A Proven Evidenced Based Program!


I've taught 'thinking skills' to teens for the past twenty years, but BrainWise puts the skills together in one program. The Lesson Plans make it easy to teach rather difficult abstract concepts. It is exciting to see the students use their new thinking skills to stop and think and avoid problem situations. The concepts are retained, too -- even by students who took the course three years ago!

Marsha Harman
School Counselor

The main feature of this program is that it gives kids a foundation to deal with each other in a more humane way. The curriculum and vocabulary are on their level, and they provide kids with the tools to communicate and deal with what they do on a daily basis.

Jo Thomas
junior-high educator for 30 years

I use to blame everybody for everything. Now I know it was me. BrainWise taught me how to make better choices. It showed me the difference between facts and opinions and has saved me a lot of problems.

Middle School Female, 13


brainwise-class-activity-adults-2 Founded by Dr. Patricia Gorman Barry Ph.D. in 1995, the BrainWise Program, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, has been involved in the research and development of curricula that teach children, youth, and at-risk adults essential emotional, social, and cognitive skills through an innovative structured approach called the “10 Wise Ways.”

As a public health nurse early in her professional career, Dr. Barry counseled and worked with teen mothers, battered women, new parents, victims of physical and sexual abuse, youth with sexually transmitted diseases, truants, drop-outs, substance abusers, suicidal youth, families of suicide victims, and the mentally disabled.

In this work, she saw the tragic impact on lives caused by non-thinking, impulsive, behaviors. When she realized that many people with whom she worked reacted emotionally and impulsively to problems because they had never learned any differently, she created BrainWise to teach about the brain and how learning certain skills—the “10 Wise Ways”—would help promote Wizard Brain thinking over Lizard Brain reacting.

BrainWise is a comprehensive program that provides the essential tools to help individuals make good decisions and take control of their lives. After years of using and evaluating BrainWise, researchers, educators, counselors, social workers, public health nurses, and those who specialize in child and adolescent development agree that this program offers a proven means of teaching essential critical thinking skills called “executive functions.” They agree that knowing and practicing these skills will greatly benefit participants throughout their lives.

BrainWise by the Numbers


Curricula & Books


Years of Research






Books/Curricula Distributed


BrainWise & Your Program

Hundreds of schools, service organizations, youth groups, community based organizations, health providers, mental health agencies and others have taught BrainWise and helped thousands of individuals learn the 10 Wise Ways. Here’s how they do it.



BrainWise is thankful for our community partners who help spread BrainWise throughout the world.

Research and Results

BrainWise has an extensive history of applied research and evidence-based evaluations that show program graduates make improvements in behaviors that affect their health and well-being .

The foundation for the BrainWise Program combines information about our “hard-wired brain” with other research that includes:

  • A growing body of data on the brain’s functions and a characteristic called “neuroplasticity”, which denotes the ability of the brain to be flexible and reactive in its development;
  • The corresponding identification of teaching methods for important skills which build neural connections to higher brain functions; and,
  • An increased understanding that cognitive skills not used are lost–the “use it or lose it” mantra or performance excellence.

This information, together with decades of scientific-based research in the fields of education and the social sciences, was used to develop and measure BrainWise.