How Long Does Neurofeedback Therapy Last? Is It Permanent?

Neurofeedback therapy is a safe and highly effective treatment that offers symptom relief from neurophysical disorders like ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and other conditions. What’s more, results can last even after neurofeedback therapy has ended. 

How does it work? 

In short, neurofeedback therapy is like learning to balance on a bicycle using training wheels, it can show you what proper brain functioning looks like, allowing your brain to self-generate healthier, more functional brainwave patterns. 

Because the results from neurofeedback training are self-generated, patients develop a more desirable, healthier brainwave activity baseline, as well as the ability to “shift” their brains into a healthier functioning pattern even after treatment has ended.  

Moreover, results generated from neurofeedback therapy are not dependent on external stimulation or medications—so side effects are extremely infrequent, short-lived, and mild. 

For over 40 years, the Drake Institute has helped thousands of patients with debilitating disorders, and if you would like more information about how the Drake Institute can help you or someone you know achieve long-term results for any of these conditions, please call us at 1-800-700-4233 or fill out the free contact form below. 

In this article, we’ll further discuss the long-term benefits of neurofeedback therapy and how long neurofeedback therapy lasts.

What Is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, non-drug treatment that helps patients achieve relief from neurophysical disorders. Neurofeedback falls under the umbrella of biofeedback and is sometimes referred to as EEG or brainwave biofeedback. 

While biofeedback measures physiological functions like heart rate variability, hand temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension, neurofeedback measures activity in the brain. 

How Does Neurofeedback Work?

Our brains are made up of multiple interconnected networks, including connections within networks and between networks, and for our brains to work optimally, these networks must communicate with one another efficiently and completely.   

When communication does break down, patients can experience symptoms and find it extremely difficult to pay attention, concentrate, cope with stressful challenges that are a normal part of life, control their emotional well-being, sleep well, and utilize effective language processing skills required for reading and listening comprehension.   

With professionally administered neurofeedback training, patients can learn to improve and strengthen their brainwave patterns to the more appropriate brainwaves essential for focus, organization, follow-through, and basic learning functions.

How Long Do Results Last?

Because results from neurofeedback therapy are self-generated and not dependent on prescription medications, patients can experience symptom improvement and relief long after treatment has ended.

Is Neurofeedback Therapy Safe? 

As a non-invasive and non-drug treatment, neurofeedback therapy is safe for both children and adults. During therapy sessions, no external stimulation is applied to the brain, and no medications are administered to the patient. [i]

Instead, neurofeedback therapy is akin to using a thermometer to take a patient’s temperature: it only measures and displays brainwave data so the patient can make healthy changes that reduce unwanted symptoms.

Because brainwave activity can be challenging to understand, the data is displayed in a form that is easier for the patient to grasp, like in the form of a computer game or some other kind of animated visual that also incorporates auditory feedback.

Why Is Neurofeedback So Important?

Neurofeedback therapy is an excellent tool for treating disorders that stem from brain dysregulation. Indeed, brain-related disorders like clinical depression, stress, ADHD, autism, anxiety disorders, and even phobias can be helped by correcting brain dysregulation.   

At the Drake Institute, our top priority is helping patients learn how to regulate and shift their brainwaves into a healthier functioning pattern for long-term symptom relief. To understand how we do this, let’s look at the different brainwave types and what they do. 

  • Delta waves are the slowest frequency waves that occur mainly in infancy and during deep sleep.
  • Theta waves are also a very slow frequency wave, slightly higher in frequency compared to delta waves, and occur predominantly when we are daydreaming or falling asleep. Excess theta waves can lead to depression, impulse control issues, and ADHD symptoms.
  • Alpha waves are the next highest frequency waves in the human brain. They occur at the highest amplitude in the posterior region of the brain when we close our eyes and relax. They are essential for relaxation, and they can be abnormally low in people who struggle with alcohol abuse.
  • Beta waves are a fast frequency brainwave. They are necessary for concentration, task completion, and executive functioning. However, too many beta waves can lead to anxiety and sleeplessness. 

How The Drake Institute Uses Neurofeedback Therapy

The Drake Institute has been a leading pioneer in the successful use of neurofeedback therapy for over forty years. In that time, we’ve helped thousands of patients improve their quality of life by reducing symptoms of a variety of conditions. 

We use a unique combination of brain mapping, neurofeedback therapy, and neuromodulation to achieve this success.

Brain Mapping

Brain mapping is the first step in neurofeedback therapy. It begins with our staff placing 19 sensors around the patient’s scalp to measure his or her brainwave activity.   

Once the patient’s brainwave activity has been measured and recorded, the results are compared to brain activity from asymptomatic, same-age individuals stored in an FDA-registered reference normative database. 

This comparison will reveal where there is dysregulation in the patient’s brain that we analyze to determine if it’s linked to symptoms.


After brain mapping has been completed and areas of dysregulation identified, our medical director will create a tailor-made neurofeedback treatment protocol designed to address the specific needs of the patient. 

During treatment, sensors are once again placed on the patient’s scalp. These sensors will measure and display the patient’s brain activity in real-time, and in one example, will translate this activity into a computer game of a car driving down a highway. 

However, instead of using a hand-held controller to control the car, the patient must “shift” their brainwaves into a healthier functioning pattern to move the car. In this example, the car will stay in the proper lane so long as the patient can maintain the more desired brainwave activity. 

Additionally, an auditory tone is triggered every half second to reinforce the patient’s awareness that he or she is generating a more optimal brainwave pattern, and with practice, patients will be able to achieve this effect without the help of neurofeedback.

How Neurofeedback Compares To Drug-Based Treatments

Compared to drug-based treatments, neurofeedback therapy is more effective at offering long-lasting results and is much safer. 

Drug-based treatments for stress-related disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism can be difficult to get right, especially when it comes to getting the most suitable medication and dosage. There is also the presence of possible unwanted side effects to deal with. 

As long as neurofeedback therapy is administered by a well-trained, experienced professional, there is a low chance of minor side effects. 

Drug-based treatments also offer symptom relief for as long as the medication is taken. In many cases, symptoms return as soon as the patient discontinues the medication. With neurofeedback, self-generated results can continue long after official treatment sessions have ended. 

So is neurofeedback permanent? 

The positive results generated from neurofeedback treatment can be experienced long-term. 

Overall, neurofeedback therapy can be a long-lasting, safe, and effective treatment option, without the risk of side effects that can occur with the use of prescription medication.

Contact The Drake Institute Today!

If you or someone you know could benefit from neurofeedback therapy, please call us at 1-800-700-4233 or fill out our contact form.


Contact Us Today

To get the help you or a loved one needs, call now to schedule your no-cost screening consultation.

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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