When Minneapolis rapper Dessa broke up with her long time boyfriend she was broken, as most of us are following a tough-to-take heartbreak. What Dessa went through following this however was a painful year of agony, anxiety and a sense of overwhelming regret at what had taken place. As she confesses, this particular breakup agony was one which was not going away quickly.
“You’re not only suffering,” she says, “you’re just sort of ridiculous. Discipline and dedication are my strong suits — it really bothered me that, no matter how much effort I tried to expend in trying to solve this problem, I was stuck.”
In her search to solve this problem, the young rapper happened to see a TED talk given by biological anthropologist and visiting research associate Helen Fisher, and the topic was neurofeedback therapy. Dessa’s attention piqued and once the talk was done, she made an appointment at a nearby neurofeedback Centre
, which turned out to be just what she’d been looking for.
What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?
This treatment option uses highly advanced computer technology which is able to give us a clear image of what happens to the brain when we are in certain situations or feeling certain emotions. The idea behind this therapy is to create a conscious image of what our brains are doing, so that we can then learn to regulate our reaction to particular circumstances.
Removing Feelings of Love
The talk which Fisher gave was about her findings in looking into the brains of love-struck people, to see exactly what was taking place at various points in the brain, and to gain some level of quantifiable measurement for what love is.
“That you could objectively measure and observe ‘love’ — that had never occurred to me before,”
After making this realization, Dessa then began to consider the fact that if this could be measured, it could also be managed and this therapy could very well be the key to helping her get over her ex.
Tackling The Problem
Whilst the question as to whether or not EEG therapy
would be able to help mend a broken heart has never been formally answered, Dessa was prepared to take the problem on and give this option a try. After nine sessions of neurofeedback therapy, the young rapper felt a clear improvement with regards to her emotions and her reactions to certain memories or situations.
“Before, I felt that I was really under the thumb of a fixation and a compulsion, and now it feels like those feelings have been scaled down”.
These emotions which Dessa describes are congruent with the results which many other patients find from the treatment. The most commonly reported results are an increased ability to concentrate
, less stress, more clarity and a better ability to organize and compartmentalize thoughts and emotions.
So what exactly could have happened during those 9 sessions which brought about this improvement in emotions? There are in fact a number of possible solutions here. The first is that being made conscious of a problem, even one in the brain, makes it far easier for us to take actions to fix it. Secondly this could have been a placebo effect, or perhaps as was suggested to her, this emotional pain had been attached to a physical organ that she would be able to have a positive impact on.
As to how this took place is of course one for the scientists, but the big thing that we can take from this is that we may very well be a step closer to helping the heartbroken move on with their lives.