Kathleen Calabrese, PhD LMFT BCN
Hi, and welcome. My name is Dr. Kathy Calabrese, Licensed Marriage and Family Systems therapist, Neurofeedback clinician, and most recently, creator and CEO of The Brain-Body Health Technology Institute, LLC. I hope the information you find here will support and encourage you as you search for a way to feel better, but before you begin to explore what we have to offer, let me tell you about myself.
I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, attended State College of New York at Buffalo where I earned an MS in special Education. I completed my PhD in Counseling/Educational Psychology in 1984, and went on to complete a Post-Doctoral program in Family Systems therapy at the University of Rochester Medical School, Dept. of Psychiatry. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in New York state and I have maintained a private practice in Buffalo, New York city, and the Catskills since 1985. I am currently practicing in Buffalo, New York.
In 2007 while living in the Catskills, I was introduced to Neurofeedback when I read a review of The Healing Power of Neurofeedback by Stephen Larsen, PhD. Since that time, I have continued to study and provide neurofeedback services to my clients and have become Board Certified in Neurofeedback.
Frank H. Duffy, a professor and pediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School, said that scholarly literature suggests that neurofeedback “should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used. It is a field to be taken seriously by all.”
BREATHTAKING ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE CHANGING THE WAY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AND CONSUMERS ARE PARTNERING IN THE PROCESS OF SUPPORTING THE BRAIN-BODY’S ABILITY TO FIND ITS WAY BACK TO OPTIMAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING.
It has become clear that when people are empowered with information and introduced to non-invasive techniques that will enable them to experience improvement in a wide range of symptoms, their quality of life and sense of well-being improves.
WNY’s commitment to providing cutting-edge care and treatment is one reason why the quality of life in our community continues to grow.
The Brain-Body Health Technology Institute, LLC is committed to providing non-invasive, drug-free, effective treatment for symptoms related to:
ADD/ADHD Brain Fog
Anxiety and Depression Pain
PTSD Developmental Trauma Symptoms related to Concussion Reactive Anger
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Addiction
I have discovered that the Photonic Stimulator can and does provide relief from pain because it supports relaxation and reduces inflammation. Also, the LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System), when applied to the body, can and does provide relief from pain, and as we know, pain is often a symptom of a dysregulated brain–a brain that is “stuck” in patterns that keep it from returning to balance or homeostasis. Clarity Direct Neurofeedback is amazingly effective in supporting the brain’s journey from dysregulation to balance.
Testimonials:My Experience with Neurofeedback: A Client’s Journey What led me to seek help I have led a life that has been full of trauma. I came into this world 41 years ago, the product of a schizophrenic birthmother who was most likely on all sorts of medication for her affliction. I was then immediately placed into a foster home, where I bonded with my eventual adoptive family. After three years of visits with my birthmother, which were full of tears and tantrums, ultimately the courts ruled in favor of my foster family, and I was officially a part of a family. These first few years of uncertainty, of being shuffled back and forth and not having any real sense of stability, set the stage for the rest of my life. As I went through my childhood, I was subjected to physical abuse, mainly from my alcoholic adoptive father. I was involved in several car accidents in my adolescence as well, which also added to the traumatic lifestyle I was becoming accustomed to. As a young adult, I married a man who ended up beating me constantly. He also murdered two of my pet cats with his bare hands, threatening that I and my family would be next. I eventually left this man, but at that point I did what a lot of people who don’t have good coping skills do: I turned to drugs. The next 20 years were spent experimenting with different drugs, starting with pot and psychedelics, ultimately progressing to cocaine and opioids. I have sought the help of counselors and therapists several times over the course of my life, but there was no real treatment that was effective enough to change my life. Ultimately this led to be being on more drugs, as I was treated for depression with a variety of cocktails, all which just kept my brain in a fog and made me seek out illegal drugs even more. As I progressed through my 30’s, working steadily and happily “partying”, the trauma didn’t cease. I was engaged to be married again and was busy planning a bright happy future when early one morning, the FBI stormed my house. My fiancé was arrested. This was a debilitating blow to me, as I struggled to support all aspects of the legal and moral implications of the crime he was charged with. This event served as a catalyst that tore some relationships apart, and separated family and friends in a way that is inexplicable. As my fiancé went to prison to serve his 10 years, I was left to pick up the pieces. By this time, my brain and was being pumped full of so many drugs, including but not limited to: Lexapro, Abilify, Wellbutrin, Ambien, Xanax, Blood pressure and cholesterol meds, pot, cocaine, Lortabs, alcohol, and anything else I could find. Yet to the outside world, I appeared to be functioning normally. I was promoted several times at work, my family had no clue about my addictions, and I had a thriving social life. But my brain was in a fog, and I continued to push danger to the limits. I began meeting random men online and engaged in numerous sexual acts with them. I even unwittingly allowed one of them access to my house. He then proceeded to burglarize me while I was at work, taking pretty much anything of value and selling it right under my nose. By this point I was no longer able to perform basic housekeeping functions. My house became an episode of Hoarders. I was starting to come apart. My ability to keep up with the pace of my job began to fail, and the illegal drug use was growing. I knew I had to get help, but I didn’t know where to begin. And not only was the depression getting worse, so was my anxiety. I would call into work some days because I physically couldn’t get out of bed. I tried calling help lines, but all they did was refer me around to different agencies that told me I didn’t qualify for their services. And my experiences with therapists and counselors in the past were so poor that I didn’t trust going to them. But then I found the website of Kathleen Calabrese, PhD. There was something very genuine and strong about this website that I placed a call to her in August of 2014. But unfortunately, due to insurance reasons, I was unable (or unwillingly) to start treatment. By December of that same year, however, I was ready. I needed to do something. Thus, in the first week of January of 2015, I began the most amazing journey of my life. The Wonder of Neurofeedback Once I began counseling, I was asked what would make my time in therapy a success. I wasn’t really sure, as I knew that erasing my traumatic past wasn’t an option. Instead, I decided to focus on my addiction. Deep down I knew it was killing me, and I wanted to somehow be free of that. We discussed the option of neurofeedback, which was a concept entirely foreign to me. I figured I was already pumping my body full of everything else, so why not give this a try. The treatment itself was very simple. It was comfortable and I really didn’t feel anything during the process itself. If I paid close attention, I could feel “shifts” in how I was feeling. For example, one brain site would make me feel relaxed; another would make me fatigued, or anxious. Eventually I was able to get to a point where I just relaxed and let my mind wander wherever it wanted to go during the treatment session. I do have to be honest. Things got worse before they got better. I was continuing to abuse drugs, especially cocaine and opioids. As I was diving into my past and was explaining my experiences, I found I was unable to let go of my addictions, as they were the only coping skill I had. I had several breakdowns, each one leaving me more vulnerable than the last. I was still struggling to maintain my life of work and family, but it was becoming increasingly more difficult. I would leave on my lunch hour at work, go score some pain killers or coke, go back to my office, and take them just to get through the day. Then I’d go home, take Ambien to crash, and start all over the next day. I would always try to “clean up” or “clear my head” by the weekend to attend to family, but I just ended up feeling so lethargic due to withdrawal that I would need to get more drugs in order to get through the work week again. Any addict understands this vicious cycle, the one where it’s no longer recreational use, but something your brain truly needs in order to function. I was calling into work more and more, coming up with every excuse in the book. By the end of April of 2015, 4 months into treatment, my employment ended. Now, I look back and realize that my work environment was actually a significant toxic environment full of poor management and bullying that was not conducive to my well-being, and once I was out of that environment I was able to truly focus on my recovery. From May until September, I began letting go of the drugs. I started with the “easy” ones. I took myself off of Lexapro, Abilify, and Wellbutrin first. My therapist and I tried working with my primary doctor, but sometimes the medical community is not easy to collaborate with, and my requests went ignored by my primary. As I went off of my anti-depressants, I continued to receive neurotherapy on a regular basis. (This is the time period where things become very muddled for me, so please excuse m y recollections if they become incoherent or appear to be random thoughts) My abuse of cocaine and opiates began to decrease as I became more involved with the neuro. Then the fear and anxiety came. And it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I became unable to leave my house without huge overwhelming anxiety. My family was bringing me groceries because even the most basic activities I was unable to do. I experienced horrible dreams, and my thoughts were incoherent, filled with the horrors of abuse I had suffered, the dangerous situations I had put myself into over the span of my adult life, and just the overall fear of the world. I really don’t know how to put these emotions into words. Thoughts of suicide were at the front of my mind every single day, and I fought that battle with every ounce of my being. Even writing about those months right now reminds me of how I never want to feel that way again. My therapist was with me every step of the way, in daily contact with me if I needed it. And it is she that gave meaning to all that I was experiencing. I came to understanding that the neurofeedback was “lifting” all of these suppressed feelings. I had survived all of these traumatic events by suppressing everything as it was happening in order to function. And now I was experiencing all of the feelings full force. I came to understand that the fear I was feeling was from the past, and that I had the power to make myself safe in the present. I was practicing new coping skills, including some hypnosis cd’s to help me sleep at night, to bring myself off of the Ambien and to calm my anxiety. Then something amazing happened. When I relapsed and took some painkillers and cocaine, my brain and my body rejected them. I no longer felt the same high. I would become sick, and that led me to no longer want them. I still craved that feeling, but as I began going longer and longer without them, I realized something had shifted in my brain, and the fear, anxiety, and depression had begun to diminish. I began to fill my days with being more actively involved in caring for myself and my surroundings, and slowly began to reenter life on my terms. My Life Today - 1 ½ years after starting treatment I did it! I beat my addictions! The highs I feel today are real, and are natural. My life is far from perfect, but it is amazing! Neurofeedback changed my life, and gave my brain the support it needed to not just beat addiction, but to control my depression and anxiety in a way that no drug ever did. I still receive treatments every two weeks to help maintain where I’m at, and it is absolutely fantastic. I can’t find the words to explain it. When I feel depressed, it’s temporary – and I’m able to pinpoint exactly what event is making me feel that way (i.e.: my dad having to go into an assisted living home) Once I understand why I’m feeling that way, I’m able to put it into context, allow myself to feel it, and then I find that I’m able to once again feel in control and feel good. When I feel anxious, I am able to pinpoint what it is that is making me feel that way, put it into context, and move on. After over 20 years on some type of drug, including prescription anti-depressants, the most important realization is I don’t need them. I no longer want to numb myself. And that to me is the most amazing feeling in the world. As I finish writing this, I find myself crying. It was very difficult to put the journey of the last year and a half into words. I had to go back and in a way relive the terrors and hopelessness I felt. But the tears that are falling – they are tears of joy, and of pride, and of hope. But I guess I want to end by saying that if you want your life back, if you want to be free of addiction and be able to handle life on your own terms, please consider neurofeedback as a valid and effective alternative in your journey. I wouldn’t change one moment of what I’ve experienced, even when it was impossible to see life on the other side. Kathleen Calabrese, PhD Brain-Body Health Technology Institute, LLC www.brainbodyhealthtechnology.com firstname.lastname@example.org 716 725 8135
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