Biofeedback therapists help clients learn how to help themselves by controlling the neurological and physical functions that can contribute to discomfort and medical problems. This is a technical field that requires biofeedback therapy training. To work in a clinical setting, biofeedback specialists must earn the therapy certification, which requires formal education and experience in the field. If you’re interested in this line of work, below is a guide that can help you learn how to become a biofeedback practitioner.
What Is Biofeedback For?
Your body is in constant motion. Your organs are contracting, expanding, and pumping to accomplish certain tasks, all while your nervous system responds to your emotions, thoughts, and outer stimuli. However, when these functions become unbalanced, you may experience physical pain, develop high blood pressure, and more.
Although some diseases and conditions occur as a result of factors outside of our control, our lifestyle choices and behaviors can also contribute to certain ailments. Using biofeedback therapy, patients with medical conditions can learn to control certain body functions to achieve the desired result. For instance, someone recovering from an addiction or mental illness can use this treatment to control sudden cravings or anxiety.
During biofeedback therapy, therapists attach electrical sensors to a patient’s body, allowing them to monitor certain functions. For instance, a practitioner may attach sensors to monitor the patient’s heart rate and breathing. Through extensive monitoring with a biofeedback device, both patients and biofeedback practitioners can learn how to recognize the triggers for increased heart rate and find ways to control them.
Biofeedback therapy is used to treat various ailments, including:
- High blood pressure
- Attention–deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Fecal incontinence
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Urinary incontinence
- Chronic pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Substance use disorders
- Mental health disorders
Many patients prefer biofeedback over traditional forms of medicine because it doesn’t include invasive procedures, giving them more control over their condition. This can also enhance drug therapies and even eliminate the need for medication altogether. Our Banyan Lake Worth rehab utilizes biofeedback for addiction to help clients learn how to cope with stress, anxiety, cravings, and more.
How to Become a Biofeedback Therapist
When researching how to become a biofeedback practitioner, you’ll find that there are several routes you can take. Most practitioners enter the biofeedback field as coaches, doctors, nurses, psychologists, teachers, or therapists. Below is a more in-depth guide on biofeedback practitioner training, training, education requirements, and more.
Biofeedback Practitioner Education Requirements
Typically, biofeedback teachers and coaches require at least a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree for college and university-level positions. Doctors and psychologists usually need 6 to 8 years of formal education, as well as several years of residency. Additional certification in this field can give you a competitive advantage, especially early in your career. Some additional interpersonal and critical thinking skills you can work on include familiarizing yourself with a wide range of physical ailments and the ability to remain calm when working with stressed or agitated patients.
Biofeedback Practitioner Certification
You must earn biofeedback certification from a nonprofit organization called Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). BCIA certification is important because it’s recognized by three major biofeedback organizations: the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, the Biofeedback Federation of Europe, and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research.
BCIA only certifies individuals who meet certain education and training standards and recertifies only the candidates who participate in three hours of continuing education. Due to the ever-changing nature of biofeedback and medicine in general, the BCIA continuously revises its certification exams to ensure they’re testing potential specialists on everything they need to know.
Additionally, BCIA offers three levels of certification:
- Entry-level certification: For those who hold a bachelor of arts or science degree from an accredited school in healthcare like nursing or psychology and who have less than 5 years of biofeedback experience.
- Certification by prior experience: For healthcare professionals with at least 5 years of experience in biofeedback and extensive education and training. These include a current professional credential or license to practice in medicine, at least 100 hours of post-professional education, at least 3,000 patient hours of biofeedback, and more.
- Entry-level neurofeedback certification: This is available to people who don’t have a health-related degree but work for a licensed BCIA-certified biofeedback professional. Biofeedback employees who earn the entry-level neurofeedback certification receive credentials but are not sure listed as practitioners. Certification requirements include completing a neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, or physiological psychology course, completing 36 hours of didactic education, and more.
Biofeedback Practitioner Training
Biofeedback training for therapists and practitioners is offered by programs at a few colleges and universities. The University of California Riverside is one of the few universities that offer a biofeedback technician course that teaches students how to train patients in imagery and relaxation techniques. The course also teaches students how to operate biofeedback equipment and analyze information from a therapy session.
This course enables students to gain hands-on experience and BCIA-required didactic education, including 48 hours of biofeedback and 36 hours of EEG neurofeedback coursework. Upon completion of the course, students will also receive 20 hours of BCIA-approved mentoring, including 10 self-regulation sessions, 50 patient sessions, and 10 case studies.
Biofeedback Practitioner Salary
As a practitioner in biofeedback, your salary will vary depending on the nature of your job and the state you work in. The median salary for a biofeedback practitioner is $95,620. As we mentioned, this can depend greatly on the state you’re in. For instance, the median salary in Alaska is $99,810, while the median salary for biofeedback practitioners in Iowa is $78,930.
Finding a Biofeedback Therapist Near Me
Our Lake Worth drug rehab utilizes biofeedback for both addiction and mental health treatment. This is a non-invasive form of therapy designed to relax clients, identify triggering stimuli, and teach them how to cope with these challenges in recovery. If you’re searching for biofeedback for yourself or a loved one, BHOPB can help.
Our facility is also hiring! While available positions vary on our rehab’s needs, you can check out our addiction and mental health jobs here.
For more information about our mental health or addiction treatment in Lake Worth or how to join our team, call Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches today at 561-220-3981 or give us your contact information so we can reach out.