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Family Counseling San Diego EMDR LENS Neurofeedback

Welcome to Family Counseling San Diego Providing EMDR LENS Neurofeedback

Welcome to our professional group of doctors and therapists were our seasoned clinicians integrate safe, effective, research-based treatment that focuses on solutions in addition to utilizing cutting-edge technology like Direct Neurofeedback LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System). Family Counseling San Diego is currently active and credentialed with 21 different insurance companies. We can provide CBT while we treat you with LENS so you can utilize your insurance. Facing unresolved childhood trauma is a brave, courageous act. Our founder, Walter Martin, LMFT has been honored with many certifications and awards as seen below.


You are not broken, in need of fixing. Rather, you are deeply hurt, in need of care.

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Mr. Walter Patrick Martin LMFT began this group practicing in 1999, Walter is known for his positive narrative visualization technique through EMDR, Dr. AJ Popky DeTUR addiction protocol. Mr. Walter Martin was honored to assist Dr. AJ Popky in his professional EMDRIA 2-day training. In addition, Mr. Walter Martin wrote a workbook for couples treatment “Heart and Soul Toward Intimacy: Couples Workbook” Mr. Walter Martin leads a seasoned group of clinicians who integrate a safe, effective, brief solution focused treatment in combination a cutting-edge technology is known as Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) by Oshslabs. Brain imaging technology paired with effective therapy and treatment has shown that our brains are capable of changing for the better. Neurocounseling uses brain-based interventions to treat clients more holistically by integrating the knowledge of the brain and physiology with traditional counseling assessments and treatment plans. Brain-based techniques are proven to produce mental health improvements in clients with traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress, depression, substance abuse, autism, and ADHD. By learning how therapy can treat clients’ brains and not only their behaviors, counselors can teach clients emotional and physiological self-regulation skills to better manage their emotions and gain new coping strategies. Neurocounseling: Brain-Based Clinical Approaches, edited by Thomas A. Field, Laura K. Jones, and Lori A. Russell-Chapin, provides the foundations for becoming a skilled neuroscience-informed counselor and offers clear, accessible approaches for incorporating neuro-counseling interventions into clinical practice. 

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. As EMDR is a mental health intervention, it should only be offered by properly trained and licensed mental health clinicians. EMDRIA does not condone or support indiscriminate uses of EMDR such as a “do-it-yourself” virtual therapy.

A growing body of evidence is showing that many psychological conditions, including depression, often start with a stressful or traumatic experience. We are finding that EMDR Therapy with a Certified EMDR therapist can help significantly with symptoms of PTSD, phobias, depression, anxiety, panic, early and complex adverse experiences in childhood, and much more. It also has a strong track record for performance enhancement in a wide variety of fields — school, work, business, sales, sports, the arts, and that Most Popular Fear of All Time: public speaking.

EMDR is a treatment, a therapy, that brings desired results in just a few sessions –with very little talking, without the use of drugs, without the use of “homework” between sessions– a treatment that is mainly used to cure PTSD or stress disorder –that array of negative feelings of body and mind that plagues and ruins the lives of many soldiers, rape victims, molested children, catastrophe’s survivors and other people who’ve suffered an important shock or trauma in their lives. This PSTD is somehow well known nowadays but for the longest time it was overlooked and for the longest time it was treated without much success or not at all. And still today many people don’t know of its existence or fail to recognize it in themselves or in their loved ones and are thus unable to seek help for it, let alone take advantage of a cure so incredibly simple and effective as EMDR.

LENS is a 510K FDA-certified class II device which is considered safer than most 510K biofeedback and neurofeedback devices. There have been no documented negative long-term negative side effects from LENS treatments. LENS does not affect healthy brainwaves, it only affects stuck, non-adaptable brain wave patterns to reorganize neural pathways and optimize overall brain function. Occasionally, some patients may experience short lived side effects of feeling wired or foggy for a couple hours after treatment. Recurrence or a slight increase in symptoms may occur the first week of treatments, before dramatic improvement in symptoms is observed. The video above talks about Direct Neurofeedback which has the same technology as LENS but Direct Neurofeedback was created by the doctor on video. You will see him also on many LENS videos.

What is LENS?
LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System) is an FDA 501K approved form of neurofeedback to stimulate brain relaxation and self-regulation. Utilizes Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF) to directly stimulate the reorganization of brain network patterns to increase cognitive function, strengthen stress resilience, and restore brain plasticity. LENS stimulates the brain out of maladaptive patterns to restore balanced brain-wave activity, reorganize neural networks, and increase brain plasticity. LENS has Faster results only needing 5-12 sessions total sessions not 40 sessions with is required with traditional neurofeedback. 
No retraining activities. Weekly treatment sessions range around 20 minutes, which makes it great for children.
EEG Brain Mapping to monitor positive changes in brain-wave amplitudes and neuroplasticity.
Long-term results for both adults and children with over 85% success rate.

Is LENS effective with Children?
Yes. Children, adolescents, and teenagers have shown remarkable progress with LENS treatment for issues such as anxiety, ADD, ADHD, anger, explosive behavior, learning disabilities, motivation, and autism spectrum disorders. Most see improvements over only a few sessions.

Why is LENS Unique?

Both elegant simplicity and quick results are the hallmarks of LENS treatments.

Both traditional Neurofeedback and biofeedback are active training processes in which the patient is training their mind to regulate their brain. As in all trainings, this takes time commitment and effort and depends on the trainability of the patient; often requiring 40+ sessions to see changes, with a typical session lasting 40 to 55 minutes a session. Results with LENS are seen within 5 to 12 sessions, compared to traditional biofeedback where 30 – 50 sessions are needed lasting 20 to 35 minutes. LENS is completely passive. The patient doesn’t take, feel, or do anything, other than sit still for a few moments while a brief, tiny signal is fed back to the brain. The signal does all the work.

What is LENS Neurofeedback Used For?

There are multiple things that neurofeedback can target and help improve. It is important to note that Direct Neurofeedback is not a specific treatment for anyone disorder but is an adjunct to mainstream medicine and not meant to replace it.

Neurofeedback has been found to help in the symptoms and behaviors related to:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety and OCD
  • Autism and Asperger’s
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mood (anger, rage, sadness)
  • PTSD and Developmental Trauma
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

This is direct neurofeedback that nudges the brain out of maladaptive brainwave patterns, allowing the brain to restore homeostasis, reset itself for optimal performance. Mr. Walter Martin’s unique approach combining LENS with ACT, CBT, MI, EFT, Mindfulness Therapy and EMDR. Rapidly decrease symptoms therapies over most other approaches. Clients report improvement dramatically and quickly. This is no quick fix approach but does not require 30-50 session like typical Neurofeedback were you have to work hard to retain your brain.  Direct LENS we expect results in 5 to 10 sessions. LENS improves your overall quality of life by utilizing the latest technology and begin the steps to immediately get better sleep and less anxiety. Research indicates enduring results by restoring optimal brain functioning. Many people state “This has changed my life”, “I have not had a full night of sleep over 20 years” and “Everything is so much brighter now.” This comments by patients occurred after the second treatment with the LENS. If you follow the treatment plan and do not see results in 12 sessions I Walter Martin will provide you 5 more sessions such that results are guaranteed with no additional cost to you. I want you to improve, move toward your goals and regain control over your life. It is not magic but it is a powerful tool to change your life for the better. LENS does not claim to be a cure for everything or anything. It is a treatment to improve symptoms to increase the quality of life. This treatment is in concert with your Primary Care Physician if you would agree to allow us to contact your PCP.

Have you had a concussion, been exposed to blowback (Explosive Concussion) or Traumatic Brain Injury and have suffered with:

-Brain fog?
-lack of sleep?
-lack of focus?
-migraine headaches?
-anger and reactivity? and fatigue?

If you find you are answering YES to the above questions then you possibly have a TBI that is continuing to create suffering in your life.


An Introduction to EMDR Therapy

Click HERE for Video of INTRO to EMDR.

Counseling and Neurofeedback TogetherHer

Clients who receive neurofeedback treatment can choose to do so in conjunction with their own individual therapy. Depending on what your presenting symptoms are or what you are hoping to resolve, there are several reasons why you might choose both or why you would select one over the other. In the sections below we provide some scenarios and a few reasons how choosing one or both services might serve your needs in the best way possible.

Be assured that it is never a mistake to choose counseling and neurofeedback together. However, if you are having results with just one type of treatment, we want you to avoid additional treatments that might not be necessary.

What we have witnessed when clients choose to do both is that the strategies and insights learned in counseling are enforced by the neurofeedback at the neurological level so that the client is better able to maintain their positive changes. Many clients report that neurofeedback has helped get them into the right space so they have the ability to process and delve deeper in their individual therapy. Also, it is best practice to provide CBT therapy while providing Direct Neurofeedback together. This also allows the client to utilize insurance as most insurance carriers do not reimburse for Direct Neurofeedback without CBT therapy being provided.

Choosing Neurofeedback During Counseling

We often have clients referred to us who feel “stuck” or have “plateaued” in their own individual counseling. This could be for many reasons but often is because they are unable to access their emotions as much as they desire. Sometimes they feel like they understand the roots of their anxiety or depression but still can’t move through it.

Feeling “stuck” in individual counseling can also happen if circumstances in clients’ lives are particularly stressful, keeping them activated in their “flight, fight or freeze response.” This means they have activated their sympathetic nervous system and are therefore less able to accomplish introspection during counseling as they are in “survival mode.” In these types of situations, neurofeedback is a great addition. It can serve to support and further the work being done in counseling as it can help the brain and body relax, which allows internal shifts to resume.

Choosing Counseling After Neurofeedback

The most common reason why people pursue counseling after completing their treatment of neurofeedback is that their ability to process things that they were not aware of before is heightened. Many clients come in with the strong tendency to “numb out” of their present lives, whether that is through technology, alcohol, drugs, pornography, work or some other distraction. Often they find that during neurofeedback treatments they become more aware of the emotions and feelings underlying their symptom of numbing and thus want to explore it further through individual counseling.

What is the right approach for you?

The FCSD treatment team leverages a variety of treatment modalities to better meet your needs. While we are here to guide you and find the “best fit” to help obtain your treatment goals, some clients prefer to seek a specific type of treatment. Others simply wish to know more about the treatment modalities they are exploring. When available, we have also provided links to resources that our clients may find of interest (e.g. relevant videos; treatment worksheets).

Please note that certain treatment modalities are implemented by only select FCSD team members. To be matched to a therapist by treatment type contact our office manager.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a “third wave” psychological treatment that integrates the key elements of many popular therapies that preceded it (e.g. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Mindfulness Therapies). ACT begins by taking the power away from unhelpful thoughts by changing the relationship we have with them. It then explores ways to promote positive behavioral change in the face of strong emotions by having one be mindful of and work towards their goals (e.g. values and achievements). It promotes real-life action that may, in turn, resolve strong emotions that previously had one moving away from what is truly important to them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most widely used and researched form of psychotherapy for the treatment of mental illness and other difficulties. It can be used as a primary method of treatment, but also provides a foundation for many other treatments used by our team such as utilizing CBT while having LENS treatment.

CBT is “problem-focused” and “action-oriented.” This means it targets specific problems that one is facing and can be a quick way to target focused difficulties one wants to resolve. Treatment focuses on identifying maladaptive responses to one’s environment due to “cognitive distortions.” These distortions reflect misinterpretations or misunderstandings of our environment that ultimately lead to ineffective behaviors. The goals of CBT are to: identify those distortions, learn new ways to interpret one’s environment and have a different outcome as a result.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an eclectic treatment that borrows from CBT, mindfulness therapies, and other self-regulatory treatments. It focuses on practical training, exercises, and psychoeducation to promote increased emotional and cognitive regulation.

DBT assumes that clients are doing their best to manage strong emotions and reactive states, but that they can obtain greater success and wellness through skill building. Participants in DBT learn about emotional triggers that lead to reactive states, coping skills to apply at the right time and place, and other mechanisms to avoid undesired reactions.

DBT supports often require ongoing client “check-in’s” between sessions to facilitate positive habits and skill building. These “check-in’s” may require an additional fee.

emotion-focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) aims to increase one’s connection and understanding of their emotional experience. By recognizing the adaptive functions of emotion, EFT increases one’s ability to recognize how their emotional experience can guide their actions, facilitate individual growth, and shape future goals and directions.

EFT recognizes that emotions can be difficult to manage and process, but aims to increase tolerance for these emotions and the ability to use their emergence in a constructive manner.


Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are treatment methods that can be integrated into several of the other treatment methods used by some members of the FCSD team. The aim of the treatment is to assist an individual to enter a deep state of focus and relaxation that permits one to work on goals without being countered by negative emotions or worries. It allows any place and time to be the “right” place and time to resolve difficulties and move forward in a positive manner. It has high efficacy in treating fears and phobias, the management of difficult situations (e.g. anxiety around medical procedures or other upcoming events), or providing momentary relief from high levels of stress.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) identifies how our relationships and life events impact our emotional state. It examines how negative relationships, our attachments, and our responses to events can have a negative impact on our mood. The goal is to identify or “map” out these relationships and events in order to find positive pathways that promote wellness and positive emotions.


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LENS Neurofeedback vs. Regular Neurofeedback

As noted earlier, there are different ways to go about changing brain waves. The simplest way to differentiate between traditional neurofeedback and Direct Neurofeedback (LENS) is that Traditional Neurofeedback is “retraining” your brain while Direct Neurofeedback is “disrupting” negative patterns in the brain to get it “unstuck.”

LENS Neurofeedback vs. Regular Neurofeedback Continues

Both types of neurofeedback place multiple sensors on a scalp and use computer software to display an electroencephalogram (EEG) of the clients’ brain.

Traditional Neurofeedback uses images, sounds, or lights to “reward” the client when the machine detects that they have managed to put their brainwaves in the target frequency range. In contrast, Direct Neurofeedback (LENS) sends a small signal that disrupts the brain from generating brain waves in its stuck patterns. The main benefits of using Direct Neurofeedback (LENS) is that initial results are noted more quickly, sessions are shorter, and fewer sessions are needed overall.

What is LENS?

Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) is a unique type of neurofeedback that nudges the brain out of maladaptive brainwave patterns it is stuck in, allowing it to restore homeostatis, to reset itself for optimal performance.

Who Can Benefit From LENS?

LENS is not diagnosis-based. We are treating a dysfunctional brain, one that is stuck in maladaptive brainwave patterns and the associated neurochemistry. LENS does not give one a new brain. It can only help optimize the one you have. It works best on patients who, at one point, were normal functioning in their lives, and then something (a singular episode, multiple or repeated exposures) happened to change them. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to matter how long ago that was.

LENS can help you if you face challenges in many areas, including:


LENS is exceptionally effective at reducing of anxiety. Most clients begin to experience improvement within 4-6 sessions. LENS also improves resilience, the ability to handle stress, and helps create a sense of calm in difficult situations.


LENS helps lift depression—sometimes even when it has been resistant to other treatments. Energy and motivation can also increase and a client may once again experience a positive sense of health and well being.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

In mild and moderate TBI, clarity, concentration/focus, memory, multi-tasking and energy can significantly and quickly improve.


LENS decreases impulsivity, distractibility and hyperactivity. The world becomes easier to navigate. Life becomes less of a struggle for the patient and parent.

Substance Abuse

Because LENS is so effective at treating anxiety, depression and poor impulse control, it can be tremendously helpful for people withdrawing from, and working at staying away from, addictive substances.

Autism, Aspergers, OCD, Hair Pulling, Eating Disorders

Again, because LENS is so effective at treating anxietydepression and poor impulse control, there is often dramatic improvement in a variety of disorders where these symptoms are present.

LENS Neurofeedback And ChildrenDo You Work With Children?

Yes. A large part of my practice is devoted to children, adolescents, and teens, largely with issues such as ADD/ADHDanxiety, explosive behavior and anger. Interestingly, after a few sessions, most children describe themselves as happier.

How effective is LENS

The success rate is remarkable. Over 75% of clients benefit significantly, often noticing improvement within 6 visits! Once a full course of treatments (usually 10-20 sessions) is completed, for most people treatment is done.  And, the changes are enduring. There is no need to receive LENS on an ongoing basis.

How Do You Know LENS Is That Effective?

On each and every visit I have the patients do a form of journaling to document their progress. I hand them a blank piece of paper and a pen and ask them; “write down if you noticed something different, if not…write no change.” What they are writing is remarkable. I invite you to come in and read the stories of their profound improvements, in their own writing. (All personal information has been removed to protect their privacy)

How Does LENS work?

While performing a standard 21-site EEG, sophisticated computer technology and software captures and analyzes brainwaves, and coverts them into an infinitesimal electromagnetic radio wave signal that is fed back to the brain for a fraction of a second. The signal interrupts dysfunctional brainwave patterns, allowing the brain to re-boot back to normal brainwave patterns and the associated neurochemistry. It is analogous to optimizing the hardware, which makes the programs run better!

How Safe Is LENS?

LENS is extremely safe. In over 75,000 clients treated with LENS, there has not been a single reported case of enduring negative effects.

“LENS is an FDA-certified Class II device. It is 510K exempt. The Class II 510K exempt medical device classification is a less restrictive certification than a 510-K, meaning that LENS is considered by the FDA as safer than the 510-K devices–which includes most other biofeedback and neurofeedback devices.”

Are There Any Side-effects?

On occasion, some patients experience very transient (lasting only a few hours) side-effects such as feeling wired, tired, spacey, or have a mild headache. I consider these side-effects as a positive response, as an indication that the patient’s brain is interacting with the LENS. This is usually a good prognostic indicator.

Will LENS adversely affect my positive qualities?

Not at all. Only frozen, stuck patterns are affected. Healthy brainwave patterns are flexible and resilient. When there is a tiny fluctuation they automatically spring back to that healthy state.

LENS Neurofeedback Alternative Treatment

Do I Have To Stop Taking My Medications To Do LENS?

No. Medication does not diminish the effectiveness of LENS. There is no need to stop or reduce your medication, which should only be done in conjunction with your healthcare provider.

How Long Has LENS Therapy Been Around?

LENS has been used by practitioners since 1992. There are over 500 practitioners world-wide who have treated more than 75,000 patients.

Mindfulness Therapies

Mindfulness-based therapies aim to provide increased “awareness” to what one is experiencing in the present moment. It is anchored in the idea that distress and distraction can be a consequence of one’s attention being pulled into the future (i.e. worry), the past (i.e. sadness or rumination), or too unimportant distractions in our environment.

The treatment focuses on increasing the capacity to control attention in order to make the next action, moment, or through a deliberate one (with “attention” comes “intention”).

Variations on Mindfulness can assist with ADHD, empathy building, and relaxation. Mindfulness can form the foundation of a treatment or, more commonly, is complementary to other therapeutic approaches.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapies focus on better understanding a client’s “story” to determine how they have gotten to the place they are now and how they may move forward into the future. It examines your previous life experience to form a clearer story of how one has gotten to the here and now. It aims to identify and fill in gaps in order to better understand the full complexities of one’s experience. By reliving these events in more detail, the client can better understand their experiences and how these experiences currently are shaping them. By reflecting and exploring new meaning, a new story emerges that is enriched and provides a therapeutic reconstruction of history and the future.

Play Therapy

Play therapy refers to a variety of assessment and treatment techniques that make use of a child’s natural ability to play. Often children have difficulty understanding and expressing their thoughts and emotions, as they don’t have the language to make themselves heard. A trained therapist engages the child through fun, non-threatening activities, which help to decrease the child’s anxieties about their problems and worries, allowing them to express themselves more freely. The family is often involved in the process to help the therapist understand the family dynamic and assist in generalizing skills into the home.

The overall goal is to help the child express his/her thoughts and emotions, and support them in learning healthy coping skills and solutions. Play therapy provides children with a safe, encouraging environment to express their true thoughts and feelings, in a way that suits their developmental level.

Psychodynamic Therapies

Psychodynamic therapies can incorporate a range of approaches that stem from the idea that individuals can experience internal conflicts that have resulted from previous life experiences. The therapy is “insight-oriented” in that it attempts to help the client identify these conflicts, recognize the nature of the challenges they are experiencing, and how some of the “defenses” that they use to cope may be maladaptive. It attempts to facilitate the development of alternative coping mechanisms by increasing awareness of the conflicts and defenses, changing the meaning/understanding of contributing events, and fostering a positive relationship between the client and the clinician.

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) shares many similarities with CBT, but tries to make the process as simple as ‘A B C’. The basis of REBT is that negative experiences (both internal and external) result from a life event (A – Activating Event), our interpretation of the factors or causes of that event (B – Belief), and the emotions or actions that result from that interpretation (C – Consequence).

REBT aims to identify alternative interpretations (B – Belief) and to determine whether this results in different experiences (C – Consequence) after the fact. It is a treatment that involves introspection and real-life experimentation.

Our personal experience with the LENS started with the recovery of trauma and also facilitated a reduction in pain.  Because each person is different there is no way of knowing the exact effect the LENS will have on an individual.  But our goal is a more relaxed, less stressed, better functioning and focused individual.

Further Research

To learn more about neurofeedback and its uses, please start by visiting:

Even if your bump to the head was more than 1 or more years ago and you still have symptoms, we can Help! Why struggle anymore? At Family Counseling San Diego Inc we off a safe and very effective, drug-free proven approach using Low Energy Neurofeedback. In just 10-12 weeks of treatment, your brain will operate more efficiently and you will begin to think more clearly, have better focus, get better sleep, be less reactive and have more energy! You should notice a reduction in your migraine headaches as well! Call Family Counseling San Diego Inc today and visit our website to learn more. At the FamilyCounselingSanDiego.Com Inc, we offer an integrated drug-free approach to help our clients reach their full potential. If you are stressed, depressed, anxious, concussed to TBI, have brain fog, lack attention, have ADD/ADHD, have compassion fatigue, or other neurological inefficiencies, please give us a call at 858-217-5770. We use LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback Systems) therapy for the micro-pulse technology that reorganizes neural patterns in our brains assisting our brains to optimize and reorganize itself. We have created a safe, professional and friendly atmosphere to help our clients reach their potential.

InTheBlinkofanEye_ShortDocumentary_Vimeo from janaleecreative on Vimeo.

We are offering a payment plan such that you can afford treatment now as most insurances do not fully cover LENS or Neurofeedback. 

Remember that everyone can afford Neurofeedback as your brain and future will thank you after the treatment and during it. We provide affordable plans but if you can not afford it please click on the image at Parasail which can finance your treatment and you or you child are with it.

Read Joe C.‘s review of Walter Martin, LMFT – Family Counseling San Diego on Yelp


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Relationship Tools That Work

Walter Martin, MA, LMFT

Walter P Martin, LMFT

Relationship Tools That Work

By Walter Patrick Martin, MA, LMFT

I have found Dr. Eric Berne really be a leader of his time in relationship guidance and understand how our self-worth, transactions and behavioral patterns between individuals can really assist in having healthier relationships. We should learn from this simple method to understand your wife or husband before you throw in the towel and get a divorce. Is it not worth the effort to learn more about how your communication is causing part of the problem. Watch the videos below and learn more about yourself and how you might be communicating.

  • The human brain acts in many ways like a camcorder, vividly recording events. While that event may not necessarily be able to be consciously retrieved by the owner, the event always exists in the brain.

  • Both the event and the feelings experienced during that event are stored in the brain. The event and the feelings are locked together, and neither one can be recalled without the other.

  • When an individual replays his or her experiences, he or she can replay them in such a vivid form that the individual experiences again the same emotions he or she felt during the actual experience. Or, as Berne’s student Thomas A. Harris said “I not only remember how I felt, I feel the same way now”2

  • Individuals are able to exist in two states simultaneously. Individuals replaying certain events are able to experience the emotions associated with those events, but they are also able to objectively talk about the events at the same time.

Check Out these Youtube Videos on How To Understand Your Partner.

Dr. Eric Berne is the author of Games People Play, the groundbreaking book in which he introduces Games and Transactional Analysis to the world.  According to Dr. Berne, games are ritualistic transactions or behavior patterns between individuals that can indicate hidden feelings or emotions.  A runaway success, Games People Play spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list in the mid 1960s – longer than any non-fiction book over the preceding decade. Games People Play and Transactional Analysis have gone on to influence and inspire millions of people, including Thomas A. Harris, author of I’m OK – You’re OKand Muriel James, author of Born to Win.

Five million copies later and nearly fifty years after it first debuted, Games People Play remains popular and continues to sell across the world.  It has been translated into almost 20 different languages, with millions of laypeople and trained psychotherapists employing Dr. Berne’s techniques.

So far, the two transactions described can be considered complementary transactions. In a complementary transaction, the response must go back from the receiving ego state to the sending ego state. For example, a person may initiate a transaction directed towards one ego state of the respondent. The respondent’s ego state detects the stimuli, and then that particular ego state (meaning the ego state to which the stimuli was directed) produces a response. According to Dr. Berne, these transactions are healthy and represent normal human interactions. As Berne says in Games People Play “communication will proceed as long as transactions are complementary.”9

Crossed Transaction as seen in Transactional Analysis using structural diagrams

Crossed Transaction

However, not all transactions between humans are healthy or normal. In those cases, the transaction is classified as a crossed transaction. In a crossed transaction, an ego state different than the ego state which received the stimuli is the one that responds. The diagram to the right shows a typical crossed transaction. An example is as follows:

Agent’s Adult: “Do you know where my cuff links are?” (note that this stimuli is directed at the Respondents Adult).

Respondent’s Child: “You always blame me for everything!”10

This is one the classic crossed transactions that occurs in marriage. Instead of the Respondent’s Adult responding with “I think they’re on the desk”, it is the Respondent’s Child that responds back.


Berne, Eric. Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy. Grove Press, Inc., New York, 1961. Page 4.

2 Harris, Thomas A. I’m OK – You’re OK. HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, 1967. Page 12.

3 Berne, Eric. Games People Play. Grove Press, Inc., New York, 1964. Page 29

Berne, Eric. Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy. Page 13.

Berne, Eric. Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy. Page 4.

Berne, Eric. Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy. Page 15.

7 Harris, Thomas A. I’m OK – You’re OK. Page 32.

8 Berne, Eric. Games People Play. Page 29.

9 Berne, Eric. Games People Play. Page 30.

10 Berne, Eric. Games People Play. Page 31.

11 Berne, Eric. Games People Play. Page 15.

12 Stewart, Ian and Joines, Vann. TA Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis. Lifespace Publishing, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 1987.

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Why do you choose the sex of your therapist

Often, people’s fears about therapy revolve around the therapist or the development of a healthy, lasting relationship with a new therapist. It’s common to have some worry or confusion about choosing a male or female therapist, especially if the nature of the topics covered in therapy have anything to do with gender identity, sexuality, or sexual orientation.

Beginning therapy and developing a relationship with your therapist is all about your comfort. Take the time to think about what you might prefer to look for in a therapist, and let these therapists shed some light on the decision-making process:

topic expert lynn somersteintopic expert lynn somersteinLynn Somerstein, PhD, E-RYT: People have different comfort levels and may have preferences about working with certain kinds of therapists, such as male or female, straight or gay, older or not. Those preferences should be respected, if possible because they help ease the social part of beginning therapy, which promotes a calmer relationship that can help you overcome the scariness of beginning a therapeutic relationship. What matters most of all when choosing a therapist is your gut feeling that the two of you click.

When I began seeing a therapist, I knew that I had to see a woman because I felt I would feel safer and better understood by a woman than a man. At least, that is what I thought at the time. I never regretted making this decision but did feel that I needed to work with a male therapist too. Later in my training, I studied with a supervisor—a male therapist—who became my mentor.

People who have experienced sexual abuse often prefer to work with someone who is not the same gender as the predator; this is a wise choice to defuse the terror and mistrust that will probably come up in treatment. When therapy progresses and lasts, however, it can become clear that the sex, gender, sexual orientation, or age have less to do with successful therapy than we might think. A good therapist will reach out to the person in treatment and develop a mutual understanding and ability to be helpful. The skillfulness, training, and experience of the therapist are important. So, I would say that ultimately sex or gender are not so important, but it can take a while to reach that understanding, and if you have a preference for a certain kind of person, go with that inclination. And always listen to your gut feelings. Is this therapist the right person for you? How do you feel talking together?

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Military Family Resources

Military Family Resources

Insurance Provider Links

There are additional ways that you as a provider can reach out to military clients and their family members in addition to joining Star Behavioral Health Providers. Opting into an insurance network that provides coverage for military members is one way of doing this. Below you will find links that can assist you in doing so if you are interested. Your decision to join one of these insurance provider networks is unrelated to your status with Star Behavioral Health Providers but surveys will ask if you have considered joining, or have joined any of these networks.

Give an Hour
Visit the Give an Hour website to learn more about registering to donate one hour per week to the treatment of military members and their families.

Military OneSource
Military OneSource offers counseling services to service members. If you are interested in being a provider contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.

Visit the TRICARE website to learn more about becoming a TRICARE provider. There are multiple types of TRICARE providers with each offering a different level of flexibility to you as the provider.

The Soldiers Project
The Soldiers Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free, confidential psychological services to US military veterans and their loved ones who have served at any time after September 11, 2001. Visit their website to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

Veterans Choice Program
The Veterans Access, Choice, Accountability Act (VACAA) of 2014 is a law that expands the number of options Veterans have for receiving care to ensure that Veterans have timely access to high-quality care. The VACAA allows eligible Veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or are unable to get a VA appointment within 30 days of their preferred date, or within 30 days of the date determined medically necessary by their physician, to obtain approved care in their community instead.

Eligible Veterans must contact Health Net Federal Services, LLC (Health Net) to obtain authorization for all care under the Veteran Choice Program (VCP). Veterans are encouraged to access health care through Health Net’s comprehensive network of community-based, non-VA medical professionals who meet VA quality standards. These highly qualified providers are contracted as part of Health Net’s URAC accredited Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC) network and proudly serve our Veterans today in PCCC. More information can be found at :



Information Referenced During Training

Video of kids’ experiences about parents who deploy

Acronym List

Military Acronyms and Terminology

Clinical Resources

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

Deployment Health Clinical Center

Center for Deployment Psychology

National Center for PTSD

Research Publications

VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines

VA Community Provider Toolkit

Military Organizations

American Legion

American Veterans (AMVETS)

Blue Star Mothers of America

Disabled American Veterans

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Military Supports

American Red Cross

Armed Forces Crossroads

Army OneSource

Military Homefront

Military OneSource

National Military Family Association

National Resource Directory

Real Warriors Campaign

United States Organizations (USO)

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

USA Cares

VA Caregiver Support

Veterans Resource Locator

Wounded Warrior Project

Wellness Resources

After Deployment

Defense Centers of Excellence

US Army Public Health Command

Military News

Army Times

Military Times

Air Force Times



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Bipolar Disorder

How does Bipolar Disorder affect someone over time?

At Family Counseling San Diego through the use of LENS Neurofeedback or EMDR our therapists reduce symptoms quickly. Bipolar disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Between episodes, many people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms, but some people may have lingering symptoms.

Doctors usually diagnose mental disorders using guidelines from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. According to the DSM, there are four basic types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person’s normal behavior.
  • Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  • Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person’s normal range of behavior.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Some people may be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This is when a person has four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a year. Some people experience more than one episode in a week, or even within one day. Rapid cycling seems to be more common in people who have severe bipolar disorder and may be more common in people who have their first episode at a younger age. One study found that people with rapid cycling had their first episode about four years earlier, during mid to late teen years, than people without rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Rapid cycling affects more women than men.

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I Tried Direct Neurofeedback and the Results Surprised Me

I Tried Direct Neurofeedback and the Results Surprised Me –

Interview with Direct Neurofeedback Specialist Grant Rudolph

Posted Mar 13, 2018


Grant Rudolph explaining Direct Neurofeedback

Source: Zoltan Istvan

Transhumanism—the movement of using science and technology to improve the human being—covers many different fields of research. There are exoskeleton suits to help the disabled; there are stem cell treatments to cure disease; there are robots and AI to perform human chores. The field is wide open and booming as humanity uses more and more tech in its world.

It’s not that often I get to participate directly in these radical technologies, but I did so recently when Grant Rudolph, Clinical Director at Echo Rock Neurotherapy in Mill Valley, California invited me to try his Direct Neurofeedback techniques. Via his computer and EEG wire hookups, Mr. Rudolph echoed my brainwave information back into my head at an imperceptible level. I did two sessions of Direct Neurofeedback.

At first, I was skeptical that I’d even feel anything since the EEG information can’t be detected by the skin as a sensation, but within five minutes of having the wires stuck onto my forehead, I began feeling different. I can compare it to a light dose of a recreational drug: I felt happy, content, and worry-free. I also felt more introspective than normal. The feedback only took a few seconds, and after about 15 minutes, I seemed to notice the world’s colors were sharper and my hearing was more acute. The heightened awareness and calming effect lasted about 24 hours and then most of it gradually wore off. Some of the clarity must still be working, because getting things done sometimes still seems easier. I’m told that continued sessions would make this state of clarity my new norm.

Q. What do most people notice from Direct Neurofeedback?

A. Direct Neurofeedback (LENS) shows the brain how to stop worrying and be fully present in this moment. Victoria Vogel and I have given about 20,000 sessions at Echo Rock Neurotherapy, and the first words we hear clients say are usually “relaxed, calm or clear.” The immediate experience for almost everyone is an unusual deep relaxation and simultaneous bright clarity of mind. When this state keeps going for days, they eventually talk about their new traits of steady happiness, increased energy, confidence, clear boundaries, better sleep, work efficiency and ongoing contentment.

Q. How does it work?

A. Direct Neurofeedback allows people to let go of stress by showing the survival brain how it is wasting energy worrying about the past. Because our brains are very interested in energy-efficiency, they quickly abandon unskillful defensive thought-patterns once they “see” them. Direct neurofeedback supplies the missing information. Unlike biofeedback and traditional neurofeedback where the “seeing” happens with the cognitive mind, direct neurofeedback information returns transcranially through the EEG sensor wires, bypassing the cognitive process altogether. Change is easy because the wise brain simply knows what to do and makes the adjustments without effort.

Q. What conditions does it treat?

A. Direct Neurofeedback clears the underlying causes of stress rather than chasing after symptoms. Therefore it is safe and effective in addressing all sorts of conditions. It has shown itself clinically successful in treating depression and fatigue, anxiety, ADHD, memory loss, PTSD, learning disabilities & autism, procrastination, head trauma, migraines, addiction, pain and much more. It can be highly effective with treatment-resistant seizure disorders and compulsive behavior. For people without a diagnosis, it enhances performance, efficiency and meditation progress. We are offering a neurofeedback enhanced meditation retreat November 24-26 this year.

Q. Who does it work for?

A. Individuals of ALL ages can benefit from Direct Neurofeedback. At Echo Rock Neruotherapy we help super-achievers—CEOs, Olympic athletes, musicians and the like—to find their flow state and achieve peak performance. Because it is so fast and easy to administer, Direct Neurofeedback has been extremely effective at treating children who are on the ADHD/Autism spectrum, or have behavioral, learning or attachment problems, even if they are not actively participating in the treatment. For those struggling with relationship issues, Direct Neurofeedback can break old patterns, allowing the love between two people to bloom.

Q. What about medications and addictions?

A. As the brain becomes more spacious, organized, and better able to effectively utilize input, clients may find themselves less in need of medication. It is important, of course, to work with a medical professional like our in-house psychiatrist to taper down medications and determine the new ideal dosage.

Clients who struggle with addiction often feel so much better after a few sessions that it becomes easy to let go of their substance of choice. Withdrawal from opiates and even benzodiazepines can be considerably smoother with Direct Neurofeedback. When the brain is clear, clients typically find themselves naturally making wiser choices about how to best take care of themselves.

Q. How did you get started doing Direct Neurofeedback?

A. I was doing a practice of noticing situations where it was appropriate for me to say the words “I’m happy for you”. At the same time, I wanted to help my son who had been failing at school because he fell and hit his head. He was irritable, and couldn’t focus or sit still. We tried everything, until we finally gave him Direct Neurofeedback. For the first time in his life, he could read a book, and pass a test on what it said. Direct Neurofeedback worked so dramatically, that we offered it to all our psychotherapy clients. They were able to resolve their issues easily and immediately, without talking about their past. Now we have the pleasure of helping people having a hard time with their headspace every day. After Direct Neurofeedback, they are relieved and grateful, and I get to say the words “I’m happy for you!”

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