Navigating Trauma Recovery with Fran Bieganek
Meet Fran Bieganek, a licensed psychologist and holistic practitioner who assists her clients through trauma recovery, grief, and bereavement, depression, and anxiety as well as other major life transitions. She practices in the Bhakti Wellness Center in Edina. Bieganek walks us through how she got started in her field, the concept of trauma, and trauma recovery. She also explores how trauma is essentially subjective, varying from person to person depending on their experience. To learn more and to schedule an appointment, visit FranBieganekTherapy.com.
[00:00:03.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle publisher, the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings Magazine. And I'm honored to bring these experts to you today. In our studio, we have Fran Bieganek licensed psychologist and holistic practitioner who assist her clients through trauma recovery, grief and bereavement, depression and anxiety, and other major life transitions.
Fran's practice is located at the Bhakti Wellness Center in Edina. Welcome to our show, Fran.
[00:00:45.670] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Thank you. Glad to be here.
[00:00:47.110] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I am so glad you're with us today.
[00:00:48.820] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:00:49.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So before we get started, I always like to give people the opportunity to kind of share with our listeners a little bit about yourself, about your practice and kind of how you got started.
[00:01:01.080] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Okay. So as you said, I'm a licensed psychologist. I have been doing psychotherapy since I think the late 1990s, which might date me a little bit. But it is true. And I'm currently doing private practice working. My specialty areas, like you said, are working with trauma and grief and loss, developmental transitions and all kinds of mood disorders. I also do a lot of work with brain mapping and neurofeedback. We have a clinic within Bhakti Wellness Center. It's the Bhakti Brain Clinic where we provide neurofeedback and brain mapping for clients for a variety of reasons.
I have historically always been kind of in private practice because it allows me freedom to work with clients in a way that I like to work with clients rather than being kind of so absolute action. Yeah. So that's sort of the I don't know. That's a bit of my background, I guess.
[00:02:08.190] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what got you started?
[00:02:09.750] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Good question. I've always been fascinated by what makes people tick, just even as a kid, I remember just always kind of wondering about, Geez, why do they do that? Or why are they thinking that way or all of those kinds of questions? And that just sort of always hung around. And I knew very early on that I wanted to do something in a helping profession, and this just sort of kind of naturally seems like like a direction to go. So when I got myself to College, I decided that this is something I wanted to do and then began the process of taking psychology courses, having that kind of validate that yes, I really do have an interest in this and becoming very fascinated.
I've been kind of a neuroscience geek for a very long time. I remember in undergraduate school just being fascinated by courses that dealt with the brain and how the brain was structured and all of that. So all of that sort of got me headed in this direction, and I ended up going to graduate school and have been working in the field ever since.
[00:03:29.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You have been in practice for over 20 years.
[00:03:31.720] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:03:32.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You also have done teaching at Minnesota State colleges and universities.
[00:03:37.580] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. So for a period of time was an adjunct instructor and so taught at several different community colleges and then was offered a ten-year track position at Anoka Ramsey Community College. We are Candi took that and was doing that in clinical practice, both of those full time for a while and decided that I might practice what I preach to my clients and not overload myself. And so I took a little bit of a sabbatical from therapy, actually, for a few years. And then after about ten years of being in the teaching system, decided it was time to come back.
I only took the Sabbatical for about two or three years from therapy, but decided I needed to come back and do therapy. But that's really kind of the direction I wanted to go. And so technically retired from teaching. Although I'm far from retired in my life right now.
Well, then it makes such an interesting story because, you know, we always say that the best way to learn something and the best way to become really proficient at something is to learn it. Do it, teach it.
[00:04:44.610] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:04:45.620] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so you've done that. And now coming back and really focusing on your private practice.
[00:04:50.200] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:04:51.010] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And one of the areas that you really focus on and one of the topics that I really want to have us focus on today day in our conversation is with trauma recovery. So when we think about trauma, sometimes people think trauma is something huge, right. Well, I haven't actually experienced any trauma. I haven't experienced what that personal experience, right. But what is trauma?
[00:05:16.960] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. So I like to think about trauma as like a physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual injury. That's the result of some kind of distressing event. It could be, but also distressing or life-threatening experiences. So in the field of trauma, we now talk about Big Tea trauma and Little tea trauma. And I think Big tea trauma is what you were talking about. That idea that some big event happened and that created a trauma, somebody had a car accident and that created a traumatic response for them. And so that's certainly one area of trauma that can lead to all kinds of trauma symptomology.
But then we have the Little Tea trauma area, which is really more about developmental trauma. And so that's the piece that I think a lot of people are walking around with and don't realize that they have this in their history. So I don't know if you're familiar with the Aces study that was done by Kaiser Permanente in the late 90s.
[00:06:22.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So let's talk about what as I yeah.
[00:06:25.210] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
So as is adverse childhood experiences is what the acronym stands for. And Kaiser Permanente, along with the center for Disease Control, did an extensive study 17,000 subjects, which is unimaginable in research looking at the impact of adverse childhood experiences on individuals comprises or what might be an adverse childhood experience is anything that kind of falls in the area. It could be abuse, neglect, maltreatment. So individuals who might have grown up with a parent who was mentally ill, or a parent who had a chemical use issue, growing up in a family where there was domestic violence, or a parent who's incarcerated or poverty, and all of those kinds of experiences that can lead to a person being either physically and or emotionally neglected, abandoned, abused that kind of thing.
And so what the study found is that there are, like, about one in eight people who fall in the category of having, like, four or more of those adverse childhood experiences in their history, and what they were able to do is link those those experiences to increased rates of both physical and mental health issues. So people with four or more as those kinds of experiences were far more likely to have mental illness or it's, like, great, significantly linked to heart disease, to liver disease, to lung, to cancer.
[00:08:22.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So physical ailments, chemical agency issues.
[00:08:25.510] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
And some kind of behavioral things obesity, teen pregnancy, all of those kinds of things that people are far more likely to to experience. And so the study actually showed that if people have six or more of those Aces, you can do a questionnaire. And the 8th questionnaire has ten questions on it. If you are able to say yes to six or more of those, you have an increased likelihood of dying 20 years earlier than if you did not have those. That's pretty significant. Right. And so that's that piece about developmental trauma is really for me very fascinating, because I think that we go around in this lifetime, many of us having the impact from that and just not realizing it because perhaps maybe we didn't have a car accident or weren't in a natural disaster or didn't have a rape in our history or something like that that we kind of typically define as trauma.
And so we don't realize that it is impacting us both psychologically, physically, spiritually, in ways that are are pretty detrimental.
[00:09:38.380] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And each person has a different level of what they consider what they would experience as a trauma. Some people have higher levels of, I guess, resiliency than other people might. Or it's all in how we interpret the events that happened as well, especially as a child. And we talked about that a few times on this show already about kids not having the ability to really be logical, right? Or be able to think through what's actually happening. So they don't develop the ability to be logical until your late teens, early 20s.
[00:10:20.200] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:10:20.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And experiences that happen you're experiencing from an emotional level. Absolutely.
[00:10:25.810] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:10:26.300] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so those Aces. And there is an assessment that people continue in order to learn if they do have these faces. But it doesn't mean that you're going to die 20 minutes earlier if you understand that you can get help.
[00:10:43.500] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yes. Absolutely. So to your point about people experiencing it differently. Yes. You're absolutely right about that. And it is about the interpretation that was made at the time of the trauma or traumatic experiences. And what we know about kids is they're very black and white, and they're thinking that abstract thought doesn't come along until later in our teens and into our 20s. And so black and white thinking can lead to interpretations that that can have them cut some traumatic impact, right.
[00:11:17.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. So when we come back, we're going to continue to talk about this and some of the things that people might be experiencing as they go through these different situations. So to learn more about what Fran does and to make an appointment, visit FranBieganektherapy.Com or call 612-564-9947. Again that number is 612-564-9947. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awake magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you.
[00:12:12.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we are talking with Bran Began, a licensed psychologist and holistic practitioner from the Bhakti Wellness Center in Edina, friend. Before we went on the break, we were starting to talk about some of the different traumas. So we talked about big tea trauma and little tea trauma. And we're starting to really kind of get into Aces, which is the adverse childhood experiences and kind of the situations that might come up for people that cause trauma in their lives. A lot of the times, like you said, because it's a small tea trauma.
I didn't go and fight in a war and I wasn't in a big car accident or I wasn't raped or that kind of thing. People may not understand that they're actually experiencing the effects of trauma. And so what are some of the ways that trauma kind of presents it?
[00:13:09.300] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Sure. Yeah. That's a great question. So a variety of things that we see, certainly. And I think the thing that we think about more often is that trauma can impact our ability to regulate our emotions. And so people may struggle with things like depression and anxiety. But oftentimes those kinds of experiences can show up a little bit differently. I think we think about depression as somebody who's laying in bed and can't get out of bed. And the reality is that the majority of people who are experiencing depression are functioning on a daily basis.
It's just that the quality of their life is significantly impacted. And so maybe they're experiencing a lot of trouble with brain fog, poor concentration, noticing that at work, everything seems hard. It takes a lot of energy because they maybe don't have much energy in the first place, and all of of those kinds of experiences can be going on. Another place where people, I think oftentimes where trauma affects show up is in relationship. And so many people find that just their ability to communicate in relationships. So it can be significant relationships, like with significant others, family members, family of origin, but also just kind of day-to-day relationships where, you know, an individual is needing to kind of be able to communicate thoughts and feelings in some kind of cohesive way.
And if trauma is under, it's kind of enacting itself kind of within their system. It can make it very challenging for somebody to be able to feel comfortable in social interactions, but also just in regards to being able to trust both themselves and another person in communication. So oftentimes in my practice, I'll find couples who come in because they're having difficulty in relationship. And as we start to kind of Peel away the layers and take some history, we start to find out out that either one or both of them has some kind of trauma, developmental trauma that has happened in their past that can be significantly impacting them.
Another way, I think that we see it oftentimes is people end up having physical issues. Sometimes chronic pain can be kind of an exasperation of symptoms of trauma, stomach issues, headaches, fatigue, chronic fatigue, all of those things. When trauma happens to us, it gets stored in our entire body, not just in that part that we think about as the kind of more psychological part of us. So in our mind, but we store whatever is happening to us. We have memory cells within our whole body, and all of those cells are creating memories each and every moment.
And so oftentimes we see that physiologically something's going on. Trauma also has a way of affecting the nervous system. And so a lot of times people will have just kind of anxious. I think of them as anxious bodies where there's a lot of stomach, eight kinds of issues, irritable, bowel issues, muscle tension. That's a big one where people have all kinds of difficulty with muscle tension. And that can be trauma-based as well. And so all of those areas, the other area that people don't very often talk about at all is the spiritual effect that trauma can have on you, and that ends up impacting people in a way that leaves them feeling.
Sometimes I have people talk about just feeling a sense of being lost in the world, not feeling like they have a sense of grounding anywhere and then trust that's a big piece of the spiritual component of trauma is the impact it has on a person's ability to trust just in general.
[00:17:29.400] - Candi Broeffle, Host
As you were talking, I mean, we've kind of covered the whole gamut of things, too. One of the things that comes up for me as well as I know from experiencing depression and different types of trauma myself. One of the areas that I find that I have to be really aware of is how quickly I can go to anger.
[00:17:52.090] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:17:52.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
How quickly I can be. We call it being triggered.
[00:17:55.310] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:17:56.230] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So something happens, and it really has nothing to do with that situation at the time. But it triggers something that then brings you to another state.
[00:18:07.230] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. That's a big thing. And oftentimes that's the relationship piece I was talking about. Oftentimes those people that were closest to become real, they get to oh, my goodness. Yeah. Look, a tone of voice, a statement that is intended to be one thing, but sounds like a totally different thing to somebody else because of some history that can certainly trigger things. Triggers can also happen. Our sensory system creates a lot of trigger. Our sense of smell is powerful when it comes to trauma, and the work of treating trauma has to include all of that sensory system.
As you kind of work on reprocessing and kind of transforming through transcending the trauma. Lots of people that I can be walking somewhere in a certain smell can just trigger it. It could be a memory, like a full-blown memory. But oftentimes it triggers an emotional state, and that gets confusing, because suddenly I might be walking by and smell, I don't know, certain. Maybe the smell of garlic, and it triggers this sense of anger or sadness or fear. What's that about? Right. And so maybe that's because I grew up in an environment that was extremely maybe there was domestic abuse, or maybe there was a lot of stress within the family environment, and we cooked with garlic a lot.
[00:19:45.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:19:45.580] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:19:46.030] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it's interesting because we don't always recognize that because we don't think about it in that way. And so when it comes up, I always think to say to people, even though it may not seem like a big deal to you at that moment when you're experiencing it's a huge deal.
[00:20:07.630] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:20:09.800] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So when we come back, we're going to continue talking about this, and we're going to start talking about the different ways in which you help people through the therapy in overcoming some of the trauma reaction. So to learn more about what Fran does and to make an appointment, visit FranBieganektherapy.Com. And that's F-R-A-N-B-I-E-G-A-N-E-K therapy.Com or call 612-564-9947 to read an online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.Com. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, The Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back.
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we're visiting with Fran Bieganek, a licensed psychologist and holistic practitioner from the Bakhti Wellness Center in Edina. So just before the break, we were talking about trauma and how it kind of presents itself in our lives, some of the different ways that it can show up physically and emotionally and spiritually.
I also want to just talk about a little bit about what are some of the negative effects of trauma? What can it causes?
[00:21:45.020] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. Absolutely. So a variety of things can occur as a result of trauma, and it goes back to what you were talking about earlier and how people experience and interpret things differently. But in general, if we're looking at kind of the whole individual, the psychological, the cognitive, the emotional, spiritual, the physical part pieces of being human. Those are the areas that can get impacted. And so oftentimes people who have trauma in their background develop, like their nervous system becomes on red alert. I always think about those the airport when we see yellow and red alert, that kind of thing.
And it's a nervous system that gets kind of stuck on red alert. So there's this sense of kind of never being able to trust anything. And so many, many people people with trauma have this sense of kind of we refer to it as hypervigilance, but it's kind of like always being on guard. Right. And that can create and reinforce this sense of anxiety that shows up in the system. Right. And so people can also then experience all kinds of anxiety reactions from panic to just kind of a general sense of being anxious.
Anxiety also then affects your cognitive ability. And so many people who have experienced trauma and are experiencing some effect. Some people have a full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people have more of what we call a complex trauma response, and that can include some of those cognitive functioning, like a dulling of the brain that many people talk about. I have people who oftentimes will say to me, I feel like I can do so much more, but I don't seem to be able able to because I just have this kind of dull, foggy feeling all the time.
And so that can be a part of what's going on with the nervous system. When our nervous system limbic system is kicked in and all that stress hormones are going on, it actually shuts down our frontal lobe, which is our executive functioning. And so it can create all kinds of problems there. And then people also have difficulty. I think almost everybody, every person I work with with trauma has some sort of physical manifestation of trauma. Again, the muscle tension that I mentioned is a big one.
Stomach issues oftentimes, and chronic pain are just seem to be other ways that the trauma can negatively impact them. And then, of course, all of that impact abilities to be able to function in your work environment, in your family life, in your relationship. Candi, probably the most important place in your ability to take care of yourself, because that's where it needs to start. For people with trauma, that's a hard thing to grasp is that idea of self care, because for many people with trauma, self care gets confused with selfish and hard for them to kind of rock the difference between those two.
[00:25:01.970] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And when we say that you're a holistic practitioner. So really, you look at this, you look at the way that you treat people from a very holistic.
[00:25:12.450] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. I do.
[00:25:13.560] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what are some of the things that you use? Some of the models that you use and working with people.
[00:25:18.950] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. So I pull from a variety of modalities, and my goal always is to kind of be helping the person kind of transcend that trauma as a whole person. And so it needs to include the mind, the body, the emotions, and the spirit. Right. And so on, a variety of modalities, some of them are more of kind of what we consider mainstream psychology. So cognitive-behavioral strategies of being able to look at challenging thought processes that are maladaptive that were developed as a way to kind of protect the self during trauma experiences and behaviorally just really starting to change behavioral patterns that might be in place.
But then I also draw a lot on, like, somatic psychology. So Dr. Peter Levin's work has been a big influence for me and really kind of helping people to begin to learn how to re-inhabit their body, because one of the things that happens with trauma, whether it's big tea trauma or little tea that developmental trauma is people learn how to disconnect as a mechanism of survival, and they disconnect and they have this sense of kind of not really being connected, connected to their body and oftentimes go around life kind of feeling like you're floating in life, watching a movie or something.
[00:26:43.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So it's not exactly what I mean. There's a dissociated disorder, and you're not talking about that. We all experience it in some way.
[00:26:52.260] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. Every one of us when we're driving for any distance experiences dissociation, right. Suddenly you go, wait a minute. How did I get here? I was just back there and 20 minutes have gone by. That's your mind dissociating. It's just altering its level of consciousness. That is a strategy that the psyche uses during trauma to help the person survive the trauma in the moment or moments if it's more of a developmental process. And so learning how to kind of reinhabit your body. Learning how trauma is impacting your body.
Being able cannot tell you how empowered I have seen clients feel when they realize that they can actually feel space in their foot to be able to inhabit their body in such a way. And that's a scary thing for somebody who's had trauma to do that. And so that's a very gradual process in doing that. So I draw in a lot of different somatic techniques to help people begin to become aware of and then manage the symptoms that happen. The anxiety that comes up as they're working through the trauma and the lastly is I leave open space for some kind of spiritual experience for them.
I am not a spiritual counselor. I don't pretend to be I never assume to be one. But if I am in the room with a human being, if I want to be with them, Holy, I have to allow for their spiritual being to be there as well. And so sometimes the work of the spirit is really about the working on the relationship between myself and the client and allowing them an environment where they can feel held in such a way that has healthy boundaries and will allow them to begin to learn how to build a sense of trust because that's what our spirit is about.
That's what spirituality is about is that sense of trust. Right. And so sometimes it's that trust work that we're doing, and sometimes that's just happening. It's always intentional on my part, but sometimes it's just going on and we're not talking about it. But sometimes we're intentionally talking about a therapeutic relationship and the role that that can play in helping that person begin to create different responses to the trauma that it's had. So I always tell clients that trauma we're not going to take away the trauma.
You can't ever do that or what happened happened, right. What transcending trauma is about is learning to have a different relationship with trauma in the present so that you're not any longer implicated in what it meant to you back then.
[00:29:42.080] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:29:42.420] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
And how it affected.
[00:29:43.320] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You so you can get out of that fear response, be able to. Find it so interesting when you're talking about this earlier, you had said, like a smell might affect something that I assume as part of that physical manifestation of the trauma. So you work with people through that as well?
You so you can get out of that fear response, be able to. Find it so interesting when you're talking about this earlier, you had said, like a smell might affect something that I assume as part of that physical manifestation of the trauma. So you work with people through that as well?
[00:30:07.690] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Sure. Yeah. So that's an example of kind of traditional psychology coming into play, right. The stuff that's been around for a long time and is considered more of the mainstream that happened. That smell being a trigger happened as a result of just pure conditioning response. Right. In this environment, that's really stressful smell garlic. The brain puts those two together. And every time you smell garlic, that stimuli comes to your brain, your brain is going to take it to the memory that it has, which is one of distress.
[00:30:43.580] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:30:44.450] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
And so if that were showing itself up really strongly in a clinical presentation, we might spend some time doing some exposure therapy with garlic.
[00:30:56.300] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. Just so that people can see it for what it is in our society today I can get anything delivered to my door within hours. I can order anything and have it there right away. And we have microwaves to make sure we have food and drink hot food and drink very quickly. And so a lot of the times people talk about therapy takes so long. Now let's talk about that for a little bit, because as a 51-year-old woman, I've had some of these experiences pieces in my life for 45, 50 years. Right.
[00:31:35.880] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:31:36.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So we can't expect it to be a one in time.
[00:31:40.020] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Right. Yeah. Very good point. And I think you're right about that. When I think about healing from trauma, I oftentimes think about it. Well, this is a life work for somebody, and it doesn't mean that you have to be struggling with it for the rest of your life. But that as human beings, we may get to a point where we feel like we've really transcended a lot of our trauma. And then one day something else kind of comes up from the psyche, something that's been in the unconscious sort of rises.
And there we are. Here it is again. Right. And so we unravel it a bit. But it does. If you think about what happens, the injury that happens with the impact of trauma, it makes sense that we're not just going to be able to sew it up, and it's going to be good to go. Right. And so it can take a long time. One of the other practices that I brought bring in that can help to move the process along quicker for some people is that of neurofeedback, which is a process that really starts to look at changing the structural processing of the physical processing in the brain, like in the neural networks that can then allow for some of the trauma work to happen a little more smoothly.
It's not a quick fix. Again, I'm not suggesting that. And I think that if you you really want to transcend from trauma, you just have to know that this is a process of well-being. If you want to build a good, solid house, you don't want it built in ten days.
[00:33:22.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
No, we do. We all want to not feel pain. We all want to just put it away and not have to deal with it at all. But we really do have to feel it in order to be able to deal it.
[00:33:33.610] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:33:34.240] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So for people who want to learn more and want to make an appointments friend, you can visit her website at FranBieganekTherapy.com. And that's F-R-A-N-B-I-E-G-A-N-E-K therapy.Com or call 612-564-9947. And again, that's 612-564-9947.
To read an online version of Natural Awakenings magazine visit NaturalTwinCities.Com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com on Apple and Google Podcasts. And anywhere you get your podcast, you're listening to Green Take Conversations on AM950, The Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back.
[00:34:32.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we're talking with Fran Bieganek, advice, psychologist and holistic practitioner from the Bakhti Wellness Center in Edina. So just before the break, we were talking about the different modalities that you use in helping people to kind of heal or be able to become more whole in their trauma journeys. And so we were talking about neurofeedback.
And I do want to just touch on that a little bit more. So what would people experience if they were to come in for some neurofeedback?
[00:35:19.750] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Sure. At our clinic at Bakhti, at our Brain Health clinic, we do neurofeedback and brain mapping. And so the process is that you do the QEG or the brain mapping. You do that initially. And what that is, we do a full 19 channel. So we're getting data from your entire brain that we then look at and apply to a normative database and get information about where your brain might be actually experiencing dysregulation. So, like in the neural network processing part of the brain, when there is dysregulation, then that can lead to all kinds of what we would call symptomology.
Right. But all of the things that we've talked about, the brain fog the mood, dysregulation, the physical, chronic pain, migraine, headaches, all of those kinds of things. We can start to get a picture of them as we do the brain mapping. And then we use the brain mapping to create protocols, then to do the neurofeedback. And the neural feedback really is a process of allowing your brain taking information from your brain, comparing it to a normative database that we have in our computer. And then using operant conditioning as a way to have your brain start to respond more like a neurotypical brain, right.
[00:36:52.100] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:36:54.260] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yes, behavior and reward response and rewards. So, for example, oftentimes with our neurofeedback, we'll have people, we wire them up. We're taking data from all 19 channels, taking it from their brain, and they're watching a video game. So we have a video game where you can fly a plane or a bird or some other kind of object, and the goal is to fly it through a target. But you're not using your hands with any kind of controller. Literally, your brain has to do the work of figuring out what it needs to do to make the plane go through the target.
And what it needs to do is match up to that database of neurotypical brains. Whenever it does what those neurotypical brains do, the plane flies through it, flips over and makes this cool, swishing sound, and you see the plane flip. And that's the stimuli that's rewarding for the brain. So it's not about your mind getting rewarded. It's about your brain, the actual physical structure that is between your skull. Right. Your brain getting the reward. And with operant conditioning, what we know is when a behavior occurs and it gets reinforced, the brain wants to do that behavior more to get more reinforcement.
And so through that process, we train the brain to become less dysregulated, more regulated, more functional.
[00:38:26.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Wow. So that's really interesting. And this is a process. Do people do it just in the clinic?
[00:38:34.840] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Yeah. Yeah. There are two practitioners myself and Guy Odishaw, who's the owner of Bakhti Wellness Center and who are currently doing neurofeedback at the clinic. We just recently bringing on another provider who will be doing that as well. And people come into the clinic and do the neurofeedback. Usually, typically, it's twice a week that you're doing it for a series of somewhere between 20 and 40 sessions. The exciting piece about neurofeedback is the changes that you're making in your brain can be permanent changes.
And so the idea is you do that for a period of time so that you can always think of it as creating some, well-rutted roads of neurocircuitry in your brain. And you really need to kind of just kind of keep going over them for a period of time to get them to become more permanently the way the brain.
[00:39:30.320] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, we have already created well readed messages in our brain, but they're just not able to use.
[00:39:39.420] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
Exactly. They're the dysregulated ones. And so that's what we're doing is kind of changing, though, and creating some new neural pathways in ways that are more regulated. And when that happens, then the symptoms dissipate. That's the goal. Right. Quality of life for clients.
[00:39:57.720] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So people you said it takes usually 20 to 40 sessions for people to go through this. That's really interesting. So that's one of the one of the treatments that you use there. And you said you start off with the brain mapping. How long does that process usually take?
[00:40:16.130] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
So the brain mapping is an hour-long session because we have to wire you up and put gel in the sensors and all of that. The actual mapping itself is like a 22 minutes process that we're doing. We're never with neurofeedback. There's never anything going into the brain. That's what I like about it. It is completely non-invasive. We are simply taking information and electrical information from your brain that comes through your scalp, and that's what we're doing. And so completely non-invasive in that way.
[00:40:47.810] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So tell us a little bit about Bakhti, because Bakhti is a wellness clinic, and you practice there with several other practitioners?
[00:40:57.440] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:40:58.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what are some of the other services?
[00:41:00.330] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
So Body has a variety of practitioners there that span the range from massage therapist, cranial, psycho, massage, chiropractic. We have a medical doctor who does concierge medicine. We have energy workers. We do microcurrent, microcurrent, aesthetic, facials acupuncture. We have homeopathy. We have a practitioner there who is a nutritionist who helps people. She focuses on food sensitivities.
[00:41:38.230] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So people could really. Really come in and working with you be able to also kind of take advantage of some of those other services to help, especially help as they're going through this process.
[00:41:50.750] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
[00:41:51.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
To relieve some of the symptoms of the trauma that there.
[00:41:55.630] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
It's the reason that I practice where I practice instead of being in just a psychology clinic is that ability to be able to have direct contact with practitioners that are doing doing healing services that I think might be beneficial for my client. I'm often referring clients for massage, for acupuncture, for chiropractic, for homeopathy and all of those things.
[00:42:22.690] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Great. Well for people who want to learn more about what Fran does and to make an appointment, visit FranBieganekTherapy.com or call 612-564-9947. And again, that number is 612-564-9947. Thank you, Fran, for joining us today and telling us all about the therapies that you use and to help people who want to overcome trauma.
[00:42:49.280] - Fran Bieganek, Guest
You're welcome and thank you for the opportunity.
[00:42:51.300] - Candi Broeffle, Host
To read an online edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, or to check out our complete online calendar of events, visit NaturalTwincities.Com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com on Apple or Google podcast. Thank you for joining our conversation today. As we awaken to Natural Health, you've been listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota and I'm wishing for you a lovely day!