Western Association for Biofeedback and Neuroscience — Spring 2017 34 their expectations. But this is unlikely to happen. We are figuratively back with Galileo and his telescope. The Church prelates were no fools when they passed up the chance to look through the telescope. They might well be persuaded by the ev- idence, and then where would they be? Their souls’ future might be in peril if they came to doubt the Church’s teach- ings. They chose what for them was clear- ly the wiser course: do not yield to the temptation to look through the telescope! Matters are much the same presently. Our critics would rather not be persuad- ed of the evidence because that would ensnare them in controversy and possibly even imperil their academic careers. Aca- demia is unforgiving of missteps. Under the circumstances, they can be heroes to their tribe by presuming to evaluate neu- rofeedback and finding it wanting. In time these people could even become our allies, but that will happen only by virtue of what we do rather than through yet more academic studies for them to review. We will have to claim the high ground all by ourselves. We already hold the high ground in mental health. We just need the courage to declare that to the world. Our answer to the academic critics is that for the conditions we deal with, the NNT, the ‘number needed to treat’ in order to establish efficacy is near unity. Clinically significant progress is being made incre- mentally and progressively in nearly every session; learning curves are taking shape before our eyes; global functional im- provements are being noted; regressions and setbacks are countered with changes in strategy. Surprising subsidence of long- term complaints may be reported along the way. It becomes inescapably obvious that an active process is involved. Nearly all clients report clinical benefit that they themselves judge to have been worth- while. This process is nothing mysterious, however. The brain has simply been em- powered in its own cause with the help of information on its own time course of function. Dear critic: If you insist on calling this a placebo, then so be it. But in that case, ours is bigger than yours. “To describe neurofeedback is hard--- Frequencies, wires and lard. One stares at a screen, With a digital scene, Whilst the brain finally lets down its guard.” Gabriel McCoy “I used to think that the brain was the most fascinating part of the body… then I realized what was telling me that.” Emo Phillips “I regard therapeutics as in too un- developed a state for us to be able to stamp out the contributions of all fa- natics and one-sided geniuses.” Wil- liam James