Recovery Center Blog

What is Brain Mapping Therapy and How is it Used in Addiction Treatment?

Written By Recovery Centers - May 6th, 2022
What is Brain Mapping Therapy and How is it Used in Addiction Treatment?

With advancements in science and medicine, the treatment of addiction has improved immensely over the years. While addiction recovery used to be treated with a “one-size-fits-all” approach, experts in the field have revolutionized substance abuse treatment with individualized treatment planning and evidence-based approaches.

One of the newest and most technologically advanced approaches to addiction treatment is known as brain mapping therapy. While this form of therapy is useful in the treatment of many mental health conditions, it has been found especially helpful for substance abuse recovery.

Brain mapping therapy is used in addiction treatment to identify abnormalities in a patient’s brain functioning. This allows doctors to get a clear picture of the conditions that patients suffer from and what type of treatments will prove beneficial for their recovery.

What is Brain Mapping?

Brain mapping is a procedure that measures the way an individual’s brain functions. While the name of this therapeutic practice may sound scary, this procedure is non-invasive and painless.

The brain communicates through the interaction of over 100 billion different neurons. When these neurons interact, they create electrical impulses (brain waves) that tell the individual’s body how to react, feel, or behave. Brain mapping therapy uses a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) to monitor the brain waves that occur in an individual’s head.

The qEEG creates a roadmap of any irregular electrical impulses it finds in the patient’s brain. The results that brain mapping provides allow the medical professional to:

  • Identify irregular brain patterns in particular regions of the brain
  • Find areas where activity is too high or too low
  • Identify areas of the brain that are not properly communicating with one another
  • Diagnose psychiatric, behavioral, and cognitive conditions
  • Identify brain injuries
  • Predict the patient’s response to medications
  • Outline the patient’s stress levels

Brain mapping is the tool that allows medical professionals to make an informed decision on treatment planning for each patient. Once the administrator of the EEG test understands the bigger picture, they can begin neurofeedback therapy.

What Does Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Therapy Treat?

Brain mapping therapy is only an assessment and diagnostic tool. After a medical professional has read the results from the brain mapping and qEEG testing, they begin neurofeedback therapy.

Neurofeedback therapy trains patients’ brains to produce healthy or normal EEG patterns. In other words, the brain waves that were communicating abnormally will be trained to respond effectively.

Patients will be hooked up to the EEG machine by placing sensor stickers or electrodes on the surface of their scalp. The patient will play a computer-simulated game that monitors their brainwaves. This game will teach them how to change dysfunctional patterns in their brain to operate effectively.

Brain mapping and neurofeedback therapy help to treat the following conditions:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Behavioral issues like addiction
  • Dementia
  • Emotional disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Sleeping issues like insomnia

How Does Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Aid Addiction Recovery?

Neurofeedback can help the process of addiction recovery in several ways. This form of evidence-based therapy directly helps addiction by lessening cravings and behavioral issues associated with addiction. However, it also helps diagnose and treat mental health conditions that commonly co-occur with substance use disorders.

Because co-occurring disorders often complicate addiction treatment, using a therapy like brain mapping and neurofeedback helps ease some of the barriers to dual diagnosis treatment. For example, many mental health conditions mimic the symptoms of addiction. Utilizing brain mapping allows medical professionals to properly diagnose and treat patients who might have comorbid mental health issues.

A study outlined the benefits that brain mapping and neurofeedback therapy provides to addiction treatment and recovery. Those benefits include:[1]

  • Remained in treatment 40% longer than patients who received traditional addiction treatment methodologies
  • 77% of neurofeedback patients remained sober 12 months after treatment, while only 44% of traditional addiction treatment patients did
  • Patients attending brain mapping and neurofeedback therapy showed improvement in attention measurements, allowing them to focus on treatment and recovery
  • Neurofeedback provided patients with decreased feelings of alienation, defensiveness, and depression
  • Patients of qEEG testing and therapy were more cooperative and attentive than their peers were throughout their addiction treatment program

Overall, these ground-breaking forms of therapy help the brain recover from years of substance abuse, biological chemical imbalances, and learned behavioral responses that exacerbate substance use disorders.

Attending an Addiction Treatment Program that Offers Brain Mapping Therapy

Struggling with addiction is never easy. Oftentimes, the cycle of addiction can make you feel like your brain is just wired incorrectly. In some cases, the way that one’s brain waves communicate with one another can contribute to mental health conditions that exacerbate substance abuse issues, like depression or anxiety.

Thankfully, brain mapping can help identify any abnormalities in your brain that contribute to addiction. Additionally, neurofeedback can train your brain to communicate healthily and effectively.

If you or a loved one suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, attending a rehab program that provides brain mapping therapy could provide you with the tools you need to recover. Contact Recovery Centers today to find an addiction treatment program that fits your needs near you.