress in our lives. Not all relaxation techniques are created equally; the deep breathing that works for one person, may cause a increased anxiety in someone else. 

With a clear picture of how stress affects your body, you can know with certainty the most effective strategies for promoting recovery. This approach is ideal for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, migraine, insomnia, hypertension, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias. 

 
Academic

Children and young adults face a great deal of pressure to perform well in school. Whether someone is identified as gifted or as having a learning difference, the right supports are critical at any age.

 

Conditions such as anxiety, depression and ADHD can impact achievement and chip away at a student's confidence and love of learning. I provide treatment to strengthen memory and concentration and reduce test anxiety.

 

Social and developmental stresses can also impact academic performance. My office is a safe and confidential space for everyone.

 
Performance

Whether your goals are athletic, artistic, or professional, you need to know how to respond to pressure when it counts. Be prepared for your moment with a personalized treatment plan to minimize nerves, boost confidence, and strengthen your ability to stay balanced, no matter what comes your way. 

 
Consultation

Perhaps you're seeking support for a patient with a complex diagnosis, or you're treating someone who would like to minimize reliance on medications. I welcome collaboration with all healthcare providers, and enjoy providing continuing education talks to both physicians, therapists, and support groups.  Please reach out if you're interested in setting up a talk or consultation. 

 
Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Neurofeedback (EEG) measures brain frequency activity. If any one frequency becomes dominant, we have difficulties doing the tasks with which the predominant wave is not effective. It appears that the state of mental (and, through association, physical) health is not the presence of any one wave, but the equal relationship between the different waves, and the ability flexibly face the changing demands of our environment. Excessive slow waves are often associated with attention and concentration problems. Excessive fast waves are often associated with anxiety.

Electromyogram (EMG)

EMG measures muscular tension and involuntary bracing. Excessive tension drains energy and can lead to pain, headaches, TMJ, muscle spasm and muscle weakness. Combined with neurofeedback, this modality is effective for improving muscle control and reducing tremor. 

Peripheral Temperature

Temperature biofeedback measures vascular dilation and constriction. Lower temperatures indicate reduced blood flow and more stress.  Constricting blood flow can cause problems with the immune system, delay healing, migraine headaches and is involved in some types of high-blood pressure.  Extreme vasoconstriction is often seen with high levels of prolonged stress.

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)

GSR measures sweat gland activity correlated with adrenal activation. Higher measurements indicate more stress. A lack of responsiveness may suggest adrenal fatigue. High GSR levels are often seen with various types of anxiety, especially when it is more mentally based. Low GSR levels can reflect burn out from chronic stress, or a numbing response following trauma.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

HRV measures subtle changes in heart rate which naturally occur during respiration. Lower HRV indicates more stress. Healthy changes in the heartbeat reflect autonomic flexibility and adaptability. Breath training is usually involved. Low HRV is correlated with cardiac events, depression and anxiety.

Capnometry

Capnometry measures respiration chemistry. The  amount of CO2 measured in your exhale reflects a range of chemical processes necessary for optimal stress management, endurance, and neurological functioning. If levels of CO2 are too low, or too high, body systems can be negatively impacted. 

Contact Me

Melanie R. O'Neill, PsyD, BCB

484-424-7655

© 2019 by Melanie R. O'Neill, PsyD, BCB