House of Hope continues to adopt protocols and treatments based upon the latest recommendations and research. Mounting evidence of a strong link between developmental trauma and substance use disorders has prompted us to recognize that both must be treated in order for our patients to remain sober.
We are fortunate to have three dedicated and caring therapists on staff at House of Hope who can address clients’ mental health needs, including trauma therapy. So many of our clients have attempted to regulate their very dysregulated brains in the only way that they know how: with drugs and alcohol. We have learned that there are better ways to regulate.
This year, House of Hope has started to offer neuro-feedback to a limited number of clients in an effort to regulate their brains either up from depression, or down from anxiety. Neuro-feedback allows clients to train their brains to inhibit brain waves that create anxiety and/or depression, and reward brain waves that produce a focused, alert calm. Receiving feedback about what one’s brain is doing opens the door for the brain to do something different from what it has been doing for decades.
One woman reported that she’s “softer now, not so angry all the time. My response time before I do something stupid takes longer.” Another client with depression reports that she feels more energetic. “I understand what is going on in group. I can focus.” Another client reported that she’s sleeping better. Prior to beginning neuro-feedback, she slept from 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM. Now she goes to bed at 9 and sleeps 8 hours. Another client reported that she “doesn’t even think about drinking or using” since starting neuro-feedback. The thoughts have disappeared. She has struggled with relapse in the past, so having those nagging thoughts simply disappear is a game-changer. She now has hope that relapse will not be in her future.
To the clients who have had to adapt to dysregulation, who have tried medications and other coping skills that have not been helpful, neuro-feedback is nothing less than a miracle. Most clients we see genuinely want to be sober and improve their lives. They need every available tool to help them achieve their goals in sobriety. Our mission at House of Hope continues to rely on getting our clients involved with 12-step programs, but we know that many clients need additional mental health support to address issues underlying their substance use disorder. We appreciate the support from the larger community so that we can continue to provide quality care to our clients.