East Carolina University. Tomorrow starts here.®
The College of Health and Human Performance
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies

Biofeedback logo

Certificate Program

Biofeedback Certificate Program

Biofeedback is a treatment technique whereby people learn to balance their nervous system by using signals from their own bodies. Therapists using biofeedback as a treatment tool can train people to alter brain activity, blood pressure, heart rate, and other body functions that are often thought to be involuntary. 

As an example, Recreational Therapists can use biofeedback to help tense and anxious clients learn how to relax. A monitoring device such as an ear clip or finger cuff is attached to the client, and it records changes in heart or breathing rate as the individual participates in a recreational activity, such as playing a video game. Initially, these monitoring devices are used to measure subtle body changes and make them apparent to the client, who begins to learn how to better control these responses. Eventually, the client attains better self-regulation without the aid of these devices.

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at East Carolina University offers coursework leading to a Certificate in Biofeedback. The course offerings provide the knowledge and skills necessary to use biofeedback as an intervention to predict, prevent, and promote health and optimal performance as well as to treat various medical conditions. 

Currently the demand for quality biofeedback professionals is far greater than the supply of trained individuals. Our certificate program provides the training and skills essential for successful application of biofeedback competencies. This program is intended for physicians, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, counselors, recreational therapists, adaptive physical educators, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other health professionals. Classes are taught on campus, online, and via a “Global Classroom” allowing students from all over the world access to the live course from a desktop computer. Lab courses do require students to be present to experience hands on learning.


To be eligible to earn the Biofeedback Certificate students must be (a) currently enrolled in a graduate program, or (b) admitted to ECU as a non-degree graduate student. The graduate Certificate in Biofeedback requires 12 semester hours (s.h.) of approved coursework (6 s.h. of Biofeedback and 6 s.h. of approved supportive coursework).



RCTX 6001 Biofeedback: Principles and Practices (3), Formerly RCLS 6001; P: BIOL 2130, 2131 or equivalent

Overview of biofeedback history, instrumentation, and intervention techniques, including assessment, treatment and evaluation processes.


RCTX 6002 Biofeedback Lab (1), Formerly RCLS 6002; P/C: RCTX 6001

Application of biofeedback measuring and monitoring techniques in a variety of health and human performance settings.


RCTX 6003 Advanced Biofeedback Lab (2), Formerly RCLS 6003; P: RCTX 6002
Assessment, treatment selection, documentation, and evaluation of biofeedback services in health and human performance settings.

Supervision requirements for students include:

  • Patient/Client Treatment - 50 total sessions:
    • EMG Biofeedback - 10 Sessions
    • Thermal Biofeedback - 10 Sessions
    • GSR Biofeedback - 10 Sessions
    • Remaining 20 sessions in modality of choice
  • Direct Clinical Supervision 20 contact hours across those 50 client treatment sessions via phone, video, Internet, etc.
  • Biofeedback Case Conference - 10 sessions
Students must also complete 6 additional semester hours of approved coursework.
BCIA logo

Board Certification demonstrates professionalism and adherence to carefully developed standards as a healthcare provider. Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) procedures follow the Department of Health & Human Services Guidelines. Healthcare professionals who achieve BCIA Certification demonstrate commitment to professionalism by completing basic degree and educational requirements, endorsing a rigorous code of professional conduct, learning to apply clinical biofeedback skills during mentorship, and passing a written examination. Additionally, BCIA is the only institute recognized worldwide that grants biofeedback and neurofeedback certification to health care professionals. The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (BFE), and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) all endorse BCIA certification. Follow the link to learn more about BCIA Certification