Top 50 Life Skills Courses In The World (P.22) BrainWise (USA): Skills to control emotions and react wisely


( Learning how to stop and think, control emotions, and make good choices are skills that underlie success. Students who complete the BrainWise Program are making better choices and better decisions, which allow them to live happier and healthier lives.

In order to succeed in today’s world, everyone must possess the social, emotional, and critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and respond to ever-more complex situations and to recognize, understand, and appropriately manage their own emotions. Learning how to control impulsive behavior, accurately identify choices, assess the consequences of actions, and make responsible decisions is what BrainWise is all about.


Founded by Dr. Patricia Gorman Barry Ph.D. in 1995, the BrainWise Program, a 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 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.


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 is being taught to children, teens, and adults in rural villages in Alaska, India, and China, as well as in schools and agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada and 18 other countries. BrainWise partners include inner-city schools, universities, social service agencies, mental health providers, school districts, justice programs, and health workers.  This wide and diverse acceptance and use of the BrainWise Program validates the valuable outcomes of teaching individuals skills that help them control emotions, process problems, and respond responsibly.

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