See How Thousands of Individuals are Using BrainWise!


Through the use of the BrainWise curricula thousands upon thousands of students have been taught the 10 Wise Ways and are benefitting from the program. In addition, through licensing agreements with BrainWise, many creative people have taken the basic concepts of the program and incorporated them into their own lessons or service offerings with the help of Dr. Barry.

BrainWise & Your Program

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 really able to change the students’ patterns of behavior. It helps them deal with impulsivity by helping them see that the choices they make can make a real difference in their lives.

School Counselor

I am impressed by the "aha" response that I get from BrainWise. Children have asked questions that reflect an understanding of the concepts, as have their parents. Staff members have readily recognized the way that the concepts fit our current understanding of the brain, and allow for the integration of different treatment interventions.

Psychiatrist and Director of Children’s Treatment Center

Social workers can talk with clients using BrainWise. We have found that clients who have learned BrainWise are calmer when the talk with caseworkers. The caseworkers notice differences in families who receive BrainWise. They are more receptive of the caseworkers.

Public Health Director

BrainWise has many applications. At first, I was afraid Chinese people would not understand a program that was developed in the United States, but have found that we can use it to prevent sex trafficking, smoking, HIV/AIDS and other problems.

Xiailiang Li, M.D
Kunming Medical College, Kunming, China

BrainWise and You

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

BrainWise By the Numbers




Years of Research






Books/Curricula Distributed


Teachers and Educators

The classroom setting was the place where the BrainWise program began. When developing her program, Dr. Barry spent hour upon hour as the lead teacher in a class for at-risk young women and their counselors.

Her break-through use of the concepts of neuroplasticity within a school environment led to the creation of the BrainWise K-5 and 6-12 curricula. This hands-on work was responsible for the development of an easy to use and scripted curriculum that gives teachers a much needed resource for use within their classrooms.

Teachers notice that today’s students are in greater need of psychological support and that many of the students are ill-prepared for a public school because of poverty, emotional issues, and unstable family lives. BrainWise gives teachers tools to help the students recognize they are responsible for their choices and the lesson activities make abstract concepts concrete and easy to learn and apply.

BrainWise provides a comprehensive package of ideas, providing a framework and tools to help teachers do a better job, and teachers say they find that teaching the 10 Wise Ways helps students understand  how to take responsibility for their behaviors, identify support sources and how to contact them, and gives them the ability to recognize why problems happen.

BrainWise knows that many teachers must fit their curriculum to a wide range of students from divergent backgrounds.  Teachers find that despite their differences, students all find BrainWise to be a useful tool that helps them reflect on their behavior and on the school’s culture, and allows them to integrate these critical thinking skills, called the Ten Wise Ways, into lessons in creative ways.

BrainWise is recognized as a culturally sensitive program, being taught in classrooms in China, Chugach, Alaska, on the Navajo Reservation, and in the northwest region of India.

Teachers all find that adding the 10 Wise Ways to their classrooms gives them a powerful and effective teaching tool that helps them, as well as their students.

How To Teach Brainwise Method

Behavioral and Public Health Providers

In 2010, The Nurse Collaboration was introduced as a new and innovative model to improve health decisions in at-risk families. The intervention involved public health nurse home visitors teaching the BrainWise decision-making program as a foundation for their intervention.

All the families had a number of risk behaviors and health problems: the presence of more than one child, histories of child abuse, 75% being single parents with less than 12 years of education, and 61% being unemployed. Pre and posttest data that measured parental behaviors, social support, child development knowledge, health literacy and resources and safety was collected across the patient population. This research showed that these high risk families, taught BrainWise by public health nurses during home visits, had significant positive changes in their behaviors following this intervention.

Other behavioral providers who focus is on preventive healthcare, referral to appropriate healthcare providers or services, and assisting clients with choosing sound health-related behaviors find that when BrainWise is used as the primary intervention for their work, clients become more self-sufficient through improvement of life skills, social resources, health habits and child care skills.

For example, when making home visits to a TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or Child Welfare client, a visiting worker can use the 10 Wise Ways to frame the discussion regarding the client’s network of support, wizard or lizard brain choices, red flag warnings, emotions elevator or other BrainWise concepts. Essentially BrainWise provides the tools to help the worker provide adults and children with thinking skills and resources to solve problems and function adaptively in family, school, work, and community contexts.

For these caregivers BrainWise can be a significant resource to teach clients to become self-sufficient through improvement of life skills, social resources, health habits and child care skills, as well as maximizing patient care and improving outcomes for a wide variety of client issues.

Brainwise Method Research & Results

Intervention and Support Programs

BrainWise has provided a successful underpinning for a wide range of intervention and support programs.

  • In Kunming, China the BrainWise curriculum is part of a tobacco prevention/cessation program for youth funded by the Bloomberg Foundation.
  • BrainWise enhanced an online course infused with conflict problems faced by youth with special needs (i.e., youth with intellectual disabilities, social emotional/emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, hearing and/or visually impaired, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, autism spectrum disorders, and other disabilities).
  • BrainWise is used in a week-long camp program for potential future leaders with physical disabilities, or other similar challenges.
  • BrainWise is the foundation of ten years of work involving Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) children and caregivers.
  • A Homeless Mission used BrainWise the foundation for their intervention programs. Clients are provided housing and are encouraged to stay in the program for 1-2 years. Services include GED, job training, and job placement.
  • BrainWise became the foundation of a community-based program that teaches work readiness in Alabama. The program prepares participants for the job market through life skills, job skills, job ethics and more.

In all these instances the findings were overwhelmingly positive – BrainWise is key to developing skills that last a lifetime.

Brainwise Method Research & Results


The success of BrainWise is in helping young people improve thinking and decision making skills, and parental participation is a vital component of the program’s success. As students work to develop skills that will allow them to be successful learners, BrainWise can play an integral part in their emotional and behavioral growth. Parent involvement through parent support groups, participation in counseling, and through support of the educational and therapeutic program are all ways that parents have been involved in BrainWise.

In many instances of where families struggle, a lack of relationship skills is a common thread to many of these challenges. Current relationship methods may be unsuccessful, and to deal with family issues new strategies of communication and support must be used.
BrainWise provides a good way to integrate many different ages and perspectives, and it supplies a common language to work through a variety of issues that families may confront.

In addition, many parents who have chosen to home-school their children find that the scripted, easy to use, and affordable BrainWise curricula fit perfectly into their educational plans.

How to Teach

Counselors and Therapists

School counselors have been longtime BrainWise champions and supporters and helped pilot the first courses taught to at-risk teens.  Today, they continue to be one of the largest groups of program users and counselors find that the concepts taught in BrainWise are easily translatable for use within their work.  Many have introduced BrainWise throughout schools where they work, creating a school-wide culture that reinforces the concepts of the program. Counselors find that one of the reasons BrainWise works is that it allows the counselor to be creative in delivering the lessons.

Dr. Gary Swanson, M.D., medical director of an inpatient/outpatient facility, says that BrainWise is easy to teach and helps children, youth, parents and staff understand “that behavioral and emotional problems are not all due to chemical imbalances or ADHD, but rather may be the result of developmental connection problems that can be addressed both through therapy and medications.”

This understanding is key to the positive behavioral change that can result through the teaching and reinforcement of the BrainWise Program.

One counselor who works as a Personal Growth Coach with clients in one-on-one sessions, as well as teaching Mindfulness Practice to groups learned that so many of her clients do not use any form of thinking skills in their decision making. She found that BrainWise helps them realize they could be more in control of events and strong emotions, rather than let those things control them.

Teachers and therapists have also worked together to offer a number of suggestions to implement the BrainWise curriculum in a school, including introducing a new BrainWise concept to the students each week and then integrating the 10 Wise Ways into classroom lessons and the school culture, effectively providing a school-wide language that can have a positive impact on the school environment.

“When there is support from the top, and a plan in place to reinforce BrainWise skills and terminology on a regular basis, we have seen great results,” Dr. Barry said. “BrainWise is a perfect fit for schools that emphasize emotional and behavioral development. It teaches about the brain, and shows students how positive behaviors build brain connections, helping them learn to stop and think before they react.

Brainwise Method Research & Results
  • Who can benefit from the program?

    BrainWise benefits people whose behaviors raise the questions: What was I thinking? What was he thinking? What was she thinking? What were they thinking? Children, youth, and adults need the critical thinking skills BrainWise teaches to help them make better choices and responsible decisions. When they learn and use the 10 Wise Ways, they stop and think before they act. Without them, they use embedded Lizard Brain survival instincts that react to intense emotions.

    The program is taught to special needs children and teens, as well as to average and high performing children and teens. And while the benefits for welfare mothers and homeless men are more dramatic, BrainWise has individually helped parents, teachers, health professionals, and employers as well as families, students, clients and patients.

    The program’s benefits extend across cultures, benefiting youth and adults in China, including women who are targeted by sex traffickers. The U.S. Indian Health Services approved BrainWise as a program that benefits Native Americans and Alaska Natives. It is taught in India, Canada, Taiwan, and other countries to improve health behaviors and prevent suicide, drug and substance abuse, and family violence. The 10 Wise Ways are being taught to help people of all educational and socioeconomic levels. The program’s benefits are recognized by educators, parents, caregivers, health providers, behavioral health specialists and others who want to teach critical thinking and decision making skills. (Link her to BrainWise success stories and testimonials.)

  • Who is using BrainWise?

    Individuals who use BrainWise are seeking teaching tools that will help them give their students, clients, and patients skills to make better choices and decisions.
    BrainWise is used by kindergarten teachers and college professors, by educators who work with severely developmentally disabled youth, as well as teachers of gifted and talented. It is used by nurses working for home visitation programs and by counselors with drug and alcohol treatment programs. Social workers, behavioral health specialists, therapists, career counselors, principals, professors CEOs and directors use BrainWise. They teach the program to Girl Scouts, teens on probation, incarcerated men and women, elementary school children high school students, broken families, peer educators and homeless women and men. The program is used by public schools and private schools, in court-ordered treatment programs and after school community programs, in church organized parent groups and private businesses. BrainWise is used in the workplace to increase job retention, worker productivity and workplace safety.

    To see how BrainWise is being used in a variety of settings, click on the “BrainWise and Your Program” button on the top left side of this page.

    If you would like to develop a customized program to fit your particular situation, please contact us at 303-837-0229 or email us at with your request.

  • Can BrainWise be integrated into other teaching materials and programs?

    BrainWise is praised by instructors for how easy they can integrate into other programs. The program’s universal framework is key for its adaptability, as it enables instructors to discuss problem situations appropriate for the ages, academic abilities, and cultural backgrounds of whomever they are teaching. Even though its foundation is rooted in complex brain processes, the program uses concepts and words that are easy to understand. The BrainWise approach can be used to assess personal problems, as well as the problems of characters in stories, movies, videos, TV shows, advertising, and current events.

    “Be BrainWise with Money” is an example of how an instructor incorporated the 10 Wise Ways into a money management curses. BrainWise has been integrated into behavioral health courses, substance abuse prevention, leadership classes parenting courses, and others. Instructors teach BrainWise as a foundation, and apply the 10 Wise Ways to whatever problems their students and clients need to address. The program’s thinking skills help them solve problems affiliated with family, relationships, school, work and community.

  • Is BrainWise culturally relevant?

    BrainWise is a universal program — everyone needs to learn how to build brain connections to stop and think. Its framework for teaching decision making concepts can be applied to anyone. The program’s cross-cultural relevancy is demonstrated by its use in cultures ranging from illiterate women in China targeted by sex traffickers to Native youth and families Alaska at-risk for suicide, substance abuse and violence. BrainWise is being taught to individuals of all ages, educational levels, and mental abilities, as well as cultural backgrounds. In a Colorado high school that serves students from 80 countries, a BrainWise instructor teaches the class to special needs students. BrainWise has been approved by the U.S. Indian Health Services as a program that works to improve the health and well-being of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. This recognition is difficult to obtain, and further proof that BrainWise is culturally relevant.

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