“The longest part of the journey is said to be the passing of the gate.”
Ancient Roman scholar Marcus Terentio
I like to research pretty much anything before I make a significant purchase. I dig up as much data as I can find, make a decision based on those facts, waver, then decide again and again. Eventually, I make a final decision that usually makes me happy. My process of constantly revisiting data points drives my husband a little batty, but I happen to enjoy it.
The truth, though, is that after finding all the pros and cons for each option I’m seriously considering, I set aside the facts and choose the one that feels right to me—the option that makes me feel good about my choice. The data I gather inform my decision, but they don’t make it for me. It’s really a gut and intuition thing in the end. And when I don’t do this, I’m often quite sorry about the choice I’ve made.
I suspect that although most people probably don’t savor the decision-making process itself like I do, most end up taking a leap of faith in the end that they’re making the right choice for them and their situation. If one doesn’t trust her gut, making a choice can be overwhelming. If money is involved in the decision-making process, choosing to move forward with a decision can be downright daunting. Questions arise about whether the expenditure of funds make sense for the family, whether you’ll get your money’s worth, whether you’ll be satisfied in the end, etc.
Choosing to spend on a tool like neurofeedback is harder still. It’s one thing to invest in something like a new pair of shoes and trusting that they’ll feel comfortable and serve you well when you get them home and another thing altogether to invest money in something that you’re not even certain you know what it is, let alone that it will help whatever it is you’re hoping it will help.
Making things more complicated is all the noise out there about who is and who is not a good brain trainer. No amount of advanced degrees or certifications matters if that person doesn’t serve YOU well or isn’t really as competent at providing a service as they are at marketing themselves as the very best.
So, what do you do? Gather more data? Read a few more books?
My opinion is that you step beyond online searches and journal articles and books to find your comfort level. Reach out and interview a practitioner. If that person feels like a good fit and in your gut you have a sense of trust, then you’re probably going to be in good hands, even if you still feel nervous about trying something that, due to the cost and investment of time to work has still not become as wildly popular as I personally think it should be. (Obviously, if you don’t have a good feeling about a person or clinic’s competence, caring, or ethics, step away.)
People who are considering neurofeedback can reach out to me and schedule a free consultation with no pressure. I do this because I think fitting well with someone is as important as competence with the technology.
I also think environment is important, and I want potential trainees to feel the environment I’ve created for them. If you step into my waiting room, my hope is that you will not feel like you’ve stepped into a medical office. I have comfy upholstered chairs, an antique table, and a bookcase full of titles you’re welcome to pull down and browse. I have water and tea available to enjoy, too.
My training space is, I hope, similarly inviting. I try to keep the space as calm and non-clinical as possible for a tool that involves things like EEG devices and electrodes and whatnot. You’ll find even more comfortable chairs, scenes of nature on the wall, and natural elements like rocks and fossils and seashells for those who need fidget items to hold.
As a result, if you’re expecting white lab coats, linoleum floors, and stainless steel trays, I may not be the right fit for you. If you’re looking for competence combined with deep caring and a soothing environment intended to promote relaxation for training, I’m probably an excellent fit. And, perhaps surprisingly for a high-technology solution like neurofeedback, the softer quality of fit really does matter.