Mary Weatherford, PhD, EdS, MBA, CRC, provides psychotherapy and EEG Biofeedback, also known as Neurofeedback, at her practice in Coral Gables.
The therapy is provided to adults and children suffering with depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADD and ADHD, addiction, eating disorders, pain, headaches, sleep disorders, fibromyalgia and more.
Many of South Florida’s athletes, performers, executives and students also visit Dr. Weatherford for EEG Biofeedback training to improve their focus and performance.
Dr. Weatherford is a licensed psychologist and a certified Senior Fellow in EEG Biofeedback. She is in an elite group of professionals who hold this esteemed credential and is one of few psychologists in Miami-Dade County with this designation.
“Regular biofeedback is used to train muscles,” she said. “Neurofeedback goes straight to the central nervous system to train the brain. This process coaches the brain to rebalance. It helps your central nervous system to be the best it can be. When the nervous system functions well, everything else, including physical, mental, and emotional well-being falls into place.”
During a Neurofeedback session, two sensors are placed on the head and the brain waves are amplified and projected on a computer screen. The patient will listen to soothing music in order to relax the conscious mind. The brain is trained to produce good waves and if the waves are interrupted, the music will be interrupted in order to rebalance the brain and bring it back to the desired relaxed state.
“It’s amazing what the mind can do,” Dr. Weatherford said. “Through repetition, the brain starts to produce the desired brain waves without coaching. In other words, patients learn to master the brain’s regulatory activity by learning to modify their own brainwave patterns.”
Dr. Weatherford said that the course of training varies with each individual and can be done in her office or at home with the new NeurOptimal Home Training unit.
“Changes occur subtly. Sleep disorders, for example, can be improved in five to 10 sessions,” Dr. Weatherford said. “Some patients say that the people around them notice changes even before they do.”
She said that Neurofeedback gave one of her patients, a Vietnam Vet, relief from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“He has been battling nightmares, flashbacks and pain for 30 years,” Dr. Weatherford explained. “He says that this process gave him his life back. He’s finally able to relax and enjoy his family.”
Dr. Weatherford also revealed that Neurofeedback is great for executives, students and athletes who want to achieve peak performance and focus the mind and body.
“Neurofeedback training is utilized by the NASA astronauts, Olympic athletes, PGA golfers and was used by the entire Italian soccer team before they won the 2006 World Cup,” she said.
According to Dr. Weatherford, Neurofeedback is “brain brightening for elders” and also is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children with ADD and ADHD.
“I love to see people advance to their fullest potential,” she said. “Neurofeedback has raised IQ levels by 10 points by tapping into and maximizing the innate ability that is already there.”
She also recommends regular exercise and much laughter to all of her patients. She has lived in the South Miami area since she was 11 and has been practicing in Miami for nine years. She has one son and two grandchildren who live in Wisconsin. She also has a 21-year-old cockatoo named “Sesame” who keeps her laughing.
“Laughter really is the best medicine,” Dr. Weatherford said.
Dr. Weatherford’s practice is located at 1522 San Ignacio Ave., Suite 1, in Coral Gables. For more information or to make an appointment, call 305-669-9497.