I am a parent of an ADHD child and am a Registered Nurse. My child began having trouble when he began school. He first presented with sensory integration issues and also behavioral agitation. He was given OT, PT and Social Work, and speech therapy services at school with no significant changes. In kindergarten he showed to be very behind and after feelings of helplessness, I consulted the school Psychologist on what to do. She suggested Dr. Pamela Bell and neurofeedback. In his first treatment it amazed me how I could actually see the facial expression change on my son’s face immediately. He looked and acted more relaxed. We also saw him get into less and less trouble at school over several months. His agitation and irritability decreased and his ability to stay focused and learn in school increased. We saw amazing improvement in his grades. No meds; no counselor. As a nurse I have also referred many of my patients to see Dr. Bell as well as many of these patient’s children that are on medications and are not seeing a psychiatrist. Many have not had a baseline EKG before beginning a medication regimen, which is recommended, their only treatment is medication. Many of these parents have complaints of their children being zombie like or too many additions of medications or dose changes. These are all risky medications that can cause numerous side effects and are not the only mode of treatment. Psycho stimulants should be the last mode of treatment after other modes of treatment are tried. And Neurofeedback having been endorsed as a Level 1 treatment by the Academy of Pediatrics for ADHD should be first on your list.
I have been a school psychologist in northern New Mexico for the past 13 years and prior to that was a nurse for 20 years. With a medical background I began my career as a psychologist recommending medical interventions (exclusively including pharmaceutical interventions) for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and mood disorders. Within the first two years of psychology practice, I had two elementary children who responded to the psychotropic medication with severe psychotic episodes. Other side effects included failure to thrive, gastro-intestinal symptoms, insomnia, excessive anxiety, and neurological symptoms including facial tics. Not only were these side effects a nuisance to the children and their families, but classmates and teachers were often frightened and avoidant of the children who had these responses to their medication regimen.
About eight years ago, Dr. Pam Bell began offering neurofeedback treatments for children with ADHD and mood disorders. I researched the procedures in my professional journals and felt hopeful that this may be a viable alternative for my most critical students. I have repeatedly seen children who were on strong stimulant medication, SSRI’s, and/or anti-psychotic medications, make miraculous recovery once they received neuro-biofeedback treatments. Not only have these students been able to discontinue their psychotropic medications but their mental health conditions have been stabilized and in every case, I have been able to exit each child from special education services. Is this not our goal in serving patients and disabled students: to treat them and advance them towards a normal life with their peers?
Over the past five years, when I evaluate a student for mental health issues and testing is positive for mental health diagnosis, I discuss with families alternatives for treatment and I always suggest neuro-biofeedback with Dr. Bell as my first choice of treatment intervention. I tell parents that there are other treatment modalities we can try including behavior interventions in school and psychotropic medication prescribed by their pediatrician or child psychiatrist. I like my parents and students to be educated about their treatment options, however, I am always clear that, in my opinion based upon my research and personal experience, neurofeedback is a positive solution and often can be a permanent treatment.
Thank you for this opportunity to express my admiration and appreciation to the wonderful work that Dr. Bell does with children. I initially heard about her from a colleague of mine who was being treated by Dr. Bell, so I know she does some great work with adults as well as children. How fantastic though, if we can treat children with mental health disorders during their childhood and give them the opportunity to reach their full life potential.
Sincerely,Michelle Ulibarri, MS, HES, LMHC Licensed School Psychologist, Licensed Educational Diagnostician
There is a growing body of evidenced based research supporting the long-term, positive impact of neurofeedback therapies for psychological disorders (as compared with placebo as well as with both pharmaceutical-based treatments). I have been referring clients to Dr. Bell for several years, and feel that she provides a very valuable service for individuals who have a limited ability to benefit from traditional psychotherapy approaches. Specifically, I have referred three clients to Dr. Bell, all whose history, presentation, and intractability of symptoms suggested an underlying neurological basis to their problems. Two of these clients were children, who I referred on because traditional cognitive-behavioral approaches were ineffective in sufficiently helping these children with their anxiety, depression, and explosive behaviors. I was aware that neurofeedback training offers more lasting change, in many instances, than either psychotherapy or psychotropic medications… Because these children did not return for subsequent services,…I was not able to follow up on the success of their treatment. However, I see a profoundly deaf client who I had originally referred Dr. Bell several years ago. This young man had been suffering from Bipolar II symptoms including hypomanic episodes and severe, recurrent depression with suicidal ideation. He had been compliant with psychotropic medication and had been participating with me… in psychotherapy for several years, still with very limited success. This client participated regularly with Dr. Bell …counseling and neurofeedback training. He reports that neurofeedback changed his life. For the past year or more, he has experienced only minor fluctuations in mood, mostly connected with situational factors. He has suffered from no episodes of crippling depression or suicidal ideation….Leslie Pearlman, PhD
My name is Genia, and I was a patient of Dr. Pamela Bell. My young life was characterized by intense pressure and adult responsibilities. I left home shortly before I turned 13 to begin training at a Conservatory. I began living alone and working in the theatre in NYC at 15. Shortly after I finished college, I found myself on 42nd St. in NYC one sunny September morning. I was there; I saw plenty. In the couple of weeks following 9/11, I volunteered, bringing supplies to the workers at ground zero, carrying them into buildings that we were told could collapse at any minute, ministering as best I could to the people working there. It was 6 months later that I fell to my knees in the middle of the street, crying uncontrollably. Around that time, bits of memory started popping up, unbidden: the plates of food at the Javitz center, rotting, because no one was alive to eat.
I am immensely grateful for the time I have been under Dr. Bell’s care. We have worked with both bioenergetics and neurofeedback. I rarely have a morning now when I wake up afraid, wanting to climb under the bed and stay there for the day, hiding from everyone and everything. The insomnia I have had has decreased to a pretty negligible amount and I am not feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed.
Bioenergetics has helped to reconnect me. That certainly begins with my physical body, but it extends beyond that, to the world around me. The amount of tension that has been held in my body is pretty remarkable. With bioenergetics, I felt that beginning to release, affording me more mobility of my limbs, as well as more access to myself. I have begun to learn how to let energy flow through my body, rather than being bound in it. I can imagine a world now in which I don’t keep my mouth shut, enduring but never expressing. I don’t have as many chest pains now, as I used to.
I had a difficult time explaining to people how tired I was, how much effort everything took. Apparently I’m extremely high functioning, so I can look, from the outside, like a very productive person. Only I know the cost, and it had been impossible to try to explain it to anyone; they simply didn’t believe me, as the evidence of their eyes did not match what I was telling them. Dr. Bell was able to literally see what I was talking about, with neurofeedback. After a session, I would feel a turn around, where I was calmer internally, felt more energy and more support physically, and felt like myself again. I have spent an awful lot of time not feeling like myself, It has been so important to have a modality that not only can see what I am talking about, but can help. I can watch my numbers change. For these “invisible” ailments, it has been a blessing to have a treatment protocol that is so practical and effective. I used to run and hide when the doorbell rang. Now, some days I may flinch, but I go and open the door. I am so much calmer. Before I would appear calm; now, I can be calm.
These two modalities, bioenergetics and neurofeedback, have been instrumental in turning my life around. I have tried a lot of things; these are two that worked. My life has changed; my numbers have changed. I know there are very few practitioners out there who know what to do, how to treat to actually bring about improvements in conditions. Most only know how to medicate, which can sometimes hide but never heal. I have a science background; I attended MIT. The empirical evidence is rock solid for bioenergetics and neurofeedback; coming from a place where I doubted my own experience that was reassuring. I really did feel better; I really was coping better. As time has passed, I have seen that more and more in evidence, not only in the numbers, but in my life and my interactions with others. I know there are so many people out there who have PTSD, who are overwhelmed, who are always tired. I hope for each of them, that they can find a Dr. Bell, who can help lead the out of the pit. There is nothing I have come across, in many years of searching that has come anywhere close to being as effective as my treatment with Dr. Bell. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will not be afraid.