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Neurotherapy
does not qualify as
an Empirically supported
Behavioral Treatment
for
Psychological Disorders

Jeffrey M. Lohr

Suzanne A. Meunier

Lisa M. Parker

University of Arkansas

John P. Kline

Florida State University

 

Abstract

 

Neurotherapy has been promoted as an efficacious treatment for neurologic disorders and a wide range of psychological disorders. The function of Neurotherapy is self-regulation of brain wave activity as a means of modifying psychological symptoms.

We examined the peer-reviewed published research on the efficacy of Neurotherapy for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), substance dependence, anxiety disorders, mood disorder and dissociative disorders. We considered procedural variables such as the use of validated outcome measures and the nature of experimental control conditions. We found that the efficacy of Neurotherapy for these disorders was limited by invalid measures of symptoms. Of sixteen published outcome studies, only 6 were controlled efficacy experiments. In addition, the two experiments that used placebo controls suggest that nonspecific treatment factors are responsible for apparent Neurotherapy effects. We conclude that the criteria for efficacious treatments (Chambless et al., 1998; Chambless & Hollon, 1998; Chambless et al., 1996; Herbert, 2000) have not yet been met for Neurotherapy of psychological disorders. Suggestions for improving experimental methodology for tests of Neurotherapy efficacy are discussed.

 

Introduction


Editors Note:  This paper was presented to the Science and Pseudoscience Review Special Interest Group at the 34th Annual Convention of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, November, 2000, New Orleans, LA, and a shorter version of this paper is "in press" at the Behavior Therapist.

 

 

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