FAQs - nCenter

General nCenter FAQs

 

Who is eligible for counseling services at the nCenter?

Our team of counselors at the nCenter work with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.

How can therapy help?

Your therapist will work with you to identify your personal goals for counseling and then tailor counseling to you and your goals. You can expect that your therapist will listen closely to understand your experience and then find ways to assist you in moving towards your goals. Therapy is a personalized experience, so how it helps differs from person to person. It will often involve things such as getting a different perspective on your experiences, exploring and discovering things about yourself, making changes in unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving, processing difficult experiences, and learning healthy coping tools.

How do I sign up for counseling?

If you are interested in counseling (or other services we offer), please call 406 599 2492 to make an appointment with Jan, the nCenter Director, for a charge free initial session.  

At this meeting, you will be scheduled with a counselor for a weekly day and time that fits you.  You will also complete paperwork and discuss our services. The paperwork you complete will be reviewed by your counselor before your Intake appointment, to ensure that we have an accurate, initial first impression regarding your needs.

What is an Intake?

The Intake session is the first time you and your counselor meet. At the Intake your counselor will spend approximately 53 minutes discussing your concerns with you and reviewing your history.  

What is the wait time for a session with a counselor?

We can typically see you within a week after your initial meeting with the nCenter Director.

If I receive counseling at the Center, can anyone find out about it?

The counseling process is confidential, which means that we cannot release any information about you except under certain legally prescribed conditions. Please discuss the legally prescribed conditions  with your Intake counselor.

How is therapy different than talking to my friends?

Talking with friends is a great way to get support, but it’s not the same as talking to a counselor. Counselors are professionals with specialized training in helping people who are encountering difficulties in their lives. They can also provide an “outside”, objective perspective that is different than what your friends can provide. Also, sometimes people worry that if they talk with their friends about their problems that they will be a downer or that their friends will treat them differently. Since a counselor is a professional whose job it is to help you, hopefully you will feel more comfortable being open about your problems, which will make it easier to get effective help.

Who will my counselor be?

Our licensed staff includes a psychologist and several masters-level counselors and social workers who offer a broad range of interests, approaches, backgrounds, and perspectives, though they function primarily as generalists.

We also have two masters-level counselors who work under supervision with a licensed counselor.

Our Director will work with you to arrange an appropriate match for you.  Learn more about our staff by going to Meet The Team.

Can I receive a text reminder for my appointment?

Yes!  The nCenter will send you text reminders about your appointment.

How much do the counseling sessions cost?  

The cost of an Intake is $150 and thereafter counseling is $145 per session.

Your out of pocket cost will depend on your insurance company and plan. It’s important to find out your cost, depending on your insurance policy, before beginning counseling.  We can help you with this process so please let our Director, Jan, know of any financial questions or concerns when you meet with her for an initial free of charge session.

What is my first step at the nCenter?

Along with an initial counseling intake, we recommend that counseling and/or neurofeedback begin with a quantitative electroencephalogram(qEEG), or brain map. The qEEG is a noninvasive measurement of your brain’s activity using conductive gel and a cap wired to an amplifier and a computer system. The process can be scheduled with our office in person or by calling (406) 599-2492.

What does the qEEG do?

A qEEG compares your brain waves to the brain waves of a normative database of people the same age. It measures a brain deviation from normal and graphically displays the results in units of standard deviations. It also provides detailed brain activities in Brodmann Areas, different areas of your brain associated with memory recall, vision, hearing and other functions. It is a diagnostic tool used to help determine the most effective use of counseling and/or neurofeedback and to measure progress.

Like a fingerprint, your brain has a unique pattern of brain activity. A qEEG Brain Map, or quantitative electroencephalogram, is used to measure brain activity at 21 sites across your head. After recording your brain waves, we compare them to a normative database which then helps to identify and target problematic brain patterns.

By illustrating activity in critical areas of the brain (areas associated with everything from executive function, memory recall, vision, learning and balance) the qEEG serves as a diagnostic tool that guides counseling and neurofeedback. Subsequent qEEG maps can then be utilized to both monitor changes and optimize counseling and neurofeedback.

What are brainwaves?

Brainwaves are synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. The brain has multiple detectable electrical brainwave patterns that fall into different groups: sub delta (σδ<1 Hz), delta (δ 1-4 Hz), theta (θ~4-8 Hz), alpha (α~8-12 Hz),beta (β~12-16 Hz), hi-beta (ηβ~16-30 Hz) and gamma (γ>30 Hz). A simplification is:

  • Delta – δ Deep meditation, dreamless sleep, suspended external awareness, source empathy
  • Theta – θ Sleep and meditation, gateway to learning and memory, between sleep and wake
  • Alpha – α Resting state quietly flowing thoughts, calm, alert, mind/body integration learning
  • Beta – β Attentive problem solving, judgment, decision making, focused mental activity
  • hiBeta – ηβ Highly complex thought, high anxiety or excitement, integrating new experiences
  • gamma – γ Traditionally dismissed as “noise”, now associated with expanded consciousness

How are qEEG reports evaluated and presented?

All results are reviewed and individual plans for counseling and neurofeedback are developed for each client. Printed summary reports of varying complexity are prepared.

What diagnoses can the qEEG indicate?

An article in the Journal of Applied Neuroscience (http://www.appliedneuroscience.com/Huges&John.pdf) suggests that qEEG is effective in indicating eight diagnoses with identifiable characteristics 1) anxiety 2) depression 3) dementia 4) OCD 5) schizophrenia 6) learning disabilities 7) ADD and 8) ADHD.  At the nCenter we have clinical experience with anxiety, depression, OCD, and ADD.

What other information do the reports display?

The results may display signs of previous physical trauma to the brain. If any signs of seizure activity are noted, you will be referred to a neurologist.

How often are qEEG and neurofeedback sessions administered?  

The qEEG is administered before counseling and/or neurofeedback begins and is readministered approximately every five to twelve sessions. For the most effective results, counseling sessions with neurofeedback are conducted at one or two times a week. The qEEG results inform counseling and neurofeedback.

What neurofeedback systems are used at the nCenter?

We use Neurofield, which includes pulsed electromagnetic field (pEMF) stimulation, Transcranial Direct Current/Alternating Current and Random Noise Stimulation (TDC/ACS and TRNS) and Real Time Z-Score operant conditioning training (4 Channel and 19 Channel). We also use Low Energy Neurofeedback Systems (LENS) to assist in the brain becoming more flexible and functional.

How is neurofeedback administered?

We administer the Neurofield pEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) frequencies by placing electro-magnetic coils on a velcro cap which is secured on the head.  When we administer TDC/ACS and TRNS, we use electrical leads with sticky pads that adhere to the head or electrical leads that adhere with conductive paste. When we are providing Real Time Z-Score (RTZ) Training, we underlay the velcro cap with electrical leads and use conductive paste to secure proper connectivity for a 4 Channel RTZ or we use a 19 Channel qEEG cap for a 19 Channel RTZ. We administer Low Energy Neurofeedback Systems (LENS) using electrical leads held to the scalp with conductive paste. When stimulated with either pEMF, TDCS, TACS or TRNS, the brain will often adapt to the suggestion sent and shift voluntarily to a more balanced and regulated state. With LENS, it appears that the brain balances and regulates by disrupting old brainwave patterns.  When using 4 Channel or 19 Channel RTZ, the brain is trained to become more balanced and regulated through the process of Operant Conditioning.

What neurofeedback systems are used at the nCenter?

Most of our systems are Neurofield (www.neurofield.com) and our primary protocols are passive suggestions to the brain.  We also use the LENS (www.ochslabs.com) particularly for epilepsy, headaches and Traumatic Brain Injury. We may also use other forms of neurofeedback such as brainwave training if indicated by the qEEG.