December 10th, 2018 by Ryan Parton
A Vancouver Island counsellor has just been approved to have his services fully funded through the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). The move is expected to be of particular benefit to residential school survivors, their families and other First Nations individuals living with the effects of trauma.
Registered Clinical Counsellor Dr. Tom Diamond, who operates a Comox-based neurofeedback practice, is newly authorized to provide his services aimed at improving the mental health of First Nations individuals affected by trauma.
“I’m excited to be able to help improve the lives of people,” says Dr. Diamond, owner of Brainigo Neurofeedback Centre in Comox. “Whether a survivor of residential schools or someone affected by the murdered and missing women crisis or another life-altering event, all Status individuals now have funding to access neurofeedback and start enjoying a more positive, balanced life.”
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback therapy that uses real-time analysis of brain activity to help regulate brain function. Research has shown that neurofeedback can alleviate the effects of trauma, including attention and focus problems, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. It has also been shown to help with numerous other brain-related matters, such as ADHD, concussion, migraines and PTSD.
Dr. Tom Diamond is one of Vancouver Island’s first Registered Clinical Counsellors to be funded through the First Nations Health Authority to provide trauma therapy for indigenous individuals.
“Both short-term and chronic trauma physically damage many areas and networks within the brain,” notes Dr. Diamond. “Traumatic damage knocks the brain out of balance and disrupts the flow of neural impulses, blocking the brain’s ability to function normally. Tragically, these neurological blocks can be passed to children through epigenetic transmission of intergenerational trauma. Neurofeedback helps the brain rebalance and self-regulate more effectively, which improves information processing, increases memory, decreases stress and improves self-control.”
During an initial brain assessment, a QEEG (electroencephalogram) scan takes pictures of the flow of electricity through the brain. From that assessment, Dr. Diamond identifies any neurological blocks that compromise brain function. In the subsequent treatment sessions, specifically programmed light and sounds painlessly retrain and reroute brainwave patterns, thereby removing blockages and improving cognitive issues. This helps to repair the client’s neural damage and reduce the risk of intergenerational trauma.
Funded through the FNHA in conjunction with the Indian Residential School – Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP), the funding allows for an initial assessment and up to 20 neurofeedback sessions. Brainigo handles all the paperwork and bills directly to FNHA.
“I hope everyone who’s eligible will consider taking advantage of neurofeedback,” says Dr. Diamond. “It’s simply not right for someone to have to go through life with the effects of trauma when there’s a drug-free, pain-free therapy available that can truly help.
“The sessions are easy, and the effects are long-lasting,” he adds. “Clients watch entertaining videos and relax in a comfortable lounge chair while the sensors do their work. Unlike other forms of therapy, neurofeedback is based on making physical changes to the brain rather than recounting and reliving traumatic emotional experiences.”
To find out more about neurofeedback and available funding, or to book an appointment, visit the clinic website at www.brainigo.com or call 250 941-5596.