in partnership with the
Behavioral Medicine Research & Training Foundation

Non-profit Scientific & Educational Organization 91-1948669
operating under Section 501c3 of the US Internal Revenue Code
6576 Blue Mountain Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362

Course Description and outline for:
Introduction to General Biofeedback
(This the BCIA General Biofeedback Course)
50 CEUs, Course Fee: $750.

Presented by Richard A. Sherman, PhD

Course Concept and Description This introductory level CE course is the equivalent of a three credit post-licensure course and provides 50 hours of CE credit. The course is targeted to teachers, coaches and licensed / certified clinicians such as psychologists, counselors, physical therapists, social workers, nurses, and physicians as well as to graduate students. Students learn by watching audiovisual lectures, reading assignments both from materials provided on the course web site or CDs and standard texts, watching movies which demonstrate equipment & key techniques, and interacting with their instructor via e-mail. They answer short essay questions after each lecture rather than taking exams. Previous students have found that this course takes between 45 and 95 hours of work to perform. Students start the course whenever they wish to within six months of the date of purchase and proceed at their convenience but the course must be completed in one year. The course provides sufficient material so participants will (a) know the psychophysiological bases for performing the recordings (b) what the common assessments and interventions are as well as how they work, (c) what the common associated interventions are, (d) how the recording devices work in a clinical setting, (d) how to perform an effective recording, and (e) how to perform effective psychophysiological assessments and interventions. The course meets all of the requirements for the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America’s biofeedback certification course and is approved by them for this purpose. Please note that clinicians interested in being certified in biofeedback by the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America would have to be mentored in treating patients with biofeedback before they could take the certification exam.

Learning objectives: The course objective is to provide the depth of knowledge in psychophysiology, biofeedback equipment, and training techniques which clinicians require to perform psychophysiologically oriented assessments and biofeedback based interventions. This information is crucial to effectively adding these techniques to a clinician’s practice.

This course is designed to help you (the student):

  1. Summarize the psychophysiological processes underlying each condition covered in the course.
  2. Use psychophysiological recording and biofeedback devices to record and display psychophysiological information.
  3. Control the biofeedback display to optimize learning
  4. Use psychophysiological recording equipment to assess patients with specific conditions
  5. Use biofeedback equipment to apply specific interventions tailored to each condition covered in the course.

DISCLAIMER: Completion of this continuing education course is strictly for educational / informational purposes and does not imply competency, proficiency, and/or experience. The course completion certificate is not a clinical certification nor a license to practice.

Format: Home study supported by e-mail chats after each unit is completed. The lecture portion of the course is presented through a series of audiovisual lectures profusely illustrated by power-point slides and movies. The course is accessed from the course web site. The audiovisual lectures are on power point slides. You will hear the instructor’s voice while viewing the power point sides. The lectures are between 1 ½ and 2 ½ hours in length. Reading assignments parallel the lectures. After watching the lecture and reading the assigned supporting files, you will answer a brief series of short essay review questions (which are in the review questions file on the course web site). The answered questions are then e-mailed to the instructor. You and the instructor will discuss each unit via e-mail chat after your answers are assessed. There is no need to complete the discussion with the instructor before proceeding to the succeeding lecture & chapters. It is expected that all review questions will be answered correctly and completely by the student. Any questions answered incorrectly or incompletely must be discussed and/or corrected. You will have at least one real-time meeting with the instructor via a web based program such as “go to meeting” during which you will interact around your new skills.

Accessibility: Hearing impaired people can view the slides only as virtually all of the material presented in the lectures is typed onto the slides. Visually impaired people can concentrate on the verbal lectures as the slide material is repeated in the lecture accompanying each slide.

Accessing course materials: All course materials are available on the course web site. When you purchase the course, you will be given instructions for accessing the course web site immediately.

Computer and Computer Knowledge Requirements: Anybody with a modern computer and a bit of basic understanding of computer operation (at the level of being able to send e-mails) can play this course with minimal problems. You must have a computer (a) capable of connecting to the internet and running a typical internet program, (b) containing/running a modern word processor such as Microsoft word or Word Perfect, (c) the capability to play sounds such as music (has speakers and appropriate software which normally come with any modern computer), and (d) a slide viewing program such as Power Point (you can probably get a slide viewing program free off the internet if you don’t have one). Any modern (e.g., built within the last ten years), IBM style computer running Windows 98 and more recent platforms (e.g., XP or Windows 8) should be able to do this. Speed, hard disk size, and RAM are not factors for computers in the above category.

Dozens of students have used recent Apple products (MACs etc.) for the course however they frequently have more difficulty playing the course materials than PC users do. If you are using a MAC type of computer, you must have a current version of “quicktime”. If you do not have it, you can download it for free from the web.

Prerequisites & professional training requirements: The course is far easier for people who have taken undergraduate courses in general biology and general psychology. If you haven’t had them, contact us before registering. You will do much better in the course if you have already taken our “Anatomy and Physiology for Behavioral Clinicians” course.

This course is intended for licensed / certified clinicians, teachers and coaches. None of the instructional material offered will provide you with the clinical skills needed to apply the psychophysiological assessment and interventional techniques you will learn in the clinical environment unless you are already a trained clinician.

Faculty: The course is given by Dr. Richard Sherman, Ph.D. He is certified by BCIA, approved by BCIA to teach the general biofeedback certification course, and currently teaches A&P, Pelvic floor disorders, pain, and other courses. He is a professional psychophysiologist with extensive training (his Ph.D. is in biology & psychology), has nearly 30 years of experience in the field, and has published over 130 books, chapters, and articles (mostly in peer reviewed journals). Dr. Sherman is Director of the psychophysiology doctoral specialization at Saybrook University and has held many positions within the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback including president. Full CV available upon request and on the course web site.

Strongly Recommended Texts : The cost of the recommended texts is not included in the course fee. No text is absolutely required for the course because most of the text of the following Pain Assessment book is on the course web site. Students are strongly urged to purchase one of the recommended texts. Your instructor can help you make the choice.

Texts are available for purchase on our web site.

a. Pain Assessment and Intervention From a Psychophysiological Perspective by Richard A. Sherman. Combined print/CD version published by AAPB 2012 (order from the Behavioral Medicine Foundation’s web site ( or AAPB’s bookstore (800 477-8892). This book may be on the course web site so check before ordering it.

b. Biofeedback: A Practitioner’s guide. Edited by Mark Schwartz and Frank Andrasik. Guilford Press of New York, 2003. Discounted purchase available through AAPB’s bookstore (800 477-8892).

Recommended Texts (Especially for people intending to take the BCIA exam):
a. Introduction to Surface Electromyography by Jeffrey R. Cram and Glenn S. Kasman with Jonathan Holtz. Aspen, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1998.

b. Clinical Applications in Surface Electromyography – Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain by Glenn S. Kasman, Jeffrey R. Cram, and Steven L. Wolf. Aspen, Gaithersburg, Maryland 1998.

Very optional text only for those who intend to do brain wave (EEG) biofeedback: Getting Started with Neurofeedback by John N. Demos. WW Norton & Company, NY, 2005. Discounted purchase available through AAPB’s bookstore (800 477-8892). NOTE: I urge you to take the Foundation’s EEG Biofeedback / Neurofeedback course before actually doing neurofeedback.

Course Contents / Order of Lectures and Readings: (Note that there are 28 required lectures) After listening to each lecture, do the assigned reading, watch the assigned movies, and follow along in the pain text. The numbered items include review questions students must answer to receive credit for the course.

Note that in accordance with BCIA requirements, this course includes at least the following number of hours of education in the following topics scattered through all of the lectures: (a) 4 hours of introduction to / history of applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, (b) 4 hours of stress, coping & illness, (c) 8 hours of psychophysiological recording information, (d) 8 hours of SEMG applications, (e) 8 hours of ANS applications, (f) 4 hours of EEG applications, (g) 8 hours of introduction to standard adjunctive techniques, and (h) 4 hours of professional conduct/ethics.

Administrative introduction (View slide set 1.) – no questions

  1. Basic concepts and Credibility (View slide sets 2 and 3 then read the text files BFB psychophysiological recording, BFB Rehabilitation Chapter; BFB Rules for establishing credibility and either listen to or read the slides from the “BFBV intro to BFB” lecture.)(About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  2. Stress and disease (View slide set 4 then read the text files BFB psychophysiology of stress responses, BFB Heart & Stress.)(About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  3. Electricity, Muscles, and SEMG (View slide set 5; Read text file “BFB muscle type vs. function”.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  4. Development and nerves (View slide set 6.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  5. Pain 1: Referred pain, EEG, and blood flow (View slide set 7 & read BFB SEMG & Pain review as well as BFB p100.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  6. Pain 2: Headache (View slide set 8.)(About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  7. Pain 3: Low back pain, trigger points (View slide set 9.)(About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  8. Recording 1: Equipment overview (View slide set 10, read the text files (a) BFB effects of medications on signals as well as (b) BFB equipment decisions, and watch movie 1.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  9. Recording 2: SEMG (View slide set 11.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  10. Recording 3: GSR, respiration, Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability (View slide set 12.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  11. Recording 4: Temperature, and EEG (View slide set 13 then read BFB Drugs & EEG signal.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  12. Assessment 1: Interviews and tracking changes (View slide set 14.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  13. Assessment 2: Psychophysiological profiles (View slide set 15, read BFB psychophysiological profile table, & watch movies 2 and 3.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  14. Assessment 3: Low back pain and headaches (View slide set 16, read BFB headache log, BFB headache protocol, & view movies 4, 5, & 6.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  15. Assessment 4: Phantom Pain & Pelvic floor (View slide set 17 and view movies 7, 8, 9, & 10 on CD 4.)(About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor)
  16. Assessment 5: Norms and habituation (View slide set 18). (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  17. Associated techniques: Relaxation training, meditation, cognitive restructuring, etc. (View slide set 19 & read BFB aches & pain exercise program, BFB relaxation exercise, BFB Exercise effects on mood, BFB focused breathing exercise.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  18. Treatment 1: Techniques overview, model protocol (View slide set 20 & read BFB efficacy overview.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  19. Treatment 2: Muscle and blood flow related problems (View slide set 21 & read BFB TMD Rx review.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  20. Treatment 3 & 4: Pelvic floor interventions 1 and 2 (View slide sets 22 & 23 then & read treatment of UI review, BFB UI protocol, BFB UI handout for males, BFB UI handout for males, BFB Anorectal disorders.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  21. Treatment 5 & 6: Anxiety, ADHD, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, Raynauds, addiction, etc. (View slide sets 24 & 25 then read BFB EEG vs. placebo for ADHD, BFB EEG for ADHD review, BFB hypertension treatment review.) (About 2 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  22. Cases and tricks (view slide set 26.)(About 1 hour including interaction with the instructor.)
  23. Ethics (View slide sets 27 & 28 then read the text files (a) BFB patient handouts and consents and (b) “BFB BCIA ethics document”.) (Approximately 4 hours including interaction with the instructor.)
  24. Decision Making & Conclusion (view slide set 29) – (Approximately 1 hour.) Read the “additions and corrections” file – no questions Fill out (a) the BCIA evaluation form at and (b) the Foundation evaluation form (MS Word file named (BFB course & instructor evaluations) and send it to the Foundation at

    When all requirements have been successfully completed, your course completion certificate will be e-mailed to you and BCIA will be informed that you completed the course.

    Administrative Information

    Schedule: You can start the course whenever wish to within six months of the purchase date and work at your own pace as long as you complete the course within one year of purchase.

    Duration of course validity: You must begin the course within six months of the purchase date and complete it within one year of the purchase date. Courses not completed by that time are void and must be repurchased if still available. No refunds are provided for courses not completed within one year of purchase.

    CE Credit: Saybrook University is regionally accredited and approved by the state of California to grant degrees. These are continuing education, not university accredited, courses. CE credits are given through (1) the state of California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences (Approval # PCE1895); (2) The National Board of Certified Counselors (Provider # 6270), and (3) the Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Foundation maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Saybrook University is regionally accredited and approved to grant degrees by the state of California.

    BCIA: This course is accepted by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance for both certification and recertification.

    Purchasing courses: Courses can be purchased from Biofeedback International Resources by clicking the Buy Me button for the specific course here. Full refund will be made until the students are given access to the course website.

    After getting access to the course website, there is no refund at all, as Saybrook University and the Foundation have committed their resources to you and you have access to all of the course materials. A course would only be cancelled due to an extreme emergency on the part of the course instructor or the Foundation. In the highly unlikely event a course is cancelled, you would receive a full refund.

    Scholarships: Saybrook University and the Foundation give scholarships consisting of 25% off the cost of the course(s) to (a) students and professionals (e.g. clinicians, coaches, teachers) from emerging nations and (b) full time graduate students in developed nations.

    Course updates: Updates to all courses are placed on the course web site as they are made. Students are informed when updates are available.