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.
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