Gerry’s professional education started with attending Wellington Teachers College for 3 years, and subsequently attaining a Trained Teachers Certificate. His specialist subjects were Social Studies, Music & Drama. Whilst teaching at Primary & Secondary levels Gerry completed a Bachelor of Social Science with a major in Psychology, at Waikato University. He was also received a Diploma in Teaching. Over a 10 year period Gerry taught Primary, Intermediate, & Secondary levels. Subjects & specialist groups taught included Music, Drama, Social Science, Gifted Students, and Students with Learning Disabilities. His teaching service included being Form-Master and Social Science teacher for selected classes of gifted students at Years 9 and 10, over a period of 4 years.
Gerry then competed for and won a $120,000 NZ Government Study Award. This enabled him to attend Auckland University, gaining a Master of Philosophy with Honours in Education. Post-graduate study and practicum included: Educational Psychology Assessment (including the use of standardised psychological tests), Developmental Psychology, Organisational Psychology, Applied Behaviour Analysis; and Counselling. He was given extra time and government assistance to completed a major research-based thesis. This involved conducting a trial across multiple primary schools of a classroom management system developed at a university in Britain, that had been purchased by the Government for implementation in NZ schools.
Gerry started a counselling & psychological testing consultancy on Auckland’s North Shore. In addition to working with children and teens challenged with educational and/or developmental issues, over time his therapeutic work evolved into specialising in (1) Post Traumatic Stress, and (2) Relationship Therapy.
Gerry travelled to the US on numerous occasions completing basic and advanced training with Dr Francine Shapiro, the founder of EMDR therapy, and Dr Andrew Leeds. He also attended an extended workshop with Dr Peter Levine, the founder of a body-based form of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress called Somatic Experiencing. Somatic Experiencing has many parallels to EMDR, however, unlike EMDR, it can be used effectively by parents and teachers. Gerry runs workshops to train parents and teachers in using the basics of Somatic Experiencing.
After many years of full-time private practice, Gerry closed his consultancy, and took time out for further study. He completed Dr Daniel Amen’s Master’s level courseThe Brain and Behavior: A Comprehensive Clinical Course on the Neurobiology of Everyday Life.Dr Amen introduced Gerry to Interactive Metronome® when he visited him in LA. Dr Amen had completed some case studies that involved a SPECT brain scan, followed by Interactive Metronome training, then a second SPECT brain scan. The SPECT scan picked up a very noticeable positive difference with the amount of blood flow activity in a part of the brain called the Cerebellum. (The Cerebellum is only 10% of the brain’s mass but has over 50% of all brain neurons wired into it. It is involved in many brain functions including balance, coordination, and executive function.)
Dr Amen encouraged Gerry to bring Interactive Metronome to NZ. (Dr Amen has no financial interest in Interactive Metronome.)
The following year Gerry completed Interactive Metronome Provider training for children, adults, and groups, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Interactive Metronome training induces neuroplastic changes in the brain. Published peer-reviewed randomised control-group research show that IM brings about improvement in:
The individualised training programs can be completed across the Internet***, or in institutional settings such as a school.
Another technology Gerry uses is neurofeedback. Neurofeedback enables real-time conscious awareness and control of brain function. There are two main technologies used for neurofeedback. The most common one used is EEG. An alternative neurofeedback technology is known as HEG (hemoencephalography). Brain Time uses passive Infrared HEG neurofeedback with adults, teens, and children. This system of HEG was developed by Dr Jeffery Carmen PhD in the 1990s. Gerry has completed advanced training in NY with Dr Carmen, in the use of HEG neurofeedback. He has also completed a workshop with Dr Carmen in the use of a special infrared camera lens which provides an image of heat being emitted from the Prefrontal Cortex. These images are taken at the beginning and end of every neurofeedback training session. Along with behavioural changes, the images provide visual evidence for the impact on the Prefrontal Cortex (immediately behind the forehead) of the neurofeedback training within a training session, and gradual sustained beneficial change between sessions as the training progresses. HEG neurofeedback enables a client to control the activation of the Prefrontal Cortex.
*Note 1: Gerry Douglas has the relevant NZ Rights for Interactive Metronome®.
**Note 2: Any alteration of medications must only take place under the direct supervision of an appropriately trained health professional.
***Note 3: A locally based Occupational Therapist, and/or an appropriate support person is needed in some situations. Also some trainees will initially need to take a face-to-face appointment with their IM Provider, and very occasionally at other points in the training.