The importance of being seen and heard…of being recognised for our uniqueness…of learning to embrace our differences… These simple concepts play in my mind so often when I think of young children navigating life and school. We are all different, unique human beings, and yet we are so often expected to “be the same” and fit into the same narrow confines of how we are expected to behave, communicate and particularly, learn in school.
If we can find ways to understand our differences, see them as unique strengths rather than barriers and use them to our advantage we have the opportunity to change our children’s belief in themselves and potentially open their lives up to a world of future opportunities that may not have been possible.
My family’s personal experiences of trauma and loss with the sudden death of my husband lead me to the discovery of this unique tool when I needed help in supporting my children through this tumultuous time. The insights we gained were enlightening and allowed me the confidence to make the changes that have improved our quality of life, family dynamics and the learning abilities of my children dramatically. My background which includes studies in psychology, coaching and nutrition enabled me to take on the training of this tool and incorporate it into the work I do which has been such a privilege.
Genetic Brain Profiling (GBP) is a tool, it is not an assessment. Rather, through a series of questions and activities, we are confirming a person’s genetic dominance or preference with regards to hemisphere, hand, foot, eye and ear. This preference develops in-utero as part of the survival gene and impacts subtle differences in how we receive information, process information and how we express ourselves and communicate.
GBP has 32 different profiles and we include three sub types relating to temperament, which impacts the expression of the profile. This ultimately means we have 96 different profiles to work with. Each profile is unique and so much more than the sum of the parts, meaning that although each modality might be linked to certain preferences or behaviours, how they intersect in each profile is where we find most of the beneficial insight.
Understanding these profiles helps us to see how a person may have a preference in communication style, if they have a natural attention to detail or not, if they have strong ability to visualise and conceptualise, if they are highly sensitive to the emotions of others, how they handle conflict and so much more.
One of the areas of particular benefit is understanding how each profile is affected under stressful conditions and what is most likely to cause stress for the individual. This can help us to recognise which children need extra support and tools for coping – particularly under exam pressure as the non-dominant hemisphere is largely affected when under stress. Some children also need allowance for more movement under stress.
In a perfect world we would love to first determine a child’s profile at the age of 4 years old before they even start school. One of the benefits of this tool that sets it apart, is that we are able to use it from this young age. This helps us to understand what their unique needs are to set them up in a school system where we can ultimately encourage optimal learning. This can assist with where they should sit in class, managing visual distractions, which child will be more sensitive to assist others, which child will be more impatient (frustrated), which child will need a quieter environment and so on. Many parents and teachers find peace of mind in this information.
From grade 4 onwards we can assist with study skills techniques and help children to find methods that work well with their particular style of learning. We also often see children for subject choice advice and then career choice guidance as well. This is a very useful process as we are able to use the information gained from the profile, alongside the subjects, marks and students interests to assist in providing clarity when there is confusion.
Knowing your profile and dominances can add value at any stage of life. Many adults find the information useful when making life, career and relationships changes, and even for personal growth and self awareness.
The ultimate goal is that the insight gained through the process is liberating and that the knowledge assists you within the framework of the broader context. Part of looking at the bigger picture is helping families to broaden their knowledge about brain health and how we can optimally use our brains and how nutrition and lifestyle impact our brains as well. Factors such as sleep hygiene, screen-time, nutrition, exercise and hydration all need to be considered. It is also often beneficial for parents to know their own profiles in order to fully understand the dynamics of the family.
In the end, GBP is one tool in a world of many and the information is never diagnostic but rather a means to further understand, reflect and explore the intricacies of ourselves and loved ones. The beauty of this tool is that it often creates the “space” for acknowledging our differences and learning how to approach and communicate more effectively within a family, school or place of work. Our aim is to use this knowledge to work on increased confidence and self-belief in children particularly when they feel “different” whilst simultaneously providing techniques, support and strategies for any vulnerabilities.
Find Chantal at:
Cell : (+27) 828075527 South Africa
 Developed by Dr Annette Martins (influenced by Dr Carla Hannaford and Ned Hermann’s work) who has a doctorate in Education with specific specialization in Curriculum Development