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From Failure to Fantastic, Neurofeedback Helped College Student Soar Academically

Twenty-one-year-old Damon* had always struggled academically. It took a lot of work to make B’s and C’s in high school, but that kind of hard work in college wasn’t paying off.

He earned a mere 1.5 GPA in his first semester at a prestigious college in the Southeast, and improved little in his second semester.

“I wasn’t goofing off. I studied a lot but didn’t test well,” Damon explained. “I also was having trouble getting organized. I often turned homework assignments in late and not well-done or not done at all because I simply forgot to do them.”

In addition, he had trouble falling asleep. Getting only about five hours a night, he waded through every day in a haze of sleep deprivation.

The point came after his second year when his college advisor said he needed to take a semester off and “get his act together.” Translation: He was on probation.

He returned to his family home in North Palm Beach, Florida while they figured out what to do.

“He’s very intelligent, which is why it didn’t make sense that he was failing,” said Damon’s father Russ*.

Russ and his wife suspected Damon had a learning problem of some sort, so they got busy looking for a solution that didn’t include medication.

They presented him with the option of doing neurofeedback, which Damon agreed he’d like to try.

Not knowing anything about various neurofeedback practices in the area, Damon’s parents suggested he visit each of several they had identified to see where he felt most comfortable. He liked the idea and did so, eliminating them one-by-one.

“One seemed very technical without any human interaction. Another was too ‘chill,’” he said. “I got the feeling people were there just to earn a paycheck. One place gave me a group tour and didn’t seem to have anyone there with professional training in neurofeedback and wouldn’t let me ask questions until the end. It was very impersonal. It seemed like that company had heard about neurofeedback and jumped on the bandwagon just to get into the business.”

He said his experience was quite different when he walked through Center for Brain’s doors.

“I felt comfortable right away at Center for Brain,” he explained. “Mike Cohen sat with me one-on-one and listened to what I had to say. He was obviously very experienced and knowledgeable, and I got the feeling the employees were really there for me. I appreciated the personal attention I received.”

The first order of business was administering a brain map. It showed that Damon’s brain was deficient in areas related to language, mathematics and organization. His training protocols were customized to improve his sleep and to improve those areas of his brain identified as problematic.

Damon’s sleep normalized almost immediately. However, exactly what six months of neurofeedback training would do to his academic success was an unknown. Nevertheless, he continued with the training.

Along the halfway point Damon had a second brain map, then one at the end of the six months.

“We saw changes in his brain with successive brain maps, so we knew something was happening,” Russ recalled.

When Damon returned to college the following January, it was what his father termed a “make or break semester.” And make it he did – his GPA zoomed up to 3.5.

“Both my test scores and my productivity were greatly improved, and I was better able to ignore distractions.” Damon explained. “I’d see those good grades coming back and ask myself in amazement, how did I do it?”

One of his advisors remarked that to see that sort of turnaround after just one semester (and one summer) off was “quite amazing.”

“Doing neurofeedback was a turning point for me,” Damon said. “I was trying to figure it out on my own and wasn’t succeeding, but working with Center for Brain enabled me to push back the blocks.”

“Damon’s mother and I are thrilled at what happened and so proud of Damon,” Russ said. “Center for Brain gave him the tools, and he did the work.”

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.