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New counseling center offers breakthrough addiction treatment program

By Staff | May 9, 2016

The Renovo Center is located at 150 E. Burr Boulevard in the Washington Building and is an integrative mental health and substance abuse counseling and training center. What makes Renovo different from other centers is that is offers a brain-based treatment approach with neurofeedback programs tailored to the individual.

Melissa Swartz, one of the founders of The Renovo Center said she had her own private practice for more than four years, but noticed how difficult it was for people with medicaid insurances to get treatment, and that there was a shortage of counselors in the area, so she wanted to open a center to meet these needs.

“We felt like it was the right thing to do to serve more people,” said Swartz. “Unfortunately, with the substance abuse issue in our area-the need is really high and the families of people who are suffering with addiction need lots of support, too.”

Randy Marcoz, pastoral counselor and trainer at the center, provides weekly support and substance abuse and education training for family members of abusers.

“Another program that we provide is the ‘nurturing parenting’ program,” said Swartz. “This is for parents who are in substance abuse treatment and recovery. It’s pretty intensive. The groups meet three times a week, they have two neurofeedback sessions a week and one individual therapy session per week and it runs for eight weeks.”

Neurofeedback is not a new concept, but is new to the area. It is a non-invasive way to train the brain using sensors to read brain activity and then a computer system compares brain waves to goals for behavior.

Using an EEG amplifier, the client will watch brain wave images on a screen and hear sounds that retrain the brain through positive reinforcement. Once healthier brain patterns are learned and practiced, those patterns tend to hold.

“The power of the brain waves are picked up and reflected through a fractal image,” said Swartz. “The brain waves are moving around and they are more clear the longer they are in the training zone and less clear when they come out. That positive reward, over time, helps the brain spend more time in balance because it’s pleasing.”

Swartz continued, “Our brains are 100 percent reward-driven. When we’re in balance, we like those natural rewards and when we’re stressed out, we’ll go for artificial rewards to please ourselves, like substance abuse and various addictions.”

Neurofeedback addresses numerous problems of brain disregulation. These can include anxiety, depression, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PTSD and other emotional disturbances. This treatment is also used for Autism spectrum disorders.

“When a client comes in we do an assessment based on their symptoms, and then we choose protcols,” said Swart. “These protocols help with decreasing arousal, increasing arousal, reducing nightmares, improving their sleep. These things are connected and it (neurofeedback) can help the brain get back to balance and regulate itself.”

The Renovo Center has 14 counselors and staff who’s mission is to offer “no shame” traditional counseling along with integrative treatment options like nutritional, spiritual, individual, family and group counseling, in addition to the neurofeedback treatments.

For more information on The Renovo Center, visit them online at www.renovocenter.com or call 681-242-8819.