Note: Real names are not used in order to protect the privacy of clients.
Christine and her husband were at their wit’s end with their 17-year old son Alex.
Despite having a high I.Q. he was failing in school. He couldn’t make friends. He was uncooperative at home and would explode in anger without provocation. His room was a mess. He was addicted to video games. He argued violently with his parents whenever they asked him to do something, and then…he attempted suicide and was hospitalized.
Alex had been going downhill ever since entering middle school. His parents attended numerous parent-teacher conferences and took him to an array of mental health and medical specialists to no avail.
“We were just throwing balls up in the air hoping for some sort of answer and walking all the time on eggshells. We never knew when Alex was going to blow up,” Christine explained.
Right before Alex tried to harm himself, he was diagnosed with inattentive ADD and put on medicine. However, even with medication, the stress of trying to manage a demanding academic curriculum, along with his other challenges, sent him over the edge.
Back home from the mental hospital, life didn’t get better. Before long Christine decided that medication was not going to be the answer and began searching for some sort of help outside the conventional therapy/drug model. She also started home schooling Alex.
She heard about neurofeedback and checked out a neurofeedback center near her home, but walked in and walked back out. “The place was staffed with young kids who I knew couldn’t possibly have much experience in the neurofeedback field, and experience was important to me,” she recalled.
After finding Center for Brain on the internet and reading about Mike Cohen’s more than 20 years’ experience in the field, she came in for a consultation.
“Frankly, I was skeptical about neurofeedback, even after my first meeting with Mike, because I had attempted so many things to try to help Alex that hadn’t worked,” she remembered. “But with nowhere else to turn, I decided we’d give it a try.”
For almost a year Alex did neurofeedback twice weekly, exhibiting success through what Christine calls “baby steps.”
One early sign of progress was Alex’s demeanor after doing a neurofeedback session.
“I could see a significant change in his eyes,” she noted. “They were clear and his mood was upbeat, not depressed. He also seemed to feel at peace.”
Then other small changes occurred. Without being asked, he cleaned his room and closet and began keeping them tidy without being asked. He engaged more with the family and spent less time playing video games.
He stopped blowing up if one of his parents interrupted him during a video game and made a request such as, “Please take out the recycling bin.” “Now he’ll say, ‘OK, Mom, give me a minute,’” Christine noted.
And most recently, Alex got a job.
Peace descended on the family, and family outings, which had been discontinued due to the chaos, resumed. After a year of training, his neurofeedback sessions were reduced to once a week. His psychiatrist has allowed him to reduce his medication. Some days he feels good enough not to even take it.
“Neurofeedback worked for my son when nothing else did,” said Christine. “I finally have hope for him, and he also has hope that life can get better. He is an entirely different person than he was a year ago.
“I’m so frustrated that I didn’t know about neurofeedback when Alex was younger,” she continued. “His life, and ours, would have been so much different. Neurofeedback has given him clarity and the ability to make better decisions.
“Mike was a godsend to our family,” she added. “We were desperate, and Mike helped us all get our life back. “
Philip came into the world with several strikes against him. His birth mother abused drugs while pregnant, and she lost parental rights not long after he was born. Mindy and her husband adopted him when he was 10 months old.
He was a very “hyper” baby, but Mindy figured he was just energetic. However, when he began to speak, his language was unintelligible, and remained so. His earliest diagnosis was “anxiety,” but Mindy knew it was more than that.
He eventually received numerous diagnoses including a sensory disorder, phonological dyslexia (an extreme form of dyslexia), dysgraphia (difficulty writing), ADHD and severely delayed fine motor skills. He had meltdowns in school every two or three months and was on medication for ADHD.
Then the sleep/wake problems occurred.
Philip couldn’t sleep at night and would fall profoundly asleep in school. One teacher wondered if he had narcolepsy. Mindy took Philip to a pediatric sleep specialist in Miami who conducted a sleep study and identified an alarming deficit in REM sleep.
Thus continued the medication march: One pill to stay awake during the day. Another to go to sleep and stay asleep at night. Another for ADHD. All with side effects.
“I finally decided that I couldn’t have my child’s life dependent on medication – that this couldn’t be the rest of my child’s life and the rest of my life as a parent, “Mindy recalled.
She began seeking non-medication approaches.
One day she saw an ad on Facebook for Center for Brain. She was intrigued, even studied the website, but decided not to look further into it because she was spending so much money already on various therapies.
Fate had a different idea, however. A few months later, as she waited in the waiting room for her massage therapist, she spotted an issue of Health & Wellness magazine. She flipped through it and saw an article about Center for Brain.
“I decided this must be a sign from God, that this was what I was supposed to do,” Mindy said. She picked up the phone and made an appointment.
Because she had spent so much money on so many other therapies, Mindy vowed to give neurofeedback training just two months to see results – no more. She brought Philip in twice a week for those first two months.
Almost immediately Philip’s sleep (and wake) habits normalized, and Mindy kept him training, long after the two-month deadline.
When a follow-up sleep study was done several months later, the doctor expressed amazement – Philip’s sleep patterns and REM sleep were completely normal! The doctor eliminated his sleep medications and released him as a patient.
After a year and a half of regular neurofeedback training, gradual but significant changes continued to occur. Homework time had been a two-hour nightly battle of yelling and crying before the neurofeedback. Philip began spending just 45 calm minutes every night finishing his assignments.
His ADHD medication has been reduced by 30 percent.
Before starting neurofeedback training Philip, who has struggled with a long-term problem with obesity, wouldn’t stick to a diet. He even hoarded food when Mindy tried to help him lose weight. After doing neurofeedback training, however, he became very compliant with his diet and began losing weight.
As to school, Philip, now 11, no longer falls asleep and has only experienced one meltdown in the past year.
– M.A., Florida
16-year-old Greg had been anxious most of his life, but he got worse by the time he entered high school. Even after transferring from a large public school to a small private one, Greg made excuses not to go, saying he was too anxious and was having panic attacks. He begged his mother Lori to home-school him. She hoped that he would adjust, but he didn’t, and often missed school.
Then he came home from school one day saying something that greatly alarmed Lori:
“I think I need to see a doctor to get medicine, something like Xanax or medicinal marijuana to help me through my panic attacks,” he said. “I know other kids who use both for anxiety, and it really helps them.”
“I was shocked that prescription drugs were the immediate solution Greg came up with,” said Lori. “I told him that first we were going to try alternative therapies.”
Lori was familiar with neurofeedback and Center for Brain because a family member had been a client, so she took Greg for brain training. After two months of sessions, Greg stopped being resistant about going to school and expressed far less anxiety. To help reinforce his neurofeedback training, and as a way to offer Greg even more support, Lori bought a home-use neurofeedback machine, which Greg uses whenever he’s feeling edgy or has trouble going to sleep.
L. G. – Jupiter, Florida
Four-year-old “David” was out of control. The youngest of four children, he was constantly seeking negative attention at home. He’d jump on and try to harm his siblings, screamed around the house and wouldn’t sit still.
“He was constantly seeking negative attention,” his mother “Talia” said. “Dealing with him was taking up all my energy.”
School wasn’t any better. He cried and resisted walking to school with Talia and, once inside, didn’t cooperate with the teacher. He refused to participate in activities like circle time and wanted nothing to do with the other children.
Expert evaluations revealed that everything was “normal,” but Talia knew better. Something was wrong – but without a diagnosis, she didn’t know where to turn.
In September of 2017 Talia acquired a home-use neurofeedback system, using it with David twice weekly. Almost immediately he began behaving better. After a few weeks she reduced session frequency to once a week. She also instituted behavior modification but did no other therapy and gave him no medication. Six months later, Talia reported that David is calm at home, follows directions, plays nicely with his siblings, socializes with other children and is a model child in pre-kindergarten.
“David can calm himself before things escalate and is much more ‘self-aware,’” noted Talia. Now we invite kids over to the house to play, and when he sees another child outside he waves and says hello.
“To see him succeeding is wonderful,” she added. “It’s been like a miracle.”
When “Bradley” was an infant he suffered brain damage after going into a diabetic coma in his crib. By the time we discovered him, he had turned blue and was barely breathing.
As he grew up, it was obvious early on that he wasn’t a normal child. For as long as I can remember, Bradley had emotional, social and academic problems. He was not affectionate and didn’t relate to his mother or me like a normal child. On top of that, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, and was put on several medications over the years which didn’t fix anything.
Everything came to a head about six months ago when Bradley, who is now 16, hit his mother. I knew we had to do something different or he was going to hurt someone or end up in prison.
I started looking for a solution other than medication and found Center for Brain on the internet. Even though their office is 95 miles from where I live, I took Bradley there for his first session. To my amazement, I saw an improvement the very first day going home in the car. My son was calmer and more communicative.
He’s now had eight sessions and I’ve seen a dramatic change in him. He is affectionate with his mother and me for the first time in his life, hugging us all the time. He’s less prone to anger and emotional outbursts, more communicative and is calmer. He now spends his free time working on cars (and not watching video games). He and I have more of a normal father-son relationship.
I have a business that participates every year in a trade show in Miami that goes on for five days, eight hours a day. In the past I had never been able to bring my son along because he would have been miserable and impatient. This year the entire family came, including Bradley, and he did just fine.
At Mike Cohen’s suggestion we incorporated some nutritional supplements into Bradley’s diet. Over time, with the doctor’s help, we also took him off of Vyvance. He’s doing better socially and academically and seems like a different person.
I’m amazed by the power of Bradley’s neurofeedback training. It’s been incredible, a miracle. I want to tell my son’s story because I believe everyone should know what neurofeedback can do.
J.C. – Lake Placid, Florida
Michael Cohen is a guru in the neurofeedback field. He has a talent for making a complex subject easy to understand for professionals and, most important, those in need of effective ways to address attention issues, learning disorders, brain trauma and a variety of mood disorders.”
Brenda Crawford-Clark, LMHC, LMFT, NCC
My son started doing neurofeedback when he was 9. We got help for him because he was hyperactive, difficult to deal with, and getting complaints from teachers. I didn’t want to put him on medication. I decided to try neurofeedback because it was a non-medication option. It was important to me that we went to the best. Even though the Center for Brain office is in Jupiter and we live in Port St. Lucie, we made the drive there because Mike Cohen has the reputation of being one of the best practitioners in the country. We had a brain map done so that the training could be more targeted, and my son made positive changes pretty quickly. We eventually decided to put him into a different school, which he liked much better. Two years later, he’s a different kid. I credit the combination of neurofeedback, a different school and maturity. Today he’s having no problems in school and is a delight to be around. That drive to Jupiter was definitely worth it.
– C. B., Port St. Lucie, Florida
Man Says Neurofeedback Gave Him his Life Back
There are two days in Dennis Riordon’s memory that changed his world forever. The first occurred in 2008 when the man he had been evaporated on an operating table during a routine procedure. The second was in January of 2017 when he made his way to Center for Brain and regained his dignity and his life.
“What happened at Center for Brain was a miracle, a gift from God,” said Dennis, a snowbird from New Jersey who winters in Hobe Sound, Florida.
Dennis recalls that almost immediately after awakening from a colon resection procedure on January 16, 2008 in New York, he found himself plagued by baffling and agonizing tics.
“It felt like there was a 6-inch-square box in the middle of my abdomen causing excruciating pain,” recalls Dennis, who had to leave his job in the insurance industry following his surgery and go on disability. “The pain caused my face to contort and my neck to tighten and cock.”
The tormenting and humiliating tics occurred about 10 times per day and almost exclusively when Dennis was out in public or with another person. They prevented him from having a social life and made normal activities nearly unbearable.
On occasions when he had to take a commercial flight, TSA agents pulled him aside and submitted him to prolonged screenings. If he had to eat in a restaurant, his tics would prompt uneasy stares from wary patrons.
Doctors could find no physical cause. He sought help from numerous doctors at pain clinics and a hypnotist to no avail.
The last straw came in early 2017 when Dennis was shopping at Walmart. While powering through a tic, a woman asked him if she should call an ambulance.
“That day I decided I had to find a way to get better,” he said.
He looked up several psychiatrists in the area, but no one could see him for six weeks. Someone in one of those offices suggested he try Center for Brain.
“I called immediately and they gave me an appointment that same day,” he said.
He met with director Mike Cohen who administered Dennis one neurofeedback session. Dennis felt instant relief. He walked out of the office feeling free of his tics and hasn’t experienced one since.
“Mike Cohen was able to do more for me than any of the doctors I had seen over 9 years had been able to do,” he said. “Going to Center for Brain gave me my life back.”
– Dennis R.
“Thank you for all your help and making me feel much better! You should take great pride in what you do for a living! Many people want to be in professions where they help people but often don’t feel that they actually succeed. You can know for certain that you succeed in helping people and make the world a better place …”
– E.K., Palm Beach, Florida
Elizabeth, age 35, mother of an active 2 year old, came in with anxiety, and up to 5 panic attacks a day. She said they “are taking over my life”. She had problems with anxiety since the age of 17. She was also suffering from mild depression and was on an antidepressant. She wanted to have another child and she wanted an alternative to medications to help resolve the anxiety before she got pregnant.
As she began treatment, she said that she had to talk herself in coming because she was so anxious. After 12 sessions, she no longer had the anxiety or panic attacks and had reduced her medication in half.
– Elizabeth, 35 year old, North Palm Beach, FL
John, age 9, was painfully shy. He was very quick to get upset and cry. He also had difficulty with attention and struggled with reading and writing. He was not doing well in school. His mom was very concerned.
The Center for Brain Training recorded an EEG brain map, which identified 2 key patterns. 1) Excessive theta waves which correlate to an inattention problem. 2) A lack of connectivity between the left central and parietal areas of the brain. These areas correlate with learning problems, and struggling with reading and writing.
We targeted those areas. He did 20 training sessions. The mom wrote a couple of months later, “John just got his report card yesterday and he got 4 A’s and 2-B’s! His teacher showed me a test John to take for Florida Writes and he wrote almost 3 pages! She also said that he is raising his hand to answer questions and to read out loud.” She was very excited and pleased with the outcome of treatment.
– John, age 9, Palm City, FL
“Before I started neurofeedback, I had a bunch of problems. My mom got me to come do this. I made lots of lists and had to check everything off multiple times per day (it was very obsessive). I was doing drugs and couldn’t stop. My sleep was awful. Since training with neurofeedback, no more lists, my sleep is great every night and I’m not using any drugs – I don’t even feel any need for them. We also started working on training me to help pass a test that I failed twice – and I passed it with no problem the 3rd time.”
– 23-year-old, EW, Ft. Pierce, FL
“At the Center for Brain Training we’ve been working with an 18-year-old girl from Jupiter who’s been on various stimulant medications since she was 7. Though it helped some, she struggled with attention. She would often get overwhelmed in taking tests, and do very poorly, even when she felt she knew the information. She often stayed up till 2 or 3 AM every night. After about 20 sessions, she had a major test she had to take for a new job. Instead of getting panicky, she was able to take the test without feeling any significant stress – and she aced it (and was one of the few to get selected for the job). She said that she never has been able to take a test like that before – but now she has learned how to be calm. She is now coming off of her meds and seldom needs to take it. She said she no longer wants to have to rely on medications to help her pay attention. She’s learned how to do it herself.”
– Michael Cohen, Director of Training, Center for Brain, Jupiter, FL
“My 5-and-a-half-year-old was struggling with speech – she could talk words, but she really didn’t make sentences that were appropriate to the situation. She’d blurt out things that were completely disconnected to the situation. She’d usually play separately from other children, and wasn’t interacting with them very much. We had done a lot of other therapies, but there didn’t seem to be much progress on these issues. I heard about neurofeedback, and talked to the Center for Brain Training. Since we’ve started, my daughter has shown significant improvements in a very short time. She’s now playing well with other children rather than being off on her own. She is now starting to make intelligent sentences. When she talks, she’s more appropriate to what’s going on at the moment.”
– JS, Wellington, FL
“Our son was diagnosed with ADD eleven years ago, and since then has been on either Ritalin or Adderal. Although he has willingly taken his medication when it is put out for him, he doesn’t think to take it on his own. I was getting desperate. He is heading off to college next year. I had visions of him becoming angry, frustrated, and discouraged, as well as missing classes, and assignment deadlines.
E was given the brain map in February and subsequently began his sessions at the end of March. During his first attention test, he was well below normal (two standard deviations below). After just 17 sessions, when given another attention test, he tested in the normal range. My husband and I see it first-hand in day to day situations! E’s “stick-to-itness” has improved tremendously. He’s actually able to finish tasks he begins without getting side-tracked ten times! He functions on a much more even keel, and his outlook is much more positive. Incidents which would have angered or frustrated him before neurofeedback, now seem to have very little negative effect. His whole personality has “lightened up,” and he is actually able to laugh at himself!
In looking at his report card for the last marking period I was truly amazed; all his grades were good, but in two courses he liked the least, he went from a 70 to an 80, and a 75 to a 95! I very rarely feel the need to give him his medication any more, so I feel much more secure about sending him to college this September. ”
– M.P., Attleboro, MA
(courtesy of Dr. Lawrence Hirshberg, neurodevelopmentcenter.com)
” I’ve struggled for years with severe anxiety, and with constant obsessing over problems which often gets out of control. I’ve tried a lot of psychiatrists and ever medication they can think of. None ever really worked. Neurofeedback has made a huge difference. The obsession and anxiety are under control. I’ve been able to cut back my medications. It’s taken a while, and I’m not done. But I’m better able to live my life now.”
– 35 year old, TK, Jupiter
Six-Year-Old with Autism
“Before S began (EEG) biofeedback I would describe him as a little boy encased within an opaque bubble. He would ride in a car for 21 hours and never ask if we were there yet, or ask to get out of the car for any other reason unless he was hungry or had to use the restroom. We would point things out for him to see and his only response was, “Yeah.” When we went somewhere and we had to wait, he would just sit in a chair and never get up or fuss. He would just sit. Others would hurt him, but he would never tell on them or defend himself against them. He was afraid to leave his room unless someone was in the kitchen, which is near his room. He could never hold a conversation, or even attempt to begin one with anyone. He never had an opinion on anything.”
“Now (after 30 sessions of neurofeedback), it is an entirely different story. He will leave his room and sit in the living room alone. As soon as we get in the car, he wants to know if we are there yet. He has made up a game that he initiates whenever we go on a trip. We see who can find the most motorcycles, police cars, and sometimes fire trucks. He is a very competitive player.”
“He now fights me at bedtime. He tells me, “I say it’s up time.” I have to force him to go to bed now. It’s wonderful. I never thought I would want one of my children to defy me, but this is great.
“We can send him on errands at home and he completes them without getting lost and forgetting what he was sent to get. He helps us carry groceries in the house, and asks if he can help. Once the groceries are in the house, he puts away anything that belongs in the fridge.”
– S. V., Central Falls, RI
Eight-Year-Old with Asperger’s Disorder
“My daughter has experienced a high degree of anxiety that did not allow her to interact with other children very well. She could not let anybody else control the situation or let somebody else be the leader in a game. She was very rigid in all social situations. After 20 neurofeedback sessions, she is learning to let go of the control of a situation. She can now face situations that used to cause great anxiety with a certain amount of composure. The rigid lines of her body are softening as her ability to interact improves.”
One week later she wrote again about the comments of several adults who had not seen her daughter since beginning neurofeedback:
“I just wanted to pass along a few comments that were made to me on Wednesday night at the Open House at N’s school. Her gym teacher, Mrs. M, told me that she had worked with N that afternoon because N had been having difficulty in playing a game in gym. She told me “Last year, N would not have been able to take the coaching. Once she found she was unable to play the game, she would have completely disintegrated. Today she was able to take the coaching and then she was doing what I told her and was able to play the game as well as anybody else. I think that this is the year it is going to come together for her.” Mrs. M has been N’s gym teacher since kindergarten, so she is very familiar with all of N’s troubles and she was completely blown away by what she had seen.”
To view additional cases that are discussed in some detail, the Center for Brain Training is part of a large professional group that has a joint web site at: