(Nov. 10, 2014) -- At the Sarabia Family Counseling Center, the UTSA neurofeedback training program is teaching graduate students how to control the brainwaves that are linked to certain mental health conditions, including anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older every year. When these disorders are triggered, abnormal or overactive brainwaves can be seen on computers via sensors used in neurofeedback techniques.
Using this feedback, specialists trained in the technique, including UTSA graduate students in training at the center, can provide treatment options that "calm" the brainwaves to a normal level and reduce symptoms. The technique also can be used to treat overactive brainwaves from other disorders such as PTSD and ADHD.
Led by UTSA lecturer and adjunct professor Mark Jones, the UTSA neurofeedback program is the only one of its kind in the nation accredited by both the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.
In the board-certified program at UTSA, cohorts of about 12 students take part in extended laboratory courses that provide services to about 15 clinical patients a week. Treatment options to help control the brainwaves include cognitive therapy or other brain-calming exercises.
"From the student perspective, it's a really awesome opportunity to be in a groundbreaking program," said Michael Russo, a UTSA graduate student. "Combining technology like this with traditional counseling helps a vast amount of clients."
The program has been a part of the Department of Counseling in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development for three years.
Before treating clients, students have the opportunity to receive their own neurofeedback. Placing 19 sensors on each other and reading their own brainwaves helps them to not only learn the process, but better understand clients.
"We all have 'issues,' so to speak," Jones said. "This helps students become comfortable with their own anxieties and empathize with clients and what they're going through."
Neurofeedback services are provided free of charge and are performed by students under the supervision of Jones. Free counseling services also are available at the Sarabia Center, and often a combination of neurofeedback and counseling can increase effectiveness.
Learn more at the UTSA Sarabia Family Counseling Center website.
In honor of UTSA's 50th Anniversary in 2019, the university is hosting Roadrunner Days Spring Edition - two weeks of semester-launching activities built around our deeply held values of student success, student involvement, community service and fun!
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
All UTSA students, faculty, staff, alums & families are invited to march as a unified community. Register here: bit.ly/2TYbHbR. Shuttles will be provided from the Main and Downtown Campuses.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, 3501 MLK Dr., San Antonio
UTSA's John Nix invites the community to sing "Amazing Grace" and “We Shall Overcome” at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The intent of this nationwide effort is to honor Dr. King's legacy and to spread a sense of community in the United States.
Locations throughout the United States
Opening Reception got exhibit featuring artists Miguel Aragon, Aaron Coleman, Sandra Fernandez, Annalise Gratovich, Marco Hernandez, Kristen Powers Nowlin, & Patricia Villalobos Echeverria
Main Art Gallery, Arts Building (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
Tracy Cowden, Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and chair of the UTSA Department of Music launches the UTSA 50th Anniversary Scholars Speaker Series with Music as Medicine: The Power and Influence of Music on our Health.
Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Cir. #120, San Antonio
UTSA African American Studies Program presents this series featuring Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.
Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus)
Join fellow Runners to walk for 10 minutes on the Main Campus. The event reminds us of the importance of exercise, diet and healthy habits in protecting our hearts.
Outside the North Paseo Building, Main Campus
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.