The other night we were making our 34th trip of 2018 to the Chinese buffet when a billboard caught my eye. I saw the word neuro and instantly googled the advertisement, only to find that it was for a “brain performance” center that utilizes EEG biofeedback therapy to treat a range of ailments from ADHD and Anxiety to PTSD and Depression. Which sounds about perfect, really. Especially seeing as how I have the kind of brain that likes to go into dissociative fugues whenever I get too overwhelmed to tolerate reality. Not to mention I love morbid things, and abnormal neurology is definitely up there. (I’m going to visit Medizinhistorisches Museum or die trying).
And of course I took everything I learned in DBT about consulting my emotional and rational mind to come to a wise mind decision and threw it right the fuck out the window. I filled out the contact form while dreaming of crab rangoon and this newfound hope in tasting what this elusive “better” felt like. But mostly just Chinese food…
The next day I got a voicemail from a chipper sounding woman requesting a call back. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t just send a qEEG machine to the house. Like those spit-on DNA tests. I’d take a few selfies in my brain mapping cap, push a couple of buttons, wait 4 – 6 weeks, and voila! A full report of all my abnormalities, neatly categorized into sections such as trauma-induced, and genetic. It all sounded too good to be true.
Maybe that’s why I did virtually no research into this company before setting up an appointment for next week. It would cost $2,200 to have the mapping done and a 30-session customized treatment plan, but the initial assessment (where I get to actually look at my brain) seemed worth $250. I joked to David that I liked brains enough that I should just figure out how to run a qEEG machine myself. I looked into it, just for shits and giggles. It turns out it’s really not all that difficult to get certified; you don’t even need any medical background. Which is… somewhat concerning when I take into consideration that these people are going to be literally re-programming my brain.
There are seriously only four steps to becoming certified with the International qEEG Certification Board.
Step One: Submit an application to let the board know that you’re interested in obtaining certification. There is a $200 application fee, of course. Is there even a guarantee that you’ll get accepted, or… >.>
Step Two: Get mentored. Basically all this means is to get some who’s certified to look over 5 qEEGs. The Diplomate(s) decide whether your qEEGs are shit or not, and then fills out a form. Presumably for a lot of money.
Step Three: Literally just take whatever course you want from this list of variably suspect entities. So I could be sitting there asking questions about my TBI to someone who took Pelvic Floor Disorders /UI- Behavioral Assessment and Intervention. They’ll tell me to do more kegels and send me on my way with an even bigger bill. Also who’s going to pay $750 to learn about PELVIC FLOOR DISORDERS when they want to learn to operate a qEEG machine?!
Step Four: Take an exam. Okay, that’s reasonable at least. And another $150, of course.
And there you have it. Perhaps this is oversimplifying things, but I was feeling slightly discouraged by this point. I decided to do more research on how this mapping tells these “diplomates” how to intervene, and came across the following from Qeeqsupport:
“QEEGers without an appropriately sophisticated model of how the brain works will be tempted to stick the intervening electrodes on areas that ‘light up’ with some color in a map. The area is likely to be an artifact, a normal finding, a normal variant or even the proper area for intervention. It may also be an effect of a distant cause or change in brain regulation.”
So basically they’re going to play Operation with my brain and hope for the best? That’s a little cringe-worthy…
Then of course a simple Google search showed that, of all people, Betsy DeVos has apparently “investested millions” into this company. I only skimmed the article, because I was completely sold on cancelling my appointment after learning this, but it (as suspected) seems to be “promising more than it can deliver”.
Not to mention there’s a Groupon for the initial assessment…
This is starting to sound more and more like some kind of Scientology scheme or a cult rather than a legitimate way to fight the brain weasels. Maybe it’s actually the brain weasels in disguise, trying to plant MORE brain weasels in our heads! I’m onto you, brain weasels…