ADVERSE EFFECTS, SIDE EFFECTS, AND HOME TRAINING
You may feel spacey or have a headache but it will pass shortly after the session
Mild side effects can sometimes occur during neurofeedback training. For example, occasionally someone may feel fatigued, spacey, or anxious; experience a headache; have difficulty falling asleep; or feel agitated or irritable. Sometimes such side effects may occur because the training session is too long (Matthews, 2007, 2011; Ochs, 2007).
Many of these feelings pass within a short time after a training session. If clients make their therapists aware of such feelings, they can alter training protocols and usually quickly eliminate such mild side effects.
A Tailored training plan for each case
It is possible, however, for more significant negative effects to occur (Hammond & Kirk, 2008; Hammond, Stockdale, Hoffman, Ayres, & Nash et al., 2001; Todder, Levine, Dwolatzky, & Kaplan, 2010), particularly if training is not being conducted or supervised by a knowledgeable, certified professional who will individualize the training. A ‘‘one-size-fits-all’’ approach that is not tailored to the individual will undoubtedly pose a greater risk of either being ineffective or of producing an adverse reaction.
Due to the heterogeneity in the brainwave activity (e.g., Clarke et al., 2001; Hammond, 2010b; Prichep et al., 1993) within broad diagnostic categories (e.g., ADD/ADHD, head injuries, depression, autism, or obsessive-compulsive disorder) the treatment requires individualization, and research is increasingly showing that different treatment protocols have differential effects (e.g., Angelakis et al., 2007; Egner & Gruzelier, 2004; Gevensleben et al., 2009a, 2009b; Gruzelier & Egner, 2005; Hauri, 1981; Hauri et al., 1982; Heinrich et al., 2004; Ros et al., 2010; Wrangler et al., 2010) on the brain.
Thus, it is emphasized once again that everyone does not need the same treatment and that if training is not tailored to the person, the risk is greater of it being ineffective or very infrequently even detrimental.