Welcome to Friesen Sport & Performance Psychology–UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE ALL SESSIONS WILL BE DONE VIRTUALLY OR BY PHONE
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Leveraging the science of sport and performance psychology, executive coaching, and cognitive neuroscience to
maximize personal and professional potential
To listen to Dr. Friesen on the various podcasts he has been a guest on, read Dr. Friesen’s published articles, or read articles he has been quoted in, click HERE
My book ACHIEVE is available in Kindle format or paperback on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
If you like to listen to your books, ACHIEVE is also available in audiobook format through Audible.com or iTunes!
Click below to listen to a sample of the audio version of Achieve:
First Responders such as police, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics/ambulance attendants, and front-line health workers have some of the most difficult jobs in the world. They are often faced with life-or-death decisions and are repeatedly exposed to the traumatic events that most of us don’t want to think about. While such work can be immensely rewarding, there is often a heavy cost.
Dr. Friesen has been working with First Responders in various capacities for almost 20-years and has seen the difficulties some First Responders experience as a result of their work.
At Niagara Neuropsychology, we are opening up and expanding our offerings for First Responders. Over the last few years, Dr. Friesen and his team developed and implemented the annual Optimal Psychological Performance Assessment (OPPA) for specialty units and dispatchers/communicators at the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) as part of their larger Safeguarding program.
This has been a ground-breaking program and, as far as we are aware, the first Safeguarding program in North America to incorporate objective neuropsychological and psychophysiological measurements. Dr. Friesen designed the OPPA by incorporating aspects of assessments he has developed for elite athletes (e.g., professional and Olympic athletes), executives, those with brain injuries, and patients who are suffering from depression and anxiety (including PTSD).
We are now opening this program up to First Responders in general, including police officers, dispatchers/communicators, firefighters, paramedics/ambulance attendants, and front-line health workers (e.g., physicians, nurses, etc.).
Our program is designed to help First Responders identify psychological, neuropsychological, and physiological difficulties early (often before self-awareness) by using objective and evidence-based measurements.
The main goal is to help prevent stress-related injuries (e.g., Posttraumatic Stress Disorder—PTSD, burnout, etc.). Like elite athletes, First Responders need to be in top psychological, neuropsychological/cognitive, and physiological shape in order to perform at their potential. Thus, a second goal of the program is to identify decrements in optimal performance and functioning and help provide timely solutions.
The OPPA is designed to be repeated every 6 to 12 months in order to track difficulties and functioning. This is valuable for detecting both positive and negative changes in psychological/emotional, behavioural, neuropsychological/cognitive, and psychophysiological functioning early to help ensure First Responders are performing and functioning optimally.
We are offering 3 levels (tiers) of the annual assessment. To learn more CLICK HERE.
To learn more about how the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers are using neurofeedback and biofeedback, to improve their game, click HERE.
For how the New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown used neurofeedback to improve his game, click HERE.
For one video blogger’s experience trying to improve her daily performance with a brief trial of neurofeedback, watch the video below:
Professional baseball players also use neurofeedback:
We offer the same training at Friesen Sport & Performance Psychology.
Want to learn more about Concussions? In 2017 I had the honour to serve as the invited guest editor of a special CONCUSSION issue for the Canadian Psychological Association’s national magazine, Psynopsis. To see my introductory article ( The Role of Psychology in the “Concussion Crisis”) and the other articles in the magazine, click HERE. To download the PDF version click HERE.
Recently experienced a concussion? Please see the Sports Neuropsychological Society Return to School-Play Fact Sheet to see the latest guidelines for returning to school or sport.
To learn more about concussions, more significant TBIs, and how to treat them, listen to Dr. Friesen’s interview on the Heal Better Fast podcast with Dr. Michael Pound by clicking HERE.
Drs. Robert and Alanna Conder and Dr. Friesen also published a review article (2020) for the journal Neurorehabilitation titled “Neurorehabilitation of Persistent Sport-Related Post-Concussion Syndrome”. Click HERE for the PDF full text of the article. Below is the abstract:
BACKGROUND: Persistent Sport-Related Post-Concussion Syndrome is often diagnosed with any type of prolonged PCS symptoms. However, there are not specific diagnostic criteria for PPCS such that misdiagnosis often occurs. Further, the signs and symptoms of PCS overlap with other common illnesses such as depression, anxiety, migraines, ADHD and others. Misdiagnosis may lead to less than efficacious treatment, resulting in prolonged symptoms.
OBJECTIVE: This article will review relevant evidence-based literature on PCS, pointing out the lack of a systemic diagnostic framework. It will also provide evidence that highlights the multiple conflicting findings in the literature. This article will posit the BioPsychoSocial framework as the best diagnostic framework for understanding the impact of concussions on the person and to generate individualized and personal interventions.
METHODS: A narrative review of sport concussion-related articles was conducted, after extensive searches of relevant and non-relevant literature by each author, as well as articles recommended by colleagues. Articles varied from American Academy of Neurology Class I to IV for evaluation and critique. Class IV articles were reviewed, as there is much public misconception regarding sport and other concussion treatment that needed identification and discussion.
RESULTS: Articles reviewed varied by quality of research design and methodology. Multiple symptoms, recovery patterns and rehabilitation treatment approaches are purported in the sport-related concussion literature. Current consensus data as well as the mixed and contradictory findings were explored.
CONCLUSIONS: Persistent Sport-Related Post-Concussion Syndrome is a topic of great interest to both professionals and the general public. There is much misunderstanding about the etiology, causation, diagnostic formulations, symptom presentation, prolonging factors and treatment involved in this syndrome. This article posits an individualized multi-system diagnostic formulation, examining all relevant factors, as generating the best interventions for neurorehabilitation of Persistent Sport-Related Post-Concussion Syndrome.
To learn more about the latest on how we now assess and treat concussions from my colleague, Dr. Robert Conder (former Carolina Hurricanes team neuropsychologist), watch the videos below.
To learn more about the latest on how we now assess and treat concussions from my colleague, Dr. Robert Conder (former Carolina Hurricanes team neuropsychologist), watch the videos below:
Looking for treatments for Concussion or other Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)?
Or, are you a elite athlete or high achiever looking for treatment for mental health difficulties (e.g, ADHD, cognitive issues, depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD, insomnia, anger/irritability, or impulse control/addictions issues)?
If so, visit our treatment website NiagaraNeuropsychology.com to learn about the various treatment options we provide including:
-Psychological Treatments such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
-Other Neuromodulation techniques such as Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), and Transcranial Photobiomodulation.
For athletes and other high performers who can’t attend neurofeedback sessions in person, we NOW OFFER A REMOTE NEUROFEEDBACK/BIOFEEDBACK OPTION where you train out of your own home or place of work under Dr. Friesen’s supervision. Contact us for more details.
In addition to neurofeedback/biofeedback and other forms of neuromodulation (click HERE for more information), we are now offering the Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS), also known as High Performance Neurofeedback (HPN), Microcurrent Neurofeedback, Direct Neurofeedback, or Low-Intensity Pulsed Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (LIP-tES), to help with peak performance and those with TBI/Concussions and other difficulties.
Preliminary research has found such treatment effective for those with TBI/Concussions. Here are some examples of TBI/Concussion/Post-Concussion Syndrome research:
- University of California summary of MEG study of HPN treatment of veterans with Mild TBI/Concussion/Post-Concussion Syndrome: Click HERE and HERE
- Dr. Stephen Larsen’s article in the journal Biofeedback titled The Special Applicability of the LENS Form of Neurofeedback to TBI: Click HERE
- Multisite case series of retired NFL players with multiple concussions & Post-Concussion Syndrome treated with Direct Neurofeedback: Click HERE
- Dr. Stephen Larsen’s clinical outcomes study using LENS on 100 patients in the Journal of Neurotherapy: Click HERE
- Dr. Corydon Hammond’s case study and qEEG analysis of a young woman with a severe TBI in the Journal of Neurotherapy: Click HERE
Videos of patient and athlete experiences and other information on LENS and related treatments:
- Patient success stories: Click HERE and HERE
- ABC News stories on research and treatment with football players: Click HERE and HERE
- Former NFL players, Jessie Sapolu, Kermit Alexander, & Craig McEwen’s, experiences with repeated concussions and treatment with Direct Neurofeedback: Click HERE
- Former NFL players, Mark Robinson and Mark Cotney’s experiences with repeated concussions and treatment with HPN: Click HERE
- Former NFL player, Gerry Wunsch’s, experience with repeated concussions and treatment with HPN: Click HERE
- Segment on The Doctors TV show: Click HERE
- Young woman with Cerebral Palsy and a TBI treated with LENS: Click HERE
Interested in learning how to keep your brain healthy and sharp as you age? Drs. Robert and Alanna Conder and I recently published a review article in OBM Geriatrics where we outline ways to promote healthy neuro-cognitive aging.
In our article we cover: