A new therapy that combines coordination and mental exercises, along with other sensory stimuli designed to improve brain function is available in the Spokane Valley.
Mental health counselor Marilyn Marshall and education kinesiology instructor Dot Trimble teamed up last fall to begin providing what they call Connect Therapy.
Although the women say many can benefit from their therapy, it’s generally sought by those looking to help children and adults who have difficulties processing information and might have been diagnosed with such disorders as dyslexia, attention deficit, sensory integration deficit and even anxiety.
“Processing difficulties do not have to be permanent,” says Marshall, who has practiced in Spokane Valley for the past six years at the counseling offices of Hake, Crowley, McKelvey and Marshall and has taken advanced study courses of the human brain. “We have the potential to grow new neural pathways. The brain has ways to restructure itself.”
People with the inability to process information oftentimes struggle with learning disabilities, emotional issues or behavioral challenges, and even forgetfulness.
Connect Therapy is a treatment program that incorporates movement, such as balancing, with other sensory and cognitive therapies to help stimulate neurological growth. By combining therapies that incorporate the entire body, their treatment aims to address the underlying problem for some, and for others simply allow them to reach their greatest potential.
Their therapy program is individualized for clients ages 3 and older. And the two women agree it is an effective alternative to medication in many cases. It can also be beneficial for people who have difficulties processing information due to aging, illness, or even brain injury. They say it can even be a tool for anyone who wants to improve their mental performance capabilities.
Movement and balance are vital to the treatment because when combined with mental stimuli it promotes the new neurological growth and results in increased whole brain function, bi-lateral brain function, brain reaction timing, brain balance and performance under stress.
“The foundation is combining all the pieces,” says Trimble, who is accredited by Brain Gym, an international educational kinesiology program that focuses on physical activities that activate the brain’s ability to store and retrieve information.
“These movements that we add to the mental programs are developmental movements we start as a baby,” she said, adding that “how we perceive things all comes back to our balance.”
Marshall and Trimble, who have used this therapy on clients from age 3 to 50, are expanding Connect Therapy services to accommodate 15 additional clients. They offer a free phone consultation for potential clients. A comprehensive evaluation costs $395 and involves a series of tests along with incorporating medical information.
The program fee requires a $2,500 deposit and costs $300 a month. Clients receive equipment for exercises and auditory tapes that must be used at home. The program generally lasts for one year with weekly office appointments.
“What we believe is this allows us to take what there is and create their maximum level of functioning,” Marshall says. “The real passion for us, because of our own experiences, is we want to offer hope and encouragement for families.”