The Watson Centre for Brain Health (WCBH) offers a full-time program for clients who have suffered traumatic brain injury or concussion. The program is five days per week, three and a half hours per day and is based in Fortius Sport and Health in Burnaby.
Our team includes brain and neuroplasticity (brain change) experts. We work with each of our participants to better understand their learning profiles and to develop plans that work to meet their learning needs. Our team adopts components of the Arrowsmith Program in order to increase function in specific areas of the brain that may be damaged or underperforming.
Participants work on four different 35-minute Arrowsmith Program brain exercises and have one 35-minute physical activity block. They also participate in a 10-15 minute guided meditation period. These cognitive and physical blocks are tailored to each individual based on his or her abilities.
In addition to our full time program, WCBH also offers a part time program. Like the full time program, the part time program is custom tailored to each individual’s health goals after a full cognitive assessment. In addition to the cognitive remediation exercises based on the Arrowsmith Program, the part time program also offers aerobic exercise, mindfulness meditation, and clinical counselling, but is condensed to run five hours per week for nine months on Tuesdays and Thursdays (2.5 hours each day).
At the Watson Centre for Brain Health, we understand that brain change can be a reality.
Our program also takes the following into consideration:
We understand the benefit that mediation can have on health and wellness. Mindfulness is part of our treatment plan because it helps prepare the brain for learning and positive change.
The food we eat and the liquids we drink fuel our bodies. At WCBH we are committed to educating our clients on the role of nutrition in brain health. A specific nutrition plan will be developed for each of our clients so that we can ensure they can optimize their cognitive performance.
Holistic individual plan
Each client at WCBH has a comprehensive, individually tailored plan that is reviewed on a weekly and monthly basis with our team. The plan will be generated based on each client’s goals and objectives. Therefore,monthly progress is directly related to the larger goals of each client.
Through standard measurement procedures our team monitors the cognitive progress of each of our clients.
Movement and Activity
Our daily movement positively influences our bodies and our brains. WCBH is piloting state-of-the-art wearable exercise technology produced by MIO in order to track progress towards individual fitness goals and promote healthy movement habits.
People who come to the WCBH after experiencing a TBI might have the following long-lasting symptoms:
• Shortened attention span
• Memory problems
• Problem-solving difficulties
• Poor judgment
After six months at the centre, clients report the following changes:
• Clearer thinking
• Increased memory and memory for more details
• Increased executive functioning
• More outgoing and talkative
• Better ability to understand main ideas in conversations
• Better decision-making skills
• Improved social skills
Fortius Sport and Health
Full Time participants have a choice of enrolling in morning or afternoon sessions. The morning session runs from 8:30am-12:30pm and the afternoon session runs from 1:00pm-5:00pm.
Part Time participants will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30pm-4:00pm.
Full Time Daily Schedule
WCBH at Fortius: (Physical activity will be one of the five cognitive rehabilitation blocks)
8:30-9:15 Cognitive Exercise or Activity
9:15-10:00 Cognitive Exercise or Activity
10:00-10:25 Nutrition Break
10:45-11:20 Cognitive Exercise
11:20-11:55 Cognitive Exercise
11:55-12:30 Cognitive Exercise
1:00-1:45 Cognitive Exercise or Activity
1:45-2:30 Cognitive Exercise or Activity
2:30-2:55 Nutrition Break
3:15-3:50 Cognitive Exercise
3:50-4:25 Cognitive Exercise
4:25-5:00 Cognitive Exercise
Most of the conversation today around brain injury seems to be focused on who or what caused it. This is due in part because many in the medical field embraced the assumption that the brain is the only organ in the body that could not heal itself. The Watson Center for Brain Health, has moved beyond that conversation and challenged the assumption by providing a path to healing and in turn, hope for individuals who suffer from brain injuries.
NHL Alumni, Hockey Executive
WCBH has helped me to recover from my MVA TBI / concussion. I had to admit “disability and injury” as I could not function any longer with the Competitive Edge that I had come to rely on within myself and my career! I recommend the full-time program. The time I put in will pay dividends towards my future…Admit and come to accept your injury and great things await with perseverance and resilience. The Watson Center and support persons are patient. Please consider your mental and emotional well-being for yourself and your loved ones, let alone your future financial ability to earn. I have recovered crucial working life – executive functioning abilities.
Current Watson Brain Centre Participant
My brain injury was 30 years ago and since my injury my thinking has been cloudy and slow and since being in this program for the past 6 months my thinking is clearer and faster…participating in this program is better than winning the lottery.
Former Watson Brain Centre Participant
I’m now naturally able to wake up at a reasonable time and have less of a need for napping. Better functioning in my days/life. I have improved socially for a few months now.
Former Watson Brain Centre Participant
Their focus is on restoring function in TBI victims so that they can once again enjoy life to the greatest extent possible. I highly recommend and endorse the Watson Center for Brain Health for this purpose, and if they were closer to where I am in Seattle, I would send all my clients to them to get their lives back.
Personal injury lawyer
I am a 49 year old, 11 year NHL veteran and my career was cut short due to multiple concussions. Since then I have been looking for a program(s) that might help me with my day to day mental struggles. A few months ago happened to sit in on a few of the Watson / Arrowsmith seminars and am now excited to be able to take part in this groundbreaking approach for potential cognitive healing and a better way of life.
Retired Canadian hockey defenceman
WCBH is implementing a unique multidisciplinary and holistic approach in treating the effects of traumatic brain injury. This comprehensive program has the potential to present real opportunity for individuals affected by TBI to become whole again.
Dr. Mike Dowling, DC, CCSP
Chiropractic Sports Physician
I was fortunate enough to live a dream and play in the NFL for 14 years. While I don’t feel any negative cognitive effects at 46 years old, I know that the possibility is always there. Whether it is me or any of my former teammates that might benefit from the work of the Watson Center, I am glad they are there and care enough to do the work they are doing.
Former American Football Centre
As a 48-year-old 10 year NFL veteran, I am beginning to notice subtle changes in my own cognitive abilities. Misplacing my keys, fumbling over words, and forgetting names are becoming commonplace in my everyday life. I have long believed I would benefit from a Watson Centre/Arrowsmith-type program that was customized to address the specific needs of an NFL Player.
Former American Football Player
Mark Watson and the Watson Centre for Brain Health are taking on the root cause of TBI symptoms head on. As someone who played almost a decade of contact sport – I have yet to see a program that approaches the treatment with as much holistic innovation.
Retired CFL’s Nastiest Player, Men’s Health Advocate