Quality, Responsive and Trustworthy Legal Services
We offer clients a strong work ethic combined with prompt and personalized client care.

Biofeedback: Another Tool For Managing Divorce Stress

By Tami Maes Fragedakis, PhD, LPC, BCB, LRT, CTRS*

Experiencing a divorce is ranked as the second highest stressor of all life transitions (Holmes-Rahe, 1967). While people may react differently to a divorce, the life changes and transitions that accompany this experience have consequences. The many negative effects that occur may be detrimental to one’s physical and mental health (Amato, 2012). Without proper coping tools, experiencing a stress response for a duration of time may result in dysfunctional patterns of behavior and additional psychological distress. Biofeedback is an alternative form of therapy that can be used to reduce stress and gain control over the physiological dysfunctions that accompany life’s transitions.  

Biofeedback is a training modality used in conjunction with therapy. Through training, individuals are better able to understand and identify their personal, physiological responses to stress. In addition, individuals are able to manipulate their personal reactions, thus enabling control over the symptoms they experience. Non-invasive sensors are attached to the individual to measure the body’s internal reactions. These include heart rate variability, skin temperature, skin conductance, and electrical activity of the muscles. The sensors are connected to a biofeedback device which quantifies the data. The information is then displayed on a computer screen in the form of visual and auditory feedback.  The therapist helps the individual make sense of the information according to their symptoms experienced and then teaches the individual how to control these parameters.

Working in the same way as biofeedback, neurofeedback entails non-invasive sensors which are attached with conductance paste on various places of the individual’s head. Electrical activity of the brain, or brain wave data, is then recorded and computed with the biofeedback equipment and displayed on a computer screen for the individual to see. The therapist explains these signals in relation to thoughts, emotions, and symptoms presented. The participant can then ‘see’ the electrical activity of their brain and how this activity changes with certain thought patterns and while experiencing various emotions. The brain creates loops or ‘highways’ of information. Neurofeedback allows the individual to see these feedback loops. Training thus enables the individual to change the feedback loops within the brain and create healthier pathways. The process allows the person to regulate their own brain wave activity to improve overall mental and emotional health and achieve their desired mental performance.

Experiencing stress in response to life events is normal. How an individual handles this stress is imperative to their overall wellbeing. Biofeedback measurements provide a visual representation of the internal stress responses in real time, which increases their self-awareness, and provides validation for the individual’s lived experience. The primary goal of biofeedback training is to provide necessary tools for individuals to develop a skill-set in order to better control their stress response and become their best self. With the ability to self-regulate, participants are able to diminish the impact of stress on their daily life, decrease symptoms associated with mental health conditions, and achieve emotional well-being.  

* Dr. Fragedakis is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of North Carolina and is board certified nationally in biofeedback. She owns Capital Biofeedback, Inc. in Cary, North Carolina. https://capitalbiofeedback.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email