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Neurofeedback now at The Center


Neurofeedback and the BrainPaint© Evidence-Based Approach

Neurofeedback is the direct training of the brain where it learns to function in a more adaptive and efficient state. Through strategic placement of sensors on neuro2the scalp, brain function is observed in real time and the information is shown back to the person through visual or audio feedback. The brain is rewarded for changing its own activity to a more adaptive state. This learning process does not require the person to physically perform during the session, “just their brain performs.”

Neurofeedback is also called EEG Biofeedback, because it is based on electrical brain activity- the electroencephalogram, or EEG. Neurofeedback is training in brain-regulation. Simply put, it is biofeedback directly applied to the brain. Self-regulation is an essential part of good brain function.

Neurofeedback addresses problems of brain disregulation, such as when the brain over functions, under functions or “can’t stop.” Brain disregulation includes the anxiety-depression spectrum, attention deficits, behavior disorders, addictions, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PMS and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, and the autism spectrum. It is also used for Peak Performance and maintaining or enhancing general brain health.

Through our training brainwave activity is “shaped” toward more desirable, more regulated performance. BrainPaint is the ONLY neurofeedback system that automates the exact implementation of alpha-theta protocol demonstrated in studies to address trauma (PTSD) and addictions.  Alpha-theta is also the best protocol for peak performance, fears, phobias, fibromyalgia and some forms of anxiety, depression and chronic pain.  The BrainPaint software is a computerized version of the same manual that was endorsed by the Human Subjects Review Committee at UCLA for one of the largest randomized control studies in the field.

What does a Session Look Like?

In your first neurofeedback therapy session your practitioner will ask you 90 questions to develop an individualized protocol tailored specifically to you.  In subsequent sessions you will be asked about six questions to fine tune your protocols and to track your progress. Your provider will then put sensors on your ear and scalp.  It doesn’t hurt and nothing goes into your brain!  The sensors only pick up the electrical activity coming from your brainwaves.  You may have 1-3 sensor placement changes throughout your sessions for a total of 25-30 minutes of neurofeedback.

Depending on your individualized protocol, you may either receive feedback with your eyes closed (auditory only) or with your eyes open (auditory and visual).  When the eyes are closed, alpha state rises (since the brain is largely idle) allowing one to go into deeper states. Many people find alpha theta very relaxing.

With eyes open neurofeedback training you watch the fractals morphing on the screen. You can also be mindful of the green and red graphs.  BrainPaint will let you know when you are “in the zone” – the perfect state of relaxed attentiveness with your awareness in the present moment. Or, what we call “What is.” Every 2 minutes BrainPaint will give you additional feedback as well.

Benefits can be manifold, and we encourage you to consider if this new tool is right for you – wherein psychotherapy and a time-honored technology work hand in hand for you.

Wake up to Healthy Change…



Women in Divorce, A Special Therapy Group


Led by one of our most senior therapists, Laurie Chapman, MFT, The Center for Healthy Change is pleased to be able to offer a very important new group for Divorced Women who:

  • Are ready to move into the next phase of their lives;LaurieChapNew
  • Would like the support of a small group of Women with the same goal;
  • Are available to meet weekly beginning in March, 2016

The following are examples of topics that may be covered in the group:

  • Identification of “New” or “Refined” Self post-divorce
  • Self Empowerment Strategies
  • Clearing/reducing barriers to self fulfillment
  • Elements of Healthy Relationships with Peers and Future Partners
Women who experience the most growth and transformation are actively engaged in the change process, have a purpose-driven life, and are surrounded by a solid network of support. The Center for Healthy Change offers a weekly support group to women who have completed the divorce process, are ready for the next level of growth and transformation in their lives, and want to align with the evidence-based practices on how to attain this goal.
The group will meet on Friday mornings from 10-11:15 for 12 weeks, Beginning March 18th.   The group will function to help each member reaffirm her self worth and reset her life with positive intention and focused direction.  Each member should be ready to: share her beautiful self with a small group of women (This group is limited to no more than at 5 people, in order to maximize attention and detail for each participant); receive support and feed-back from the facilitator and other members; and discover new sides of herself.
“We are not defined by the loss of our marriage, we are defined by our true self” 

Call Laurie at (760) 634-1704 to find out more about this new opportunity.

Experience Mindfulness


Mindfulness is intentionally paying attention to what is going on in your body, mind and emotions with a sense of kindness and compassion.  The aim is to accept life as it is in the present and refrain from living in the past and/or the future.  We use this KatyJoyEdit4awareness to gain information on how to best take care of ourselves.  Understanding our feelings and needs and being able to tolerate difficult emotions promotes a sense of peace and calm within.  An inner guidance system is developed and we are equipped to handle whatever happens with emotional maturity.  We take responsibility for our happiness and feel confident to manage our lives in a healthy and balanced manner.

Some key elements of the Practice of Mindfulness include:

Acceptance, Compassion, Curiosity, Non-judgement, Kind observation, Mastery of breath, Discipline of mind.  If these principle peak your interest, and you’d like to see just how quickly you can start to improve you daily response to the world, you might want to check out our upcoming mindfulness workshops 

The Grounds


The Center for Healthy Change is pleased to be collaborating with The Grounds, a remarkable and  much-needed comprehensive recovery center in La Jolla that focuses on young men building new life-long changes and support systems.  We are providing a specialized men’s group to assist in developing strong treatment outcomes.  Group therapist, Rafael Cortina, says “this is a most impressive group of young men, with each genuinely taking up the challenge to live in a healthier and more fulfilling way.”  This weekend past, the Center was honored to host some much needed “away” time from the daily grind aboard the Center’s trawler M/V VAGO off the coast of San Diego.  A little fun in the sun goes a long way towards finding inner peace and becoming mindful of our environment.  Thanks, guys.  We enjoyed the day too!  Please Visit The Grounds



Oct 17th Mindfulness Workshop Now Registering


Mindful Living Workshop

Liberate your Mind, Body, and Spirit in just 2 hours!

Benefits from participating in this Transformational Workshop include:KatyJoyEdit4

  • Increased Self-Compassion and Acceptance
  • Peace of mind
  • Gain control of addictive behaviors and thoughts
  • Increased positive responses to difficult situations
  • Release old thought patterns that block your joy
  • Improved mood
  • Calmed nervous system
  • Improved mental clarity, focus, and concentration

October 17, 2015 at our Cardiff Office, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

For the past decade Katy Joy has been leading individuals and groups in Mindfulness practices with consistent positive results that have led many to lead a Happy, Healthy, and Balanced Life. Her easy-going and gentle approach helps participants quickly learn the tools necessary to improve mental, physical, and emotional health.

Only $175.00. Participation is limited to 6 individuals, so it will fill up quickly. Call now to ensure your place in this exciting and fun workshop – (760) 634-1704.


A Special “Family of Origin” Intensive in July


inspirational_womenWe are Pleased to Announce Our

“Family of Origin and Relational Trauma Weekend Intensive”

Julieann Myers, LCSW, MAC, EMDR and CSAT Certified Founder of The Center For Healthy Change and Sarah Bridge, LCSW, Trainer of Pia Mellody Post Induction Therapy will be co-facilitating our next Intensive Weekend Together. Julieann and Sarah offer a dynamic experience in moving to the next level of your relational healing! This is a special offering for Women Only. This intensive is limited to six participants.

Dates and Times: Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, July 24,25,26

Call as soon as possible to enroll – 760-634-1704

Join us in this very special event that can “jump start” your recovery from long-standing behavioral patterns in relationships that maintain a lack of intimacy and connection. The Intensive Weekend Sessions are based on the work of Pia Mellody and Post Induction Therapy. Individuals participate in a safe, small group (no more than six participants). This is a unique opportunity to explore the effects of developmental relational trauma from early childhood in one’s current relationships. It is called an “Intensive” because a great deal of work is done in a short period of time. Each participant will experience a three-phase model. The process is guided by highly skilled and sensitive therapists trained in facilitating a process that can be relationship and life changing.

The first phase is Informational : Participants will be introduced to the model and the basis for treatment. We will explore how the precious child is influenced by early relational trauma and the impact these experiences have on self esteem, boundaries, sense of reality, dependency, relationship to self and others, and moderation issues.

Debriefing Phase: During this phase participants will be guided through the

process of re-examining their family of origin relationships and identifying accompanying feelings.

Experiential Phase: During this phase the participant will be gently guided through techniques to assist with healing childhood relational wounds. In a safe environment the participant releases the painful feelings and carried emotions of the past and reclaims their personal power.

What Participants can take away: Participants can leave with a new set of skills, techniques, and resources to continue personal growth practice healthy boundaries.

How to Overcome Neediness


Please enjoy this useful and insightful note from our friend, Dr. Craig Malkin

“We’re only as needy as our unmet needs.” — Founder of Attachment Theory, John Bowlby

Have you ever felt needy? What comes to mind when you hear the word? Most of us consider it one of the worst possible invectives to hurl at another human being, conjuring stark images of pitiable panic and desperation. We imagine tearful pleas (“give me another chance!images“), angry accusations (“you’ve never really cared!”), and late-night calls and text messages demanding an immediate response (“where are you?”). When we’re gripped by the terror of neediness, we feel completely out of control. When we bear witness to it, we feel confused and overwhelmed, wondering if any amount of reassurance will ever be enough. How can we understand these moments? More importantly, how can the needy find relief? As ill-defined as the experience of neediness seems to be, psychologists have made great strides in unpacking this complex state of mind. One line of research, which emerged from an attempt to better understand depression, sheds a good deal of light on what makes neediness so incredibly painful. Defining neediness, rather inelegantly, as “a generalized, undifferentiated dependence on others and feelings of helplessness and fears of desertion and abandonment, ” the investigators discovered that it has an important relationship to depression. The needy often feel hopeless and unhappy. But that’s the least surprising finding in these studies. You’ll notice that the diffuse, inchoate nature of neediness is woven into its definition. That turns out to be extremely important, because there’s a related factor,connectedness — “a valuing of relationships and sensitivity to the effects of our actions on others” — that has relatively little to do with depression. Both items are part of the same scale, dependency, but neediness, it seems, is the unhealthy version of our craving for contact, marked more by helplessness, fear, and passivity than any clear emotional request. The connected are open about what they want from relationships. The same can’t be said for the needy. To be sure, the needy want something — insatiably, in fact — but short of instant attention and constant reassurance, it isn’t terribly clear to themselves or anyone around them what exactly they’re looking for. This is perhaps the most vexing thing about neediness. It gnaws at us, driving us to chase after contact, advice, signs of love, but none of these actions seem to quell its fury. And now we know why. When researchers put neediness under the microscope, they find overwhelming fear, not need, at its unseemly core. Neediness is the formless shadow of healthy dependency. Attachment researchers, who also examine needy behavior, have arrived at a similar conclusion. At the heart of attachment theory is the assumption that we all — all of us — have a basic, primal drive to connect. It’s wired into us, after millions of years of evolution, because on our own, we humans are weak, relatively defenseless creatures. That’s why emotional isolation registers in one of the most primitive areas of our brain — the amygdala — as a life-and-death situation (scientists call this the “primal panic”). The anxiously attached lack any faith that emotional closeness will endure because they were often abandoned or neglected as children, and now, as adults, they frantically attempt to silence the “primal panic” in their brain by doing anything it takes to keep connection. In short, they become needy. (The avoidantly attached shut their dependency needs and feelings off altogether to escape the pain of having their longings ignored or rejected.) It’s not need, then, that engenders neediness. It’s fear– fear of our own needs for connection and the possibility that they won’t ever be met. That’s what hurtles us into the abject despair of neediness. The only way to get rid of a need is to satisfy it, and the more anxious we are about having it, the more quickly we want it met. Overcoming neediness therefore demands that we disentangle the need from the fear, and there a number of ways to do this:

1. Breathe. If you recognize that fear is the problem, not loneliness or a desire for contact, you can escape the suffocating grasp of the neediness by using stress management skills. Go for a run, meditate, do diaphragmatic breathing — all of these will reduce your anxiety, along with your impulse to act out of neediness.

2. Get connected. The researchers discovered a healthy version of dependency, one that involves a valuing of relationships. It’s not just more active, it’s more direct. Make clear requests. Neediness is all about blindly reaching when you don’t even know what you’re reaching for. Connectedness is about effectively depending on others.

3. Practice emotional mindfulness. Rather than acting on what you think you need, sit down and write about the feelings you’re having. Are you afraid of being alone? What’s it like to simply focus on that without trying to flee it by seeking contact? Instead of trying to get rid of the feeling, try to understand it. Not only does that make it easier for you to recognize and express your needs more clearly, it teaches you how to tolerate them.

4. Take stock of your relationships. Needy people often attract dates or friends who reinforce their neediness — people who crave connection, just like everybody else, but seem loathe to express the desire (they’re often avoidant). If your fear is that the phone will stop ringing if you don’t call, ask yourself, am I the one who always seeks contact or reassurance? Am I OK with that?

5. Make room for your needs. When we hate or fear our needs, it only makes them more intense because we’re tempted to hide or disguise them. That not only makes them confusing for others, but harder to satisfy.

How you express your needs — whether for closeness, reassurance, contact, or love — will change dramatically once you start taking them seriously because you’ll have a far better understanding of what they are and where they come from. When all is said and done, the key to overcoming neediness is to respect your needs for connection instead of fearing them. When you do, the chaos of neediness gives way to the clarity of intimacy. And everyone’s happier for it.

See Julieann speak on the Sexual Health Paradigm

A Special Presentation for Professionals:  Bridging the Gap between Sex Addiction Treatment and Sexual Health   

Orange County WAAT Tuesday, August 5th – 8:30am-10:00am – National University *3390 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa* Speaker: Julieann Myers. Topic:Bridging the Gap between Sex Addiction sexTreatment and Sexual Health:  An Integrated Paradigm. This Presentation seeks to achieve the following objectives: Objective 1- Participants will learn about an integrated paradigm for treating Out of control sexual behavior and Sex Addiction Objective 2- Participants will learn about the theories & treatment approaches that are effective in long term recovery from compulsive sexual behavior and sex addiction Objective 3- Participants will learn about the gaps and pitfalls of treating sex addiction without a balanced “sexual health” paradigm for long term recovery    Please contact RaeEllen Ellis at 949-584-7733 or visit with questions.

Reframing and Rebirth


The power of reframing our self-perception brings with it tremendous power.  Watch and listen as we experience an inspiring example of one woman’s challenge  -and her Rebirth through “Reframing.”  If you stay-with this video, you will be rewarded.

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