Your first appointment (Intake) will be 1 clinical hour (50 min.) in length. In this time we will conduct a ClinicalQ / EEG (electroencephalographic) assessment, followed by a real-time verbal debriefing wherein we report on findings, and discuss your treatment goals.
Detail: The ClinicalQ involves placing 5 electrodes on your scalp and two clips on your ears. The electrodes are attached to the scalp with conductive paste. The 5 scalp sites (areas of electrode attachment) are first cleaned to remove residue (such as shampoo or perspiration) thereafter the electrodes are gently pressed to your scalp ensuring solid attachment. Your ears are similarly cleaned, and gel is placed in the clips prior to being attaching to your ears (again for proper conductivity of signals). Once the electrodes are securely attached to your scalp and ears, we test the quality of the readings / EEG signals. Each site must have clean recordings (no interference and low impedance) in order to provide accurate measures. It is possible that at this signal confirmation stage, the electrode sites may need to be recleaned and the electrodes reattached. We will repeat this process until our, your, signals are pure. Only then, will we start recording. As they say in statistics: ‘garbage in garbage out’. Meaning, brainwave recordings with poor or otherwise corrupted signaling will provide inaccurate readings.
Once we have clear EEG signaling, we start recording. You will be asked to sit as still as possible while breathing and blinking normally (eye blinks can be removed from the file, eye strain from not blinking will be recorded throughout the file and be a source of corruption). You will be asked to sit with your eyes open, your eyes closed, and perform a task (usually 30 seconds of reading). We will also test a harmonic, a specific sound file (live testing the reactivity of your brain and the potential efficiency of in house as well as adjunctive home treatment).
Once the recording is complete, we will clean the paste(s) from your scalp and ears and accompany you to the waiting room as the data is processed. If a Clinician has collected the data, you may be asked to wait quietly in the office or in the waiting room as they do the same.
Once the data has been cleaned (artifacted) and processed (converted from raw wave data to numerical data) a Doctoral Clinician (MD, Psychologist or Neurologist) will commence live interpretation; providing you with real-time verbal feedback on the unique findings of you, your brain.
Specific symptoms associated with specific sites as well as constellation patterns (how information from multiple sites converge in symptom sets) will be explored and explained.
You will gain an understanding of what brain region, and / or brain function, is responsible for, or contributing to, your symptoms (e.g., poor focus, anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc.). Your Clinician will then confirm your therapy goals and outline a highly individualized Targeted Treatment / Training Plan designed to take you, your brain, away from your active / expressed symptoms.
You will leave the intake session with a clearer idea of how the functioning of your brain is affecting how you are feeling; how effectively you are taking in information, performing at work, school or home, and why you might be having some difficulties with living life to the fullest. You will also have a clearer idea of what to expect from the Neurofeedback process.
How You Can Help:
- PLEASE arrive with your paperwork and consent forms completed. We can not start any assessment / training without your informed consent. Alternately you can arrive 30 minutes early and fill in the forms in office. Incomplete paperwork is the number one cause of delay and disappointment. When your scheduled appointment time is consumed by paperwork, you have less time with the primary Clinician interpreting your report / results, and clients accurately feel they have not had the complete feedback experience.
- Please arrive with clean unbound hair (no hair products or hairstyles that can heighten impedance and / or prevent direct access to the scalp itself).
- Please do not consume dietary stimulants or sedatives, for example, coffee, caffeinated tea, tinctures or herbal teas known for calming properties a full 2 hours before your appointment.
- When possible or safe, delay consumption of prescription stimulants and sedatives until after the data collection segment of your intake. E.g., for a child prescribed methylphenidate, seek to book a 9AM appointment and take your prescription post recording (9:30AM). We recognize sometimes this is not possible nor recommended. If so, kindly ensure the Clinician / Assistant is informed of any medications in your system at the time of your intake.
- NO marijuana use 3 days before intake. Marijuana consumption has distinct influence on brain wave activity and can remain visible on the EEG for up to 3 months post consumption.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Does it hurt? No 😊
Are you putting electricity in my brain? No. We are only reading and recording the electrical activity from your brain. No electricity is being transmitted to your brain or scalp.
Will I get a report? – Autism Assessment. Autism Assessments are inclusive of a written report and may include a 15 minute verbal debriefing upon request. Debriefing / counselling extending beyond 15 minutes is not included in the Assessment Fee and will be billed at the Clinicians’ hourly rate or portion thereof.
Will I get a report? – Intake – 5 Point ClinicalQ. You will be provided with a real-time verbal report. We highly recommend you take notes during this process as the information can be overwhelming and easily forgotten. A generic written report can also be provided upon same day request. PLEASE note, this report will not be as precise nor detailed as the verbal report as it is based upon the statistical frequency of findings from individual recording sites as per the Swingle Clinical Data Base. The single site information is not combined or otherwise amalgamated in what Dr Mari Swingle refers to as constellation (multiple site symptom) patterns.
Will I get a report? – Intake – 19 Channel Normative QEEG. You will be provided with a 15-minute verbal debriefing on the Normative assessment between 2 and 4 weeks post data collection & analysis. For combined intakes (5 Point ClinicalQ & 19 Channel Normative QEEG), clients can choose to separate or combine debriefings. The results of the 5 Point ClinicalQ can be provided immediately post data collection (same day) or provided in combination with the findings from the 19 Channel Normative QEEG 2 to 4 weeks later. Written reports are not included (See below).
Can I request a report? See above re. generic reports. Individual specific reports can be written upon request. The cost varies by detail and audience. Legal, medical, and personal reports (e.g., for family members) can vary from $350 to thousands. It is highly recommended that your Clinician is precisely informed of the purpose and intended audience (e.g., teacher, BCIA Certified Clinician, parent, lawyer, etc.). It is important to note that what / how client information can be written / released is governed by the College of Psychologists of BC (CPBC). Explicit consent is required for any report sent to any person or institution other than directly to, or via, client(s) themselves. We are further not permitted to release any clients’ raw data to individuals who are not trained or otherwise qualified to read / interpret it. As such reports tend to be lengthy and descriptive, raising costs exponentially. Interim reports also frequently involve redaction (removal of the raw data and any information that unqualified persons may misinterpret). Restrictions are all for client protection. Please also note that clinicians are happy to provide brief consultations* (to teachers, MD’s, etc.) thus bypassing the cost of lengthy explanatory reports.
*Signed consent required. Consultations over 10 minutes are proportionately billed at Clinicians’ hourly rate.