Balances

During BALANCES, clients explore how they react, learn and respond to different situations as they are exposed to a variety of sensory activities. Activities like yoga, clowning, and music are introduced to help clients learn how their brain and body responds. BALANCES’ learning components include: dance and movement, clowning and performance, yoga, sound, and music. The components are offered as a half-day or day long workshop for groups or in their individual parts for more focused learning

BALANCES activities are based on:

Brain science – New studies are teaching us that long term stress or trauma in childhood causes both short and long term changes in the brain both how it grows (the areas that develop) and how it functions.

ACEs – Not only do trauma and stress impact the brain, scientist have also shown that they can have an impact on our physical health too! What are ACEs and what do they mean?

Laughter – The great news from these studies is that there are ways to combat the detrimental effects of stress or trauma on both the brain and the body and one of the best ways to do that is to fully engage in activities that are fun, playful or create laughter. For Adults, it may look like we’re just “having fun”, but what we’re really doing is inoculating the brain against toxic stress!

Activities – Another way that you can combat effects of toxic stress is through activities…physical exercise, focused mindful activities and deep breathing all hit the ‘reset’ button on the chemicals in your brain. Finding activities that engage many aspects of the brain or body or require focused attention are another way to increase a client’s ability to cope.

Nurture Relationships – Some of the most impressive data on factors that promote resilience surround relationships. Any activity that builds relationships with positive role models or helps a client see things from a different person’s perspective is extremely beneficial in increasing the ability to bounce back from trauma and stress. The greater number of relationships a client builds with consistent caring adults the better off they will be. Our activities are designed to offer clients a different perspective while building positive relationships with people who care.

Care for Self – Engaging in fun, playful, peer based activities are all ways people take care of themselves and de-stress. Sensory activities are particularly good for self-care because they create new pathways in the brain. Advocates’ BALANCES overtly and subtly helps clients learn self-care techniques to stop automatic thinking and offer different response options. Clients can take skills they learn from activities and refer to them in other situations.

Environment – Both sensory input – décor, light level, sound, smells, tactile sensations – and psychological input – presence of others, level of trust, reminders of trauma – contribute to a client feeling comfortable and safe in an environment. BALANCES activities work to manipulate environmental variables in ways that allow children to feel safe and able to engage most effectively with activities.

Stability – The goal of all BALANCES activities is to assist clients in maintaining long-term behavioral management skills. This is accomplished most effectively with repetition, repetition, repetition – it’s essential for building new pathways in the brain. Enough repetition to create brain change is time consuming and involves getting the whole team involved – parents, educators and other professionals!

Balances offers a wide range of interventions because every client is different. Exploring which activities work best for a client and environment sometimes takes time and patience. It’s hard work and most successful with the active support of a client’s family or support system. Good thing it’s fun!

BALANCES – we’re not just having fun, we’re building brains.

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Locations

DePere Location:

3377 Packerland Drive
DePere, WI 5411

(920) 764-2485
fax (920) 339-0425
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Shawano Location:

112 East Maurer Street
Shawano, WI 54166

(920) 770-7135
fax (715) 201-0099
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Oconto Falls Location:

506 Locust Street
Oconto Falls, WI 54154

(920)770-6511
fax (920) 339-0425
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