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Presenter: Hanno Kirk, PhD, MSSW
In 2014 a group of Neurofeedback instructors trained five doctors of Tibetan medicine at the Men Tsee Kang Clinic in Dharamsala, India in how to use Neurofeedback. They left 4 Cygnet systems with them with intent that they would be primarily used for treating the PTSD of Tibetan refugees escaping torture and brutal treatment by the Chinese. In our interviews with the same doctors a year later we had some surprising findings. We found that they experienced some barriers to using NF we had not foreseen. One important one was that our Western assumptions about reaction to severe trauma, did not conform with Buddhist beliefs on suffering. We were able to discuss these findings with the Dalai Lama at his request in a private audience at his residence in Dharamsala. Details of the lively discussion that ensued are described. As the patron of the Mind Science Foundation he was knowldegeable about Neurofeedback and enthusiastically endorsed our recommendations for re-orienting our approach. We are now working with the Tibetan Children’s Villages, a system of schools caring for and educating thousands of Tibetan orphans. They have embraced NF as a tool for children with developmental, psychological, and learning issues. A training was provided to the counselors from TCV and the Pathfinder School in Dera in March 2017.
The presentation provides food for thought on how to overcome cultural and other practical barriers to the successful use of Neurofeedback in other societies.