FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) How do you learn how to learn or increase your learning potential? A Fort Wayne center called MindCap works with children and adults to help them increase their cognitive abilities.
Marissa Barger was born in Guatemala and lived in an orphanage until being adopted by a Fort Wayne family that decided to enroll her in the program.
“I teach her how to learn… how to think,” said cognitive coach and assistant director Greta Ehlers. “I teach her the micro-steps we take as thinkers.”
MindCap uses activities, worksheets, puzzles and games to help people re-engage their brain and grow brain cells. It’s based on a program that originated overseas.
“The Feuerstein program originated in Israel by an Israeli psychologist named Reuven Feuerstein,” said MindCap director Dr. Jeanne Zehr. “He actually worked with trauma victims from the holocaust and instead of taking a typical talk therapy route, which of course is wonderful and works, he chose a very active cognitive skills approach and so he got people to wake up their brain and get it to work again.”
“If you were going to learn to be a great tennis player you would have a coach that would teach you to slow your swing down to analyze the height of your elbow or shoulder. Well we never do that for thinking, except with the Feuerstein program. Let’s learn how to slow down and analyze and how to learn how to think so we can speed it up later.”
Dr. Zehr says the program utilizes activities that help cognitive coaches analyze qualities than can help clients like Marissa Barger work on self-improvement.
“They helped me want to be more interested in doing my homework,” said Barger, “That definitely helped me with my grades during the end of the school year.”
Dr. Zehr said the program has been used in nearly 40 countries around the world.
“We’re the only center in North America that provides not only training for people who would like to implement the program, but also to adults and children who want the program. We’ve found adults that are struggling with brain fog maybe from chemotherapy, or a car accident that was years ago… they look fine, act fine and they’re back to work but yet short term memory is still struggling. How about helping our brain be able to thrive and actually do more and succeed more than we ever thought possible?”
Cindy: It’s good for anybody,” said Cindy Barger, Marissa’s mother. “It would help anybody.”
MindCap will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate its growth in Fort Wayne. The ceremony will take place Tuesday, September 12 at 11 a.m. at 6507 Constitution Drive in Fort Wayne. During the event information will be shared about a project Parkview is launching next year that will work with MindCap to research a non-pharmaceutical method for helping children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
MindCap sessions cost $100 for an hour long one-on-one session and $40 for an individual in a group of three.