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Using biofeedback techniques to enhance therapeutic response

Elana Cohen

Alexandra, a 54 year old female, presented for treatment with a complexity of symptoms which included developmental trauma, poor self-regulation, social isolation, depression, anxiety and a borderline personality structure. She agreed to participate in a six-month study, which included two interventions, Psychotherapy and Biofeedback. The presentation will focus on this single case study which aimed to examine whether Biofeedback techniques (in this instance Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback) could enhance Psychotherapy outcomes.

Biofeedback as an intervention is explained along with how the study was designed to integrate Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback into a Psychotherapy (the Conversational Model) process. The overall results of the study, and the extent of Alexandra’s therapeutic response are discussed.

This study was undertaken for a Masters of Science in Medicine (Psychotherapy) treatise.

6th Annual conference: Westmead Psychotherapy Program for Complex traumatic Disorders.
From Trauma to Recovery
24th August 2012, Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia

Elana Cohen
Elana  Cohen
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Elana Cohen


Elana Cohen
BSc Psychology (Hons), MScMed (Psychotherapy)

Elana is a psychologist and psychotherapist with extensive experience in working with trauma. She also has an interest in biofeedback, in particular Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback, which is an evidence-based treatment modality.  Prior to her career as a psychologist and psychotherapist Elana spent 18 years in the corporate sector. She is a clinical member of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP), a member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP), an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and is Secretary to the APS Neurofeedback and Psychology Interest Group.  She is also an active member of the ASCA Clinical Advisory Committee and the ANZAP Education Sub-Committee. Elana works in private practice. 



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