Do you know the old phrase, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste?” How about the phrase “use it or lose it?” You may have heard them so many times that they have become tired. You may not think these phrases have any legitimacy. However, it has now been shown that those tired phrases are more on point than many people think. That is because of something called neuroplasticity. This neuroplasticity can be very helpful in your daughter’s recovery.
“Neuroplasticity” is a term that is foreign to many people. After all, who likes to spend their free time reading medical journals on neuroscience (other than neuroscientists)? You may be surprised that a simple understanding of neuroplasticity can go a long way in better understanding why your daughter may be struggling with mental health issues.
This better understanding will also help you know why neurofeedback treatment may help your daughter in her recovery. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we believe that an understanding of neuroscience – and especially neuroplasticity – is crucial to helping our students become the young women that they are meant to be.
What Exactly Is Neuroplasticity?
What is neuroplasticity, and why is it such a mouthful? The short answer is that it is the way the brain “grows” as it learns from new experiences, and it’s a mouthful because of, well, science!
On a more serious note, psychiatrist Matt Puderbaugh, an authority on brain injuries, explains that “Neuroplasticity, also known as neural plasticity or brain plasticity, is a process that involves adaptive structural and functional changes to the brain. A good definition is ‘the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections.’” Ultimately, the brain has “elasticity,” and it can either grow or shrink based on an individual’s experiences.
It might be helpful to think of the brain as a sponge. When left alone, just out of the package, it stays the same. When used underwater, it can expand. But after being used, if it’s left sitting there, it starts to shrink.
This sponge analogy can be taken even a bit further for the adolescent brain. That is because the adolescent brain isn’t fully formed. It’s not quite ready to be fully used!
What Does Neuroplasticity Have to Do With Mental Health and Recovery?
According to the medical journal, Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, there is “evidence [that] suggests that older adults show less neuroplasticity than younger subjects,” and it is that type of evidence that makes it so important to work on addressing mental health issues as soon as possible in adolescents.
While it is true that your daughter’s brain is still forming, it is also true that her brain is extremely resilient. However, it is also true that damage to the pre-formed brain can have lifelong effects. This is due in part to the brain’s neuroplasticity and its ability to either respond positively to safe and healthy structuring or to form negative responses to toxic behaviors.
The good news is that due to the malleability of the young mind, there is a lot of room for positive growth. There is also a great opportunity for positive emotional foundation building. One of the ways we can help create this positive foundation is through something called neurofeedback therapy.
What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback therapy is a therapy that helps the brain change how it responds to external situations. This happens by monitoring the student’s brainwaves while watching a movie, for example. This monitoring can show when brainwaves function abnormally (excessively long or short waves). Then training can occur to bring abnormal brain waves back into normal function.
Bringing brain waves into an optimal function can help your daughter’s mood and also help how she reacts to certain situations. This can be crucial in maintaining recovery long after leaving our facility.
Can Neurofeedback Therapy Help My Daughter’s Recovery?
Neurofeedback therapy has been shown to effectively help with a plethora of mental health issues. Some of these issues include, but are not limited to:
- substance use disorders (SUDs)
- anxiety and depression
- mood disorders
- troubles with sleeping or eating
- traumas, such as childhood trauma
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- problems with anger management
If you feel that your daughter is struggling with one or several of these issues, it may be time to seek help. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we take an individualized approach to helping each of our students, and we will do the same to help your daughter. This may or may not include neurofeedback treatment, but we are confident that we can find the right program that will help your daughter get on the positive path of recovery.
New neuroscientific discoveries are happening every day. That means that every day the world of neuroscientific psychotherapy is also advancing. These advances can be a blessing to your daughter’s recovery. Not understanding the exact scientific methods can be concerning for a parent. We understand this. That is why at Clearview Girls Academy we offer full explanations of all of our therapeutic methods. If you are struggling to understand the concept of “neuroplasticity” or any other scientific aspect of recovery, don’t let it hold you back. We can answer all your questions. We are here to help get your daughter and your entire family the help you need. For more information please contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484.