When you contact the ONC, you will be booked for a 50 minute intake appointment. This is your opportunity to let Dr. Presniak know what you have been experiencing that has led you to seek Neurofeedback treatment and what your goals are for training. She will spend this time getting to know you, gather information about your symptoms/experiences, history, and indicators of brain arousal patterns. Together this information will allow Dr. Presniak to give you feedback at the end of the session about whether you are a good candidate for Neurofeedback and any other form of psychological treatment should you be interested. This is also your opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Neurofeedback training. If after this session, you want to proceed with Neurofeedback training, then you will proceed to the brain mapping stage.
An important assessment procedure before beginning Neurofeedback training is to do an EEG brain map. This brief mapping provides Dr. Presniak a picture of your brain activity, helping identify dysregulation patterns, and thus allowing Dr. Presniak to localize where it is best to train and at what training frequencies are more likely to help you. This brain map is not the same as a full Quantitative EEG (QEEG), which is a much more detailed evaluation of brain functioning. If you are interested in a QEEG, you can talk with Dr. Presniak about this assessment option.
For those that are interested, pre-training questionnaires and tasks can be completed so that you can monitor any changes to your symptoms and performance periodically during training. For example, there are tests of attention that can be administered pre-training and at intervals throughout treatment, thereby providing you objective data about your improvements.
Once you have completed the intake and brain-mapping, Neurofeedback training can begin. The sessions last 30 minutes and are conducted from one to three times per week. One or more sensors are placed on the scalp.. The brain waves are fed back into a computer system and monitored by means of an amplifier and a computer-based instrument that processes the signal and provides the proper feedback. This is displayed to you by means of a video display and/or game, along with audio signals. You are asked to make the video game work with your brain.
You will continue training until you reach the desired results. It is important to know that unlike some treatments like medications, whereby you take a pill and there is an expectation that you will reach the desired effects quickly, Neurofeedback sessions are training sessions. This means that you are teaching your brain to regulate the dysregulated patterns identified in the assessment. Just like training for other skills, such as wanting to run a marathon, it takes time and repetition before you are able to reach the desired goal. Most people see improvements within 10 sessions and achieve some of their goals within 20. For those wanting longlasting results, it is estimated that approximately 40-60 sessions is typical.
Dr. Presniak offers both short and long-term psychological treatments from interpersonal, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioural treatment models. She offers services for a wide spectrum of conditions, with an emphasis in the areas of trauma/PTSD, relationship difficulties, personality disorders, depression, and anxiety (social, obsessive-compulsive, generalized). She also works with some specialized groups of patients, including military members, veterans (VAC), police/RCMP, and other first responders.
Dr. Presniak’s approach to treatment is one that blends both a scientific and holistic framework. She believes the combination of targeting the acute symptoms causing distress with addressing underlying factors that contributed to the development and maintenance of symptoms is the ideal approach for most individuals, especially those who have tried other forms of treatment without success. Some individuals may have an idea about what they are looking for and Dr. Presniak will work with you to collaboratively develop a treatment plan to help you achieve your goals. These treatment options will be discussed in the initial intake appointment.
Dr. Presniak has a specialized interest and training in comprehensive psychological assessment. She offers diagnostic, personality, medical-legal, return-to-work, and trauma assessments. She provides assessments for a variety of referral sources, including VAC, insurance agencies, and those requesting an assessment privately. If you want to know more information about the benefits of a comprehensive psychological assessment, the process, and the associated fees, feel free to contact the clinic.