There are many reasons one might seek the help of a psychologist or therapist, with our anxiety treatment and stress management being among them, and an interesting technique that is growing in popularity among therapists and patients alike is biofeedback. New York psychologists such as Dr. Leah Lagos, who sees patients in both New Jersey and New York, have made biofeedback a primary focus of their practices, and with excellent results. So what is biofeedback, and is it for you?
Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback is an evidence based method that trains people of all ages to improve their health and performance by gaining control over their autonomic nervous system. This includes heart rate, respiration rate, and brain activity. By working with a board certified biofeedback therapist you can learn to control how the body responds during stress. This treatment can significantly improve many conditions including:
- Panic attacks
- Life transitions
- Substance abuse
- Post-traumatic stress
- Psychosomatic illnesses
- Disordered eating
- Chronic pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Performance blocks in sports
- Negative ruminations
As an example of how biofeedback works, let’s look at how a typical session of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback (HRV) would work in the office of Dr. Leah Lagos. Biofeedback measures bodily functions like breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, and teaches patents how to alter these functions through breath re-training. The clients’ heart rate variability and respiration are measured using electrodes, and the results are displayed on a monitor.
While the client practices specialized breathing exercises, Dr. Lagos guides the individual through techniques to clear the busy brain. This allows the client to gain control and change how their mind and body respond to being stressed. Through this process, the client learns how to get out of chronic cycles of anxiety and shift into an optimal performance state of calmness and confidence.
The ability to read your own body and relieve stress and anxiety as a result is a valuable tool, and is one that can be learned by anyone with the help of a biofeedback therapist. Patients in the New Jersey or New York area are encouraged to seek the help of Dr. Leah Lagos in learning the art of this groundbreaking technique.
Therapy has so many benefits and can help people to overcome any number of issues, yet there are still those for whom the idea of finding and seeking help from a Manhattan psychologistor psychotherapist is a new process. The first step in moving forward with your decision to pursue therapy and/or biofeedback treatment is to find the right therapist for you.
How do you know if a psychologist is a good fit for you? There is no specific checklist as to what you should look for in a psychologist, but there are some generally acknowledged traits you should look for. The most important thing is that it feels right to you, and it may take a more than one visit with a psychologist to find that right fit and feel comfortable.
First and foremost a psychologist should have the right credentials in terms of training and education. Don’t take it for granted that this is always the case. Perhaps your psychologist or therapist has the education but not the specialized training you are looking for, or is pursuing a clinical approach that you don’t feel comfortable with instead of molding their approach to fit your needs. The most important part of therapy is the fit. Within the first few sessions of therapy, the psychologist and client determine whether to pursue working together based upon this fit. At the end of the day only you can know if a therapist is the right fit for you. Remember that you’ll get the most from counseling when you are comfortable and at ease, and that has everything to do with who is sitting across from you.
Further, any psychologist who offers biofeedback as part of therapy should be credentialed by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) – www.bcia.org. BCIA is recognized as the certification body for the clinical practice of biofeedback by the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe, and the International Society of Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR). BCIA certifies individuals who meet education and training standards in biofeedback and progressively recertifies those who advance their knowledge through continued education.
In choosing a psychologist, almost all people, have an instinctive desire about which gender they would prefer to work with. There is no right or wrong answer, when it comes to choosing which gender you prefer to work with but to follow through with this preference.
Good psychologists also set healthy boundaries, and are clear on their office policies including confidentiality and client rights. The process for appointment settings, cancellations, and policies for billing should be established in the initial session and carried through during the course of therapy.
Dr. Leah Lagos Makes Her Mark In The Field Of Sport Psychology
The physical and emotional demands placed on high-profile and up-and-coming athletes can at times feel overwhelming. A growing number of athletes are seeking psychology services from sport psychologists to help them meet their personal challenges, including several high profile leagues, organizations and individuals. One such Sport Psychologist is Dr. Leah Lagos, who has provided counseling and biofeedback training for many in the sports world dealing with any number of professional and personal challenges.
Sport psychology makes sense given the high stakes in professional and collegiate sports these days, and its advocates point to the instruction and training in psychological skills as an effective way to improve performance. As time passes it seems as though more and more people in the sports world are opening their eyes and minds to the potential benefits of sport psychology.
Dr. Leah Lagos has made sport psychology a centerpiece of her practice, with clients that have included:
- NFL Players
- PGA Tour Players
- U.S. Olympians
- U.S.A. Volleyball Players
- NBA Players
- St. Francis College Athletics
- Rutgers University Athletics
- University of San Diego Athletics
- University of Miami Athletics
High profile athletes are in the eye of the storm and may endure many personal challenges in their professional and personal lives. These may include injury and rehabilitation, anxiety, mood, disordered eating, substance abuse, career transition and more. Dr. Lagos chooses from a number of different approaches including biofeedback, one to one counseling and athlete and parent meetings, depending on the needs of the client.
Athletes aren’t the only ones that can benefit form sport psychology. Many coaches also seek to access the benefits of psychology in order to address their issues and facilitate the process of team building. As more and more professional athletes, teams, leagues and collegiate athletic programs become attuned to the benefits of sport psychology the field continues to grow. Dr. Leah Lagos’ experience in helping those at the highest level of sport to maximize their performance has helped her to establish a respected reputation in this growing field.
Are you seeking ways to optimize your individual athletic performance or the performance of your team? If so you owe it to yourself to look into the field of sport psychology. Schedule your initial consultation with Sport Psychologist Dr. Leah Lagos today.