Brain Magic: Making Your Life Come True

Welcome to my blog on brain-training: Brain Magic—Making Your Life Come True.

In more than 20 years of doing this work—and teaching others to do it for clients and for themselves—I’ve sought to develop a system that takes advantage of the most functional technology available while making it practical and accessible.

Technologies are often produced by engineers and marketers. Rarely do people who apply the technology get a chance to participate in developing it. The result is that what is available has lots of the bells and whistles marketers find attractive and a level of complexity that engineers don’t even notice. Both of these tend to make the technology less useful and more daunting to the end user.

When I started, our mission was summed up in the phrase, “by trainers for trainers.” We don’t manufacture hardware or write software. We put things together that make sense financially and functionally, and we produce bridges and tools to produce integrated easy-to-learn systems. We sell enough of them that our feedback to the manufacturers carries some weight.

Most important—as trainers ourselves, we can remember the confusion with which we faced this amazing intersection of neurology/digital signal processing/EEG/family systems and computer science. Our commitment to support is personal, and it’s built into the way we do business.

Some parts of the professional community see us as pariahs because you don’t need a license or prescription to purchase from us. We don’t believe that “lay-people can’t do it”, as we are often told—that training is dangerous. We provide the same level of support to a coach or teacher or tutor or parent that we would to a clinician. The result? Normal everyday people often produce remarkable life-changing results.

Because we want to make the highest-quality training available to as many people as possible, we commit to putting together complete functional packages of hardware and software at prices half or less than less-powerful systems. Clinicians who buy from us can provide reasonably priced services without worrying about paying off large initial investments. And both clinicians and lay users can begin working quickly, since accessibility is designed into the system.

As neurofeedback has grown and developed a popular literature and internet presence, there has been an increasingly rigid view of what it is and how it works. This conventional wisdom is repeated unthinkingly over and over to the point that many of us don’t even realize the degree to which we’ve swallowed a set of assumptions supporting a particular point of view.

Anyone who says he knows what brain training is or how and why it works is fooling at least himself. The different viewpoints I will set forth here are no more right or wrong than any others, but I think you will find them freeing.

Over the course of this blog we will move from an overview of the field as I see it into detailed discussions of brain patterns, assessment and training approaches. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and find the trip as fascinating as I have.


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            brain-trainer Blog by Peter Van Deusen
            Peter Van Deusen has been training brains (including his own) and trainers since 1992. He’s been called “the Johnny Appleseed of neurofeedback” for his commitment to making sophisticated technology accessible to professional and lay users alike. This blog will become his book on brain training, combining practical and theoretical material.