Become a Neurofeedback Provider for Improved Income and Clinical Effectiveness

February 23, 2024

Become a Neurofeedback Provider for Improved Income and Clinical Effectiveness

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, practitioners are constantly seeking ways to enhance their income potential while also improving patient outcomes. One valuable method gaining traction is integrating neurofeedback into clinical practice. By becoming a neurofeedback provider, professionals can not only expand their service offerings but also elevate the quality of care they provide to their clients. This article explores how incorporating neurofeedback can lead to increased income and heightened clinical effectiveness, ultimately benefiting both practitioners and their patients.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Offering Neurofeedback Services

Neurofeedback, a non-invasive form of brain training, has shown promising results in addressing various mental health conditions, cognitive disorders, and performance enhancement. By adding neurofeedback services to their practice, providers can attract new clients seeking alternative or complementary therapies. This expanded service offering can lead to increased revenue streams and a broader client base, ultimately boosting the practice’s income.

Furthermore, by incorporating neurofeedback into their practice, providers can enhance their clinical effectiveness. Neurofeedback can improve treatment outcomes for conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, and more by targeting the brain’s neural pathways. This precise and personalized approach can lead to better results, higher patient satisfaction, and ultimately, improved clinical effectiveness for the provider.

Training and Certification

To become a neurofeedback provider, practitioners must undergo specialized training and certification. One exemplary organization that provides certification in Neurofeedback is the Biofeedback International Certification Alliance (BCIA). Training programs like the 36-hour BCIA approved online NeuroTraining Strategies course provide in-depth knowledge of neurofeedback techniques, equipment usage, and client assessment protocols. This “learn at your own pace” course consists of beautifully narrated videos that fulfill all of the essential content areas for BCIA certification. By investing in proper training, practitioners can ensure they are delivering safe and effective neurofeedback services to their clients, enhancing their professional credibility and competence.

Marketing and Integration Strategies

Integrating neurofeedback into a practice requires thoughtful marketing strategies to educate both existing and potential clients about the benefits of this innovative therapy. Providers can leverage their expertise in neurofeedback through online platforms, social media, and community outreach to raise awareness and attract new clients. Additionally, collaborating with other healthcare professionals and establishing referral networks can further promote the integration of neurofeedback into the broader healthcare community.

Neurofeedback Professional Entry Level Certification

This certification is open to professionals who can document a minimum of a BA/BS degree in a BCIA-approved health care field completed at a regionally accredited academic institution (an Accredited Institution of Post-secondary Education as determined by the American Council on Education). 

BCIA-approved health care fields include psychology, medicine, nursing (including two-year registered nurses with license, not LVNs or LPNs), physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, counseling, marriage family therapy, rehabilitation, chiropractic, recreational therapy, physician’s assistant (with certification or license), exercise physiology, speech pathology, and sports medicine.  The following fields require a master’s degree: music therapy and counseling education (MEd in counseling). 

When using neurofeedback to treat a medical or psychological disorder, you are required to hold a current license/credential issued by the state in which you practice in a BCIA-approved health care field. Without this license/credential, you must agree to work under the legal supervision of an appropriately credentialed health care professional when working with a medical or psychological disorder.  This supervisor should have training and experience with neurofeedback and clinical experience with the populations and disorders being treated.  This does not apply to those who work only in peak/optimal performance.

Excerpt from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) which regulates certification for Neurofeedback practitioners. https://www.bcia.org/nf-entry-level

Specialized Training Requirements for certification in Neurofeedback (NFB)

1. Neuroanatomy/Neurophysiology/Physiological Psychology University Course

A comprehensive course in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, physiological psychology, or course(s) that provide a sound basis for the brain and how it functions, taken from a regionally accredited academic institution or a BCIA-approved provider within the last 15 years is required.  **Note:  While a review of neuroanatomy is included in the didactic education requirement below, a separate university course is required.

2. Didactic Training

The BCIA (Biofeedback Certification International Alliance) certifies qualified providers to offer 36-hour didactic courses for clinically-licensed professionals to obtain a certification in Neurofeedback. These courses may be offered in person or online. The course providers must be accredited by the BCIA to provide content in the following Blueprint of Knowledge areas:

Orientation to Neurofeedback –   4 hours 

  Basic Neurophysiology & Neuroanatomy – 4 hours 

Instrumentation & Electronics – 4 hours

Research Evidence Base for Neurofeedback – 2 hours

Patient/Client Assessment – 4 hours

Developing Treatment Protocols – 6 hours

Treatment Implementation – 6 hours

Current Trends in Neurofeedback – 2 hours 

Ethical & Professional Conduct – 2 hours 

In 2023, the BCIA launched a streamlined 20-hour Blueprint of Knowledge didactic content that leads to the certification for neurofeedback TECHNICIANS. This certification applies to non-clinically licensed individuals who serve as neurofeedback technicians, working under the supervision of a licensed BCIA certified Neurofeedback Practitioner. If your future plans could include obtaining a full BCIA certification, you may wish to consider taking the original 36-hour course.

3. Mentoring – Practical Skills Training

Mentoring can begin when the candidate can demonstrate some basic competence with equipment and is only the time spent reviewing the actual work as outlined by BCIA.   BCIA does not stipulate when this mentoring can begin and in fact one may have completed the process prior to applying for certification.

The prospective Certificant is required to spend 25 contact hours (2 must be face to face) with a BCIA-approved mentor to learn to apply the clinical neurofeedback skills through the review of:

  • 10 sessions of self-regulation (you are the patient or the client and can even hook up yourself and send printouts of the sessions to the mentor for review)
  • 100 patient/client sessions where you are hooking up a client and running a complete session.
  • 10 case study presentations which are full detailed patient/client stories from intake and protocol selection/adjustment, through discharge.  These cases may be presented to you by your mentor, or they may be a client you have not yet reviewed with your mentor.  This is the only mentoring that can easily be done in an online group setting. Candidates may use up to 5 BCIA Neurofeedback Mentoring webinars which will complete 5 contact hours and 10 case studies.

4. The Essential Skills List

When you have completed your University course, didactic training and mentoring, your mentor will sign-off on a list of essential skills that certifies your skill-based knowledge in handling EEG equipment, working with the client, keeping accurate clinical records, etc. This final step is an opportunity for you to gain confidence that you are ready to begin working with clients. Some Certificants choose to continue with mentoring beyond the minimum requirements to establish your comprehensive treatment of the client with responsible EEG interpretation, NFB protocol development, and client care from intake to discharge.

Equipment and Resources

The practice of Neurofeedback requires EEG amplifiers and software processing platforms. You should be aware that not all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of Neurofeedback equipment sell FDA approved products, so pay careful attention to the specifications for any system that you purchase.

Prices of EEG amplifier systems that support neurofeedback can vary from $3,000 USD up to $28,000 USD. There are many different types of amplifier systems on the market and almost all include software processing platforms in the EEG amplifier and sensor equipment package. 

Becoming a Neurofeedback provider means you will incur bigger overhead charges than a practitioner would have in a private psychotherapy practice, for example.  Many providers can acquire financing through the companies that sell EEG equipment. Others qualify for low-interest rate equipment loans at their local banks. Please feel free to contact Dr. Mary Tracy at eegstrategies@gmail.com if you need advice on purchasing a system.

How much can I earn as a neurofeedback provider?

Depending on the location of your practice and the local cost of living expenses, neurofeedback practitioners can significantly increase their annual salary above and beyond what they earn in their chosen healthcare speciality.

Tables of annual wages earned by neurofeedback specialists employed by an agency do not reflect what you can make in your own private practice. For example, in California, EEG Neurofeedback providers in private practice charge anywhere from $250-$450 for a one hour EEG Mini-Q assessment and between $125-$230 per session for neurofeedback training (personal information from colleagues in CA).

Providers who wish to offer comprehensive EEG assessments with more expensive equipment charge anywhere between $550-$2500 per one-hour assessment, depending on the cost of living standard in the areas where they practice. 

Conclusion

Becoming a neurofeedback provider fulfills a growing demand for skilled practitioners and offers you a unique opportunity to improve both your income potential and clinical effectiveness. By embracing this innovative approach to brain training, providers can expand their practice offerings, attract new clients, join an international community of like-minded healthcare providers who specialize in Neurofeedback, and enhance treatment outcomes for those seeking alternative therapeutic options. Through proper training, strategic marketing efforts, and a commitment to excellence, practitioners can elevate their practice and make a positive impact on the well-being of their clients.

References

Marzbani H, Marateb HR, Mansourian M. Neurofeedback: A Comprehensive Review on System Design, Methodology and Clinical Applications. Basic Clin Neurosci. 2016 Apr;7(2):143-58. doi: 10.15412/J.BCN.03070208. PMID: 27303609; PMCID: PMC4892319

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