Guidelines for Biofeedback Reviews of Training Sessions
Link to Assignments Page
Following each training session, you will complete a review of the session. This writing has three goals:
To apply the language of the field in writing
To assess the efficacy of the process
To improve critical thinking
Specificity of response is important. Because you are asked to consider how this training generalized, you will need to give yourself time after a session to allow changes to become apparent. Responses will be typed and may be submitted electronically. All labs need to be completed by Friday, April 20th. Labs submitted after that date will not receive full credit.
There are seven questions to which you will respond:
1. Focus: Are you focusing on one particular system or on the interrelationship of more than one?
2. Choice: Perhaps you are intrigued by how your body might respond under specific circumstances. Perhaps you were interested in some research that was done in this area and would like to explore it on your own. You might be aware of that difficulties in regulating this particular system are indicative of a problem you’d like to address. You might want to test your own powers of manipulating regulating system.
3. Protocol: Specify exactly which system, what instrumentation, what sensors, who the preparation was conducted, what the temperature was in the room, and any other potentially confounding circumstances that existed such as excessive noise, recent exercise, sleep, dietary issues, or ingestion of controlled substances. “Training was conducted using Freeze Framer. The photoplethysmograph was placed on the left middle finger and the left had rested on the thigh. The room temp was a comfortable 79 but as I sat quietly I did began to feel chilled at that temperature. The hallway conversation was initially difficult to ignore but as I trained I tuned it out.”
4. Psychophysiological Terms: Here is where you will apply the language you acquire in readings and lectures. Rather than reiterate what S & A use, try to explain the interrelationships of physical, emotional and cognitive domains.
5. Training Experience: Be sure you are focusing on the training experience rather than equipment questions or confounds you had. How did you determine that your data was accurate? What was your baseline? How were you able to cause changes from the baseline(s)? If you were working with more than one parameter, what relationships did you see in changes among the parameters?
6. Generalizing: After the session was over and you had left the lab, how were you aware of applying the skills you‘d learned? In what ways did you experience changes in your behavior, physiology or cognitive state?
7. Follow-up session: How would you build on the session you’ve just had? Would you intensify your challenges? Would you try to increase the duration of your response time? Would you try to find links to other parameters as challenge? Did another related application occur to you that you’d like to explore?
Based on the expectation that the author will adequately address the seven aspects described above, please critique the following response to a biofeedback training session:
“I went in to do some skin training. I chose this training because I sometimes get sweaty hands and I thought maybe I could learn to train myself not to do that. I used the thing where you put the sensors on your two fingers. The psychophysiology of this kind of training is that when you are nervous your hands sweat so if you teach yourself not to let your hands sweat you are actually teaching yourself to be unnervous. When I tried this I was surprised by how much I could change the level. After I left I tried to remember what it felt like to control my skin conductance level and I was able to do that. I think it is wonderful to be able to control your skin conductance level and I think everyone should try it.”