Our COVID-19 Response:
Recovery from COVID-19 sometimes leaves a person with unusual symptoms such as fluctuating temperature, confusion, short term memory disruption, or reduced awareness of one’s surroundings. Neurofeedback may help with these symptoms, and a brain map will certainly give insight into which brain functions may be impaired.
For your protection, we have implemented a strict protocol for all patients including wearing masks, gloves, and temperature readings. For information or an appointment please call us at 858-952-7660.
Neurofeedback provides brain regulation which has helped many improve unwanted behaviors.
Experiencing mood stabilization and no longer feeling ‘on the edge’
Ability to focus seamlessly on varying tasks whether at work or school
Sleeping restfully through the night and waking up energized
Feeling grounded and able to cope with a past trauma
Navigating life amid emerging environmental anxiety
Maintaining mental clarity enabling you to make your best decisions, regardless of age
Finally, a different approach for those with mental illness
Do you have…
Insomnia, attention deficit behaviors, a traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, a mood disorder or another mental illness? Are you experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one? Is your child or family member on the autism spectrum? Or perhaps you feel a cognitive decline due to aging. The list of concerns is endless, but neurofeedback brain training can address all of them by guiding your brain to self-regulation.
At the Alpha Theta Center, we combine the worlds of cutting edge computational neuroscience and consumer knowledge. This is not an easy task, for it involves not only comprehending the research but packaging it so it is easy for everyone to understand. Our neurofeedback protocols are highly personalized and rooted in computational neuroscience. We implement the research into our clinical operations.
See neurofeedback in action at
The Alpha Theta Center
We discuss your needs and goals to see how neurofeedback can benefit you.
We work with you to train your brain using visual and auditory feedback.
We map your brain so the doctor can create a custom neurofeedback protocol for you.
Neurofeedback is a personalized training approach which guides your central nervous system towards efficient self-regulation. Our process often results in improved cognitive function, emotional stability, and dynamic communication within brain networks. First, we use a 19 channel EEG cap to record your brainwaves also called a 'qEEG' or 'brain mapping'. We then (a) analyze your raw EEG data, (b) create topological brain maps, and (c) perform Independent Component Analysis thus giving us a variety of EEG data necessary to create your customized neurofeedback protocol.
What is Neurofeedback?
Using computer technology and software, neurofeedback is a technical approach that uses real-time audio and video displays of your brain’s electrical activity that teaches you how to regulate your brain's different states.This approach is quite engaging and teaches you to attain a relaxed state of awareness often associated with neural efficiency.
Neurofeedback session are generally done in 60 minute appointments where individual surface electrodes are placed on designated scalp locations. The resulting monitored brain wave activity is then fed back to the brain via visual, auditory, or kinesthetic feedback. This dynamic feedback process can be imagined as showing your brain a mirror thus enabling it to self-correct. An individual generally feels more relaxed by the end of every session.
How does Neurofeedback Work?
We offer many different services to meet your needs
Goal Oriented Neurofeedback
Traumatic Brain Injury
MATLAB / EEGLAB
Clinical therapy services specializing in two domains: psychological symptoms and neurophysiological conditions
Counseling/ Psychological Services
TMS Coming Soon!
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a FDA approved non-invasive therapy for depression and OCD. We are launching June 2021.
EEG NeuroAmp II
by Bee Medic
ProComp5 Infiniti System
by Thought Technology
NeuroField X3000 Plus
NeuroField Q20 EEG
We use the leading neurofeedback software to ensure you receive the best training possible
Qwiz by Pocket Neurobics
with BioExplorer software by CybeRevolutions
Analysis Image Examples
Ariane B, as seen on Yelp
While my issues are not as severe as those who have lived through or been injured in war, I have felt relief from many issues within a short period of time, while under the care of Dr. Villanueva. Neurofeedback addresses issues such as OCD, Sleep, anxiety, PTSD, stunted emotions, and physical pain, all through the manipulation of brain wave frequencies that all of us make....
Dr. Villanueva's skill level in the field of Neurofeedback is tremendously encompassing & I've had the privilege to work directly with him for three months running. He is well-versed in one than one neurofeedback (NF) modality & is acquainted DIRECTLY with the professionals who wrote the various NF software programs.
When questions arise concerning the nuances of my case, Dr. Villaneuva sets up direct consults with the experts....so that a deeper understanding of my issues or test results can be accurately measured & interpreted...I have been treated by other NF specialists & this was never mentioned. Dr. Villanueva's meticulous handling of my unique situation make me feel as if I am receiving a treatment plan that is comprehensive & vertically integrated...if he is unable to provide answers directly, he always follows up within his network & gets back to me.
Dr. Villanueva's approach has been to shepherd or guide me through my own healing & thus, empowers me with articles & abstracts to further my own understanding of a topic...ie. pain receptors and how the brain interprets these, diet and cognition as seem through FMRI techniques...the learning I experience has been an added bonus and provides for a richer, fuller & possibly faster result!
These two videos show the effects of neurofeedback. The first video was done after three sessions when Dr. Villanueva was stationed at Fort Hood for the annual reserve training. The second video was shot after ten neurofeedback sessions. The changes in SSGT Roberts are astounding. Note the change in vocal inflections, the increased prosody in his voice, and the relaxed shift in his demeanor. There is an emergence of humanity here that no paper and pencil test can demonstrate. This set of videos helped to convince the Command structure at Camp Pendleton when Dr. Villanueva returned to increase the use of neurofeedback. The system used here is Cygnet by the Othmers using infralow frequencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Neurofeedback Have Side Effects?
Neurofeedback is similar to exercise for your brain. Like any physical exercise, it is possible to over do it and experience 'side effects'. In the same way, both sore muscles and ripped washboard abs could be considered a side effect from working out.
Patients with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or any sort of head trauma will likely be sensitive to neurofeedback as they learn to regulate their neural firing. One with a TBI might experience nausea, dizziness, and light sensitivity as their central nervous system learns to regulate itself.
Will I Still Need Medication?
As a person’s central nervous system become more regulated, we do often see a reduction in the amount of psychiatric medication required to achieve any given effect. This dynamic is usually first apparent with sleeping medications in that the usual dosage required to get to sleep becomes less. Nonetheless, you should NEVER stop taking or alter your dosage of prescribed medications without consulting with the prescribing physician first. If you are on psychiatric medications it is necessary that your prescribing doctor be aware that you are undergoing neurofeedback. We have worked effectively with many prescribing doctors and psychiatrists in the past.
Does Neurofeedback Benefit Those with ADD/ADHD Behaviors?
Yes, it can: Neurofeedback appears to globally regulate most all causes of ADD/ADHD. There are numerous publications that speak to neurofeedback's efficacy in the symptom reduction of ADHD/ADD. Neurofeedback is a recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a level 1 (meaning effective) treatment for children and adolescents with attention and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). It is also effective in adults.
We take United Health's Optum Behavorial Health and Tricare West Insurance
To see if your insurance plan covers our services, please call our office for verification and eligibility.
Have a PPO of a different insurance provider? Your insurance carrier may still reimburse you depending on your plan. To receive a free insurance question checklist by email, please call our office 858-952-7660.
We use neurofeedback to address the brain’s dysregulation because the approach is backed by empirical evidence and because scientific research tends to support neurofeedback’s effectiveness. Our use of qEEG analysis and normative brain mapping helps us personalize our approach and roots us more firmly in science; however, it is in the manner, the yet unknown process by which Neurofeedback manifests itself, that earns our deep commitment and passion: For it does far more than merely ease symptoms. There is often a re-emergence, a re-connection of our humanity, for lack of a better word, a renewal of “us.” It can relieve human suffering, but the magic in its application is the growth and transformation of the human spirit, making brighter that individual spark of consciousness.
Neurofeedback and neurostimulation technologies collectively form a complex intersection between science, spirit, energy, philosophy, and the mind. We research our effectiveness, we present our findings (the good and the bad), and when necessary we develop new methods using EEGLAB and MATLAB to visualize unique aspects of brain functioning. We continually challenge both our own – and our colleagues – assumptions about brain dynamics.
The Alpha Theta Center is a powerhouse of innovative thinking, science-grounded research, and clinical effectiveness. Our scope of services is diverse and includes clinical, educational, data analytics, as well as personalized training in EEG digital signal processing.
We are a dynamic company and I thank you for taking your time to read about us.
Michael Villanueva, PhD
Alpha Theta Center
Schedule an appointment that fits your needs.
Clinic Work Hours
Monday to Friday
9.00am to 5.00pm
By Appointment Only
Sunday and Public Holidays
We Are Closed
We are located at:
6540 Lusk Blvd C175
San Diego, CA 92121