Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge knew from a young age she had a calling to help children.
“As I went to school, I saw the impact that could have on kids,” she said.
Years later, when she had a psychotherapy and pharmacology practice, she saw her young patient bouncing off the walls. She knew she had to shift course.
Today, she offers biofeedback and other alternatives to talk therapy and medication at her practice in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She goes by Dr. Roseann in her practice, which opened nearly 20 years ago.
A staff of 16, including five psychotherapists and others trained in neurofeedback, work with a large number of children, teens, individuals and families. Over the years, she and her team have served thousands of clients.
She first discovered biofeedback and neurofeedback in researching the effects of alternate therapies for mental health as a graduate student.
“I just started going deeper and deeper,” she said, “and along the way I found neurofeedback and biofeedback. That really became a game changer.”
Biofeedback and neurofeedback are decades-old treatments designed to re-wire thinking patterns that lead to conditions such as anxiety, depression and trauma.
“What neurofeedback does is reinforce your brain to go from dysregulated to regulated,” she said. “You are using technology to get the brain to be in this healthy, regulated state.”
Biofeedback, meanwhile, allows the individual to control bodily functions such as brain and heart rate in response to outside stimuli.
Helping Children During Uncertain Times
Dr. Roseann started The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health in January 2020, two months before the global pandemic. The program promotes natural therapies and gives parents the tools to help their children cope with mental illness.
Even before the pandemic, mental health issues in children were on the rise. According to data from the Center for Disease Control, the suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 years old climbed 56 percent between 2007 and 2017.
What Dr. Roseann loves the most about working with children is how straightforward they can be.
“They’re straight shooters, they say it like it is,” she said, “and they are very open to learning. Adults start thinking, kids start doing.”
During the pandemic, students sought treatment for focus issues, due to the stresses of remote learning.
“A lot of kids were struggling with focus and motivation while doing virtual learning,” she said. “Many of these kids maybe had a very mild level of focus issues. They were fully functional, no need for intervention. Without those things, they really fell apart.”
The practice, which offered virtual sessions before the pandemic, is now 50 percent virtual, says Dr. Roseann.
“During the pandemic, people have gotten super comfortable with virtual therapies,” she said. “People like it, and they are continuing with doing virtual therapy.”
Dr. Roseann does not take insurance, and does not publish her rates online. She advises new clients with insurance interested in services to access their out-of-network benefits.