Monthly Archives: November 2015


neurofeedbackWHAT IS NEUROFEEDBACK? – Jill Raiguel, MFT


Recently, I was discussing Neurofeedback with my colleague Catherine Boyer, LCSW. Below she describes what it is and how it might be helpful.

Your brain is the most complex system on Earth. It possesses an amazing ability to organize itself. Neurofeedback works with the electrical activity of that system and gives your brain the opportunity to use that amazing ability to regulate itself in the way that’s right for you.

By pauses in a sound stream that are precisely timed to state shifts in your brain, NeurOptimal® neurofeedback gives your brain information on what it’s doing. Your brain then uses that information to re-normalize itself.

How this will manifest in your life is up to your CNS – the Central Nervous System, your brain and spinal cord. It will use the information it’s getting in the way that’s right for you. That makes NeurOptimal® very side effect free.

I’m writing specifically about NeurOptimal® because I believe it’s the state of the art in neurofeedback. Traditional protocol-based neurofeedback encourages the brain to move in specific, pre-determined directions. It can be very helpful, but it’s also side effect prone. NeurOptimal®, because it empowers your CNS to make the changes that are right for you, is virtually side effect free.


Neurofeedback is not new. It has been around for about half a century, gradually becoming more and more comprehensive and sophisticated. If you want to perform at your best or improve your sleep or concentration; or if there is something you want less of, perhaps anxiety, loss of focus, depression, anger, sleep problems or headaches, it is likely that neurofeedback can help you.

To read more, visit my colleague Catherine Boyer’s New York Neurofeedback website.

Link for New York Neurofeedback:




032314 01 pc

Printed with permission from CBeyondFractals

Beating the Holiday Blues – Jill Raiguel, MFT

Do you dread the holidays?  Are you afraid of slipping into negative habits: Do you feel pressured to spend time with people you don’t like?  Do you feel out of control?

            Applying some holiday Life Skills lessons, you can begin to create a meaningful, fun and nurturing holiday for you and your family whatever holiday you celebrate.

Susan told me last year, I wish it were over; I just want to fast-forward to January 1st and be done with the holidays.” This powerful businesswoman already felt overwhelmed and disappointed before Thanksgiving. Susan and her children were going to the obligatory dinner with relations who drank too much.  She disliked their negative attitude about life and the bad example they set for her kids. And, she certainly didn’t feel like buying them presents.

Then I offered, “What if you didn’t go?  Or, what if you went for 30 minutes and then created just what you and your kids wanted to do? What would that be?  What would be nurturing and festive for each person?  Listen to everyone and create a plan together. Make your own family tradition that meets your needs.”

Susan did just that.  She didn’t want to cook, her son wanted to see a new movie, and her daughter wanted to do a puzzle. She and her kids stopped by the relatives and left quickly, then had their own holiday.  Susan told me it was the best holiday they’d had in years.  Susan took back her power, set her boundaries, and created what she needed.  And, she modeled all that for her kids.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do I need?
  2. What’s meaningful to me?
  3. What fun for me?
  4. Am I overextending?

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Beating the Holiday Blues is taken from her book.  She is formerly an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona, Calif, and formerly psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group. She has a private practice and trains people in her work.




We pray for Paris! – Jill Raiguel, MFT

My heart and prayers go out to the people of Paris, especially to the victims, their families and the first responders.  As I sit in prayer and meditation this morning, I know millions are sending light and prayers.  The media coverage gives us a chance to participate in our world as a community pulling together to help heal.

But, with a non-stop, super-saturated TV news, we can get overwhelmed and sucked in to the Paris trauma. As I wrote about a couple of days ago, some of us can even get vicarious or secondary trauma. So, if you find yourself glued to the tube, starting to dream about this tragedy, or having fears about it, STOP! Do something fun.  Watch a comedy. Read a magazine with nature pictures. Take good care of yourself, you are your most precious resource.

 Jill Raiguel, MFT, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, former adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona and psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric. She has a private practice and trains others in her work.  Visit or




Are you or someone you care about susceptible to secondary trauma? Are you being traumatized by TV and movie violence? You can even be traumatized by someone just telling you about a traumatic event. That could be a car accident, a fire, an abuse, a frightening experience.
Some of us, especially people like me who are highly sensitive, are very susceptible to vicarious or what I call secondary trauma that I discuss in my book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. I like the word secondary because the event is not happening to you directly, but you can be victimized secondarily. For example, if I watch an explosion on the news too many times, I can start to relay the visual in my mind and that could cause me problems.
I’m reminded of this when I see the news playing and replaying explosions, or accidents, or bombings over and over again. I’ve had clients who get traumatic stress symptoms just from watching the news or their favorite CSI show. Symptoms can include: anxiety, panic, flashbacks, nightmares, depressions, agitation, heart racing, and/or depression.
Here’s what I do to take care of myself and avoid secondary trauma. I limit watching TV news; I even mute violent replays of the same story. I avoid violent movies. If I’m watching a DVD, I fast forward the violent parts. If a friend is telling about something traumatic and it starts to overwhelm me, I ask him or her to tell me the short version. And, I explain why so I don’t appear rude.

Jill Raiguel, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, shamanic and soul retrieval practitioner. Visit or