Professional development in Applied Neuroscience & Brain Health.

The  Neuroscience Academy brings professional development and education in applied neuroscience and brain health to a global audience.

  1. Created for coaches, therapists, and mental health and wellbeing practitioners. 
  2. Students work towards a certificate in ‘Applied Neuroscience and Brain Health’ equivalent to 27 hours of continuing professional development. 
  3. Taught by Oxford University-educated neuroscientist, TV presenter, and author Dr Sarah McKay.

Are you passionate about health, wellbeing & helping others?
So is our thriving global student community!

Who is the Neuroscience Academy for?

Neuroscience Academy alumni tend to fall under the umbrella of ‘Helping Professionals’ and include:

  • Coaches (Health, Life & Business) 
  • Mental Health & Allied Health Practitioners
  • Therapists, Counsellors & Psychologists
  • Educators, Teachers & Trainers
  • Meditation & Mindfulness Practitioners, Neurofeedback Providers & Yoga Teachers

The Neuroscience Academy is ideal for professionals who:  

  • Are curious about the brain’s capacity to re-wire and change, but wonder “How can I begin to understand and use concepts from neuroscience in ways that are useful?”
  • Wish to integrate neurobiology and cognitive science into evidence-based strategies that help others.
  • Sense that understanding the how brain and mind work will support their work.
  • Believe that health, wellbeing and peak performance come from embracing the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
  • Work in a crowded market and want to stand out from the rest and carve out a niche as a Neuroscience Academy graduate.

27 hours continuing professional development (CPD) + certificate.

Benefits & Outcomes

Benefits of joining Neuroscience Academy include:

  • Lifetime membership access and ongoing support + training. 
  • The Neuroscience Academy certificate of completion in Applied Neuroscience and Brain Health, and 27 hours CPD equivalent.*
  • Step-by-step training on how to apply neuroscience-based strategies to transform the lives of clients, patients or students. 
  • A new language of simple scripts, metaphors and stories to explain the mind and brain in an engaging way.
  • Students say they not longer feel ‘not-expert-enough’ to talk about the brain with health and wellbeing professionals.
  • Unique insights into brain plasticity, emotion, attention, habits, resilience, and motivation.
  • Consider how the latest findings on stress, neuroplasticity, the gut microbiome, mindfulness, and ageing support your current practice.
  • *Scholar access only; not available to self-study students. 

Learn at your own pace.

Or join in live classes & connect with like-minded professionals.




— Introduction to Health Neuroscience

We’ll take a look at neuroscience and its relationship to health and wellness. You’ll be introduced to a foundational model of the course- the Bottom-Up, Outside-In, Top-Down model of brain health. We’ll discuss what neuroscience can and can’t tell us about ourselves, and you’ll learn essential tips to tease out neuro-fact from neuro-fiction.  


– Overview of Nervous System Anatomy

I’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour through the brain to the peripheral, autonomic and enteric (gut) nervous systems. You’ll learn a ‘handy’ way to discuss brain anatomy with clients, and we’ll discuss what the mind is and where it might be found.


— Neurons, Synapses and Neural communication

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at the nuts and bolts of neurons, and how neurons communicate. You’ll understand how synapses function, and you’ll learn how to explain the basics of synapses and neural communication to others.



– Changing Brains and Minds.

Can your thoughts really rewire your brain? Do we produce new brain cells throughout life? What are synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and cortical reorganisation, and when, where and why do they occur? I’ll share with you a simple story you can re-tell about the amazing capacity of the brain to change. You’ll learn the second foundational model of the course – the REFIRE method.



– The Cognitive Brain

You’ll receive a simple overview of the prefrontal cortex and its role in cognition (thinking). You’ll learn how the brain pays attention, makes decisions, and why it can’t multi-task. We’ll take a look at how emotions and thinking are intimately intertwined, and how to foster metacognition (thinking about thinking) in the people you work with.


– The Emotional Brain

In this lesson, we’ll continue our exploration of how thinking and feeling are entwined. We’ll dig into the neuroscience of emotions (‘good’ and ‘bad’), and how the brain processes fear and anger, happiness and love.



– The Neuroscience of Motivation

You’ll get clear on the neuroscience of motivation. And you’ll be introduced to another foundation model of neuroscience ‘The Will and The Way’. We’ll learn how to use mental rehearsal or visualisation, and revise the latest research on fixed and growth mindsets.


– The Neuroscience of Habit and Change

Understanding habits and facilitating change are fundamental to your work with clients. But what happens in the brain when habits are formed? If the brain is plastic, why is it so hard to break an old habit, but easy to learn a new one?



– The Mind-Body Connection

Can you really change your health by changing your thoughts? We’ll discuss evidence from mind-body medicine research. We’ll take a look at the amazing power of placebo (and its ‘dark side’, the nocebo effect) and how it directly relates to the quality of the therapeutic relationship. Finally, we’ll look at psychoneuroimmunology and the neuroscience of the mind-brain-immune connection.


– The Ageing Brain

We’ll consider the neuroscience of brain ageing. Is memory loss inevitable with age? You’ll get clear on what the research says about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (and the difference between the two). Learn why ageing is also about growing in experience, wisdom and judgment. You’ll discover the difference between normal memory lapses and memory problems that need to be addressed by a medical professional.


– The Neuroscience of Creativity and Insight

Explore the concept of flow and how it turns everyday experiences into an opportunity for self-fulfilment and mental wellbeing. Learn how to foster creativity, and what happens in your client’s brain during insight or ‘aha’ moments.



– Brain Health and Physical Exercise

Get clear on why the best exercise for the brain is physical exercise. We’ll discuss the relationship between exercise, mood and mental health, and we’ll take a look at how exercise promotes neuroplasticity and slows brain ageing.


– Sleep and Napping

We’ll delve into sleep (and napping), and circadian rhythms, and learn why they are vital to brain health and performance. Learn about the intimate interplay between neurotransmitters, sleep and mental health, and the role for sleep in promoting neuroplasticity.  Finally, we consider what happens to your brain when you dream.



– Nutrition and the Gut-Brain Connection.

Examine the current evidence on the best diet for brain health. We’ll also explore the research on the gut-brain-microbiome connection. And we’ll take a look at brain ‘super-foods’, and the effects of sugar, coffee, grains and alcohol on the brain—what does the research say?


– Belief and Belonging.

Our brain has a fundamental need to connect and understanding this is vital to your work. We learn how friends and family impact cognitive reserve and take a look at research showing that having passion and purpose protects against brain ageing.



– Stress, Mindfulness, and Meditation.

This lesson has been designed to look at the impact (good and bad) of stress on the brain. We’ll examine what neuroscience says about meditation and mindfulness, and how they affect brain structure and function.


–Brain Health and Mental Exercise.

What is cognitive reserve and why is building it useful? What does the research say about computer-based / cognitive brain-training? Take a look at evidence why you should partner with your client to become their brain-training coach.


  • The live scholars program* runs over 12 weeks (9 teaching weeks + 3 rest weeks). Lessons are released weekly.
  • Lessons are delivered via a series of short pre-recorded online videos, which are simple and visual and discuss neuroscience conceptsstrategies for implemention.
  • Live Q&A calls take place weekly via Zoom. Sarah answers all your questions. Calls are recorded.*
  • Each lesson includes a hand-picked library of resources for extended learning or ‘catch-up’.
  • To gain The Neuroscience Academy Certificate of completion in Applied Neuroscience and Brain Health, students pass an online multichoice quiz.*
  • Options for SELF-STUDY are available. Self study suits people who do not wish to gain certification. Includes digital course access only and excludes Q&A, certification/CPD, Facebook group & alumni access).
  • The two-week Brain Coach Bootcamp includes the same curriculum and certification options, but lessons and Q&A calls take place DAILY.


  • Lifetime membership access.
  • Summary notes and worksheets for every lesson. You’ll always have handy access to the most important concepts from each lesson.
  • An extensive hand-picked library of resources, including open-access research papers, books, TEDx talks, articles, and interviews.
  • Step-by-step guides on how to source, read, and understand scientific research articles. 
  • A growing library of in-depth interviews with academics and experts in gut-brain health, positive psychology in coaching, neuroscience in education, and healthy ageing.
  • Private student-only Facebook group for networking and daily Q&A with Sarah*
  • Access to Sarah’s brain (complete with 25 years of neuroscience education, research and teaching downloaded!), Sarah is on hand daily in the Facebook group, weekly live video Q&A, and opportunity to book Sarah for one-to-one office hours.*
  • *Scholar access only

12 Week Program begins 16 March 2020.

About Sarah

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That’s me!  I’m neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay.

I’ve distilled nearly three decades of education, research and teaching neuroscience into creating this program.

My superpower is to make neuroscience simple, actionable, and relevant to your everyday life, and to provide coaches, therapists and health professionals with evidence-based tools and strategies to do the same in their work.

You may have noticed that too often neuroscience research is hidden behind the pay-wall of academic journals, discussed at scientific meetings for other scientists, or presented in a way that is irrelevant to our daily lives.

Or the opposite is true — people with no training in brain science, or minimal understanding of the complexities of research are jumping on the neuroscience bandwagon as ‘brain gurus’ and marketing the latest product, program, or magic-bullet solution usually based on inaccurate, outdated or even mythical neuroscience.

The Neuroscience Academy is designed to change all that (we separate the science from the shamanism!) and make up-to-date research from neurobiology, cognitive science and positive psychology accurate, simple and practical for you and your work.

I hold three degrees in neuroscience including a doctorate in Neuroscience from Oxford University. After five years in academia, I founded the science communications business (Think Brain) in 2008. In my spare time, I present the ABC science TV show Catalyst, write a popular neuroscience blog, speak (including at TEDx events) and in 2018 published a popular science book on women’s brain health.


Here’s what some of my Neuroscience Academy graduates have to say…

ErinMatlock_BrainSummit1Dr Sarah McKay is a bright, credible light who stands out in the complex yet fascinating field of neuroscience. Fusing her prestigious academic background with her unique ability to translate complex concepts into words we can all understand, she offers real-world science that we can use to better our lives.  In her ground-breaking program, The Neuroscience Academy, she offers coaches, therapists and wellness pros a step-by-step blueprint to confidently integrate neuroscience into their practice. In the past 15 years, what we’ve learned about plasticity has given us unprecedented hope for repairing and optimizing brain function. This program is an absolute must for any professional gifted with the opportunity to improve the lives of their patients, clients or students.”  Erin Matlock, CEO Brain Pages and Brain Summits, AZ, USA.


Sarah is like a personal shopper for neuroscience: she finds the most relevant, current, credible research regarding the brain and the coach approach and presents it to you in a way that you can actually utilise with clients. Even though I’ve been coaching for a few years her insights and up-to-date info keep me on top of my game. Sarah does a great job of being an accessible academic. She is warm and approachable with a big bag of knowledge and resources – the perfect combo!”  Kathleen Buchanan, Wellness Coach and Yoga Teacher, Owner be.well. WA, USA.
1DebbieHampton BestBrainPossible1This is the perfect blend of wellness and science. Sarah has the unique ability to infuse the complex subjects of neuroscience and brain function and health with warmth and humor breaking the information into understandable, practical chunks that can be easily be implemented to improve lives.” Debbie Hampton, Author of The Best Brain Possible. NC. USA.


1SL Head Shot
I truly believe that Sarah’s ability to present the connections between neuroscience and mindset will revolutionise Coaching. As a Mindset Coach I had dabbled in my own reading and research into neuroplasticity and the undeniable impact our experiences have on our brain. What Sarah provided me with was an accessible way to understand the science and gain a fundamental knowledge of how neuroscience can foster a healthy mindset in our clients. I’m excited to continue my neuroscience learnings with Sarah!”  Sonya Lovell, Mindset coach and founder of Success Club. Sydney, Australia.
As a neurofeedback provider I am well acquainted with the brain and its functions and I am always looking to expand my knowledge by hearing from other professionals. Dr. McKay is a vivacious and entertaining guide into the fascinating world of brain science. With an obvious passion to share what she has learned as an experienced and credentialed expert, she leads us on a very accessible journey into the complex world of what makes us tick. Using insightful and engaging presentations, with rich and varied reference materials to further explore, Dr. McKay shows us how the mind and body are intimately intertwined. This not not your ‘father’s neuroscience course’ — a dry, didactic review of academic studies — but an integrated program of easy-to-understand, useful information designed to improve our lives and those of our clients. “ John Mekrut, Director The Balance Brain Neurofeedback Training Centre, CA, USA.
Denise-Medved-headshot“The Neuroscience Academy has proven to me more than ever that Ageless Grace is exactly what we need in our world today — as Sarah says ‘The BEST EXERCISE FOR THE BRAIN IS PHYSICAL EXERCISE!’ I’m pleased that our program of Ageless Grace uses the brain and the body in a way that is consistent with all that I learned from this fabulous course! Every week I have incorporated into my classes, seminars, trainings and personal sessions what I learned or have been reminded of. I have reposted a few of the articles you suggested for us — and have used the handouts you provided — they are excellent resources for my students and clients! I loved all the new information I have learned, it has allowed me to grow and adapt to our program to new research being done. THANK YOU Sarah for giving me this opportunity!”  Denise Medved. Director. Ageless Grace. NC, USA.
Mary headshotAs a coaching psychologist, I found the Neuroscience Academy an excellent opportunity to develop a much better appreciation of neuroscience theory and most importantly, the practical application of neuroscience to support coaching clients in achieving their goals. Dr McKay shares cutting edge, evidenced based content in a highly engaging, accessible way. My learning from the programme has given me the confidence to speak knowledgeably to clients about aspects of neuroscience e.g. changing habits. On a personal level, I have developed a greater awareness of how lifestyle factors impact brain health and how to maximise my attention and focus to achieve a better balance and ‘flow’ in my life…” Dr. Mary Collins, Coaching Psychologist, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland
melindaharrisonThis online class is exceptional. Sarah distills a complicated topic into bite size pieces so that it matches the level of teaching to the person’s background. Her resource list to dig further into each topic allowed me to further enhance my learning in the areas that deeply interested me. I learned something new in each segment of each class. I highly recommend this program. I am a learner at heart. As an ICF certified coach, I feel it is my responsibility to be open to learning what I do not know. This was a stretch goal as my background is not in science. I am using your models to help clients understand that they are in control of their own choices, especially ones that affect wellbeing.” Melinda Harrison. Coach, Researcher, Writer, Speaker,
“Sarah, you have put together an extraordinary package of learning with such fresh perspectives and approaches. You have no equal. I am telling you this because of all the programmes I have done at University, online and full time, your offering is unique. I am still active on several boards, run several companies including a Wellness Clinic and I am still studying. I won’t retire for another 15 years or more if I am still alive hale and healthy. I have just completed an advanced programme with Med school on Functional and Integrative Medicine and since last year I am also a qualified lawyer in international law and human rights. I am writing to say thank you. What a journey of learning. We appreciate the quality of your course and the effort that has gone into it to make this a learning experience of substance, not a seven day wonder, but a reflective journey which will last.” Denise Bjorkman, Vice president, The SA Council of Prof Coaches & Mentors, Director Centre for Executive Renewal, South Africa
“This was one of the most exciting courses I have done in years. It is an evidence-based ‘handbook’ on how to live well and live well longer, and much more. It is a thoughtfully-crafted course created and delivered by a passionate, dedicated and delightful teacher. Sarah provided a perfect combination of scientific research and practical suggestions for personal use as well as for people working in fields where neuroscience has direct applicability. She presents complex material in an accessible way. The library is comprehensive and includes top-line blogs, podcasts and talks. The facebook group is also a great resource as there are many interesting posts and links from others dazzled by neuroscience. I learned so much from this course and hope to continue to deepen my knowledge and stay connected to Sarah’s academy. This was the perfect course for me at this time in my life. Thank you so much Sarah!” Di Singer, Former partner at Ross Carmichael Singer; Currently involved in a startup. Sydney, Australia
“Sarah’s course is comprehensive, cutting edge, beautifully articulated, and has a brilliant abundant back up of resources to dive into. I have loved learning about the brain for a couple of years. I wanted to bring structure and credibility to my scattered and disjointed knowledge of neuroscience. Also there is a supportive community, just enough info for the therapist, and a challenge for the grey matter without bogging down in too much anatomy … just loved it all! Carol Vaughan, B.Couns Dip.Hyp MAEPH Perth Hypnosis Clinic, WA Australia.
As a teacher I am keenly aware of the need to combine an understanding of the brain and mind with education to enhance the principles of teaching. This course has allowed me to provide an evidence based pedagogy to address the specific requirements of the developing brain. Consequently, my students have benefited from learning knowledge and skills that they can apply to improve their own lives and schooling. Dr Sarah McKay has provided a program that is informative, applicable and stimulating to any educator.” Kathy Hunter. Educator. Director, Hunter Study Solutions. Sydney, Australia
“Since completing The Neuroscience Academy I have developed confidence in explaining key neuroscience nuggets to clients using basic language! These nuggets can often shift perceptions and make a real life difference to how clients view their path to wellness. I also feel more confident that I understand the complexities if I need to expand further.” Emer Duffy Specialist Occupational Therapist, Dublin, Ireland.
“Since completing The Neuroscience Academy I am much more aware of all the ways that brain health can contribute to overall health & wellness; much more likely to seek evidence-based information, rather than accept unverified information. I have LOTS of ideas about how to incorporate these learnings into my creative workshops; and a long list of fascinating resources to read! The course was very well-organised. I loved the fact that I could access each lesson when it suited me; I loved all the resources; the summary notes were very helpful; and I also appreciated that I could listen to the Q&A sessions in my own time. You are a great facilitator Sarah! I really enjoyed the video presentations; your style of presentation is direct, engaging, personal and very helpful for those of us who are not scientists. Cate Richmond. Community Arts Facilitator, QLD, Australia.
“In developing my decision-support framework I was looking for a neuroscience evidence base that would be accessible to me as a non-scientifically trained person, and relevant to supporting people improve their everyday decision-making, and therefore wellbeing. What I have absolutely valued about Sarah’s program is how it has enabled me to understand proven neuroscience, fenced off the flakey to almost-feasible assertions and correlations, and provided practical examples of its application. Through Sarah’s concise yet illuminating explanations, rich links to research, and a diversity of materials, I can improve the value of the advice I provide to others about how to improve their wellbeing and manage change. From a thoroughly stimulating 8 week course, I have a strong foundation, and an ongoing community, to keep learning how to apply neuroscience to the wider work I do helping people understand the futureNOW, and make sense of ‘tomorrow’ today.” Marianne Doczi, Provocateur,, Sydney, Australia.
This course is a wonderful introduction to someone who’s new to this field or study but I can see how anyone with deeper understanding would also enjoy and increase their knowledge. Whether you’re ‘in the business’ or just want to learn more about your own brain and get some great tips on promoting neurogenesis and slow down ageing overall. I’ve found that I’m re-wording the set-up key phrases for Callanetics exercises in my classes. I’ve always done this to some degree but I’ve upped this to finding different ways of setting them up and giving them something different to focus on and the sensations they’re feeling. My teaching focus is to reduce the amount of habituated patterns to encourage neurons to fire as they did when the first started the program and learnt everything from scratch.” Sandra Hanna, Callanetics Master Trainer, QLD, Australia.


What are the course fees?

The Neuroscience Academy is a unique and premium continuing education program designed for coaches, therapists, health and wellness industry professionals, trainers, HR professionals, and educators.

In 2020 we offer a number of enrolment options:

  1. SCHOLAR. For students wishing to join the live 12-week March 2020 cohort + gain certification + CPD hours: $1495 AUD.
  2. PAYMENT PLAN. Scholar access, but payment via 4-month plan: 4 x $395 AUD. 
  3. BRAIN COACH BOOTCAMP. Two-week intensive training, July 27-August 7, 2020. Identical curriculum, certification and lifetime membership options as 12-week course: $1495 AUD or 4 x $395 AUD. Pre-Register here.
  4. SELF STUDY. Digital course access only: $695 AUD. Join Here Today

Currency Conversion

Note payment quoted is AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS and are inclusive of GST for Australian customers only.

Exchange rates vary, but on 2 Sep 2019:

$1495 AUD = $967 USD / 917 Euro (March 2020)

$395 AUD = $244 USD / 876 Euro (March 2019)

For an online currency conversion tool click here.

How many hours will it take per week?

We are all busy, so the course is designed with busy people in mind.

Enrolment fee includes LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP to the program including ongoing training and support.

Set aside 2-3 hours per week during the live 12-week program, including the one-hour live Q&A call.

  • Each lesson is split into 6-8 short videos of 3-10 minutes (including theory + practical application + homework suggestions).
  • Modules are released weekly to prevent student overwhelm.
  • The 12-week course includes 9 teaching weeks + 3 rest weeks.
  • Any extra reading or research is OPTIONAL.

Study at your own pace. Once live course is complete you can dip into and out of any lessons and resources at any time.

Please PRE-REGISTER your interest and receive early notification of future intakes in 2020 and beyond.

What time are the live Q&A calls?

Live Q&A calls are held via Zoom every Friday or Sunday at either 10am or 5pm AEST/Sydney, NSW, Australia. (See here for a global time zone conversion tool).

We vary the call time each week to cater for all global time zones.

Questions can be submitted each week in advance for this who can’t make the call.

Q&A calls are recorded and available on the student portal for that who can’t attend.

Can I apply for CPD/CEU/CCE points?


The SCHOLAR program offers students the equivalent of 27 hours of professional development training, which is formally recorded on a certificate after course completion.

The certificate of completion states students have completed training in ‘Applied Neuroscience and Brain Health’. The course is NOT a professional qualification. It is for professional development purposes.

The Neuroscience Academy is an approved provider of Continuing Coach Education for 2019/2020 with the International Coaching Federation (20 hours CCE + 7 hours RD). See here for ICF details.

Many organisation and accreditation bodies allow members to self-assess their professional development. Please check your individual circumstances with your organisation/accreditor. Contact us if you have suggested organisations or accreditation bodies.

Here in Australia, many students have applied for CPD points with the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, and NSW Teacher Identified Professional Development (TIPD).

To gain The Neuroscience Academy certificate of completion and to be eligible to apply for professional development hours/points you’ll need to pass the multi-choice test with an 80% pass rate. The quiz is released during the final week of the course.

What are the learning objectives/outcomes?

By completing The Neuroscience Academy students will be able to:

  1. Understand how neuroscience can impact and provide insights into coaching conversations. Understand the distinction between coaching and mental health disciplines, and the important of referrals to appropriate other professionals when required.
  2. Develop a shared language for discussion the brain in coaching conversations.
  3. Describe the interrelationship between the mind (top-down), body (bottom-up) and environment (outside-in) on brain health and wellbeing.
  4. Recognise the pitfalls and biases and loss of client agency introduced when using incorrect neuroscience explanations such as ‘the lizard brain’ in coaching conversations
  5. Understand basic brain anatomy and neurophysiology, and explain using simple language and models basic brain anatomy and neurophysiology to clients.
  6. Understand the neurobiology of neuroplasticity including the role of neuroplasticity in development, healing and behavioural change.
  7. Use a simple story to describe the various types of neuroplasticity to clients, including synaptic plasticity, cortical reorganisation and neurogenesis.
  8. Describe the role of the prefrontal cortex in higher-order executive functions and cognition including attention and decision-making.
  9. Recognise how emotions (affect) and thinking (cognition) are intimately intertwined.
  10. Understand the neurobiology of metacognition and how to foster ‘thinking about thinking’ with clients.
  11. Understand the contemporary neuroscience of emotions, how the brain predicts emotional responses and how one can learn new appropriate responses by practice. Utilise this knowledge in preparation for coaching sessions when extreme emotions may be involved.
  12. Understand the neuroscience behind the various processes of reaching a goal including planning, visualising, attention, willpower, and motivation.
  13. Appreciate the neurobiology of mental rehearsal and how it can be used to practice appropriate emotional responses in advance. Create a visualization script for clients.
  14. Describe the latest research on fixed and growth mindsets.
  15. Understand that habits and facilitating change are fundamental to work with coaching clients. Explain in simple terms what happens in the brain when habits are formed and how to break bad habits.
  16. Describe the neuroscience of the placebo effect and its ‘active ingredient’ is the therapeutic relationship. Reflect on the evidence from placebo research and how this informs the establishment of trust and rapport.
  17. Differentiate and describe normal aging and cognitive decline associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Understand when to recognise abnormal memory loss and when to refer to medical professionals.
  18. Recognise the importance of exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, social connection, belief and mental challenge in promoting cognitive reserve and mind health, and for providing a foundation for change (neuroplasticity).
  19. Design a brain wellness program for clients based on the seven pillars of brain health.
  20. Understand and describe the neurobiology of the stress responses. Encourage clients to find a ‘place or moment of calm’.
  21. Discuss evidence for mindfulness and mediation in reducing the stress response and building resilience.

Any prerequisites necessary to enrol?

No background in science is needed for this course. Lessons are designed for professionals working in the health, wellbeing and coaching industries. But anyone with an interest in learning about the brain is more than welcome!

I hated science in school, and I’m scared. Will I be able to understand a thing you say?

My mission is to make neuroscience accessible and relevant to your life at the work you do. I don’t educate neuroscientists. I educate people who’ve never read a research paper in their life.

You can also get an idea of my style by watching my TEDx talk or excepts from my TV show. If you follow along with my presentation style, you’ll easily be able to follow along with this course!

I created my blog to give you access to the latest neuroscience research relevant to brain health and wellbeing.

Feeling nervous or scared is completely normal. So I’ve created a private Facebook group for all those enrolled in the course so you can share, support, and learn from each other. I’ll check in regularly to keep you on track and do a little extra ‘hand-holding’.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t do this course?

The membership program is designed primarily as a professional development course for people working in the health professions, coaching, therapy, psychology, education and so on.
My teaching assumes some prior knowledge and is pitched at the professional working with clients/patients/students. Working as a professional isn’t an absolute requirement, however, it would be far more beneficial to those joining.
Anyone joining who is not a health professional or similar needs to be aware that the majority of students are, and as such they there for their professional development, not for ‘easy access’ for other students to ask health-related questions etc.

The Neuroscience Academy is a course firmly grounded in evidence-based medicine. I refer to academic papers and scientific research frequently but simply. If you’re unfamiliar with the scientific method and evidence-based approach, you’re still more than welcome to sign up and explore the world of neuroscience with me. Yes, I do err on the side of science, but with a good dose of warmth and humility.

The core text I refer to is Kandel, Schwartz, Jessell et al Principles of Neural Science 5th ed, but students are NOT required to have their own copy.

The curriculum has been designed to provide continuing professional education for qualified health and wellness practitioners, teachers, and those in coaching practice.

The course offers no ‘magic bullet’ solutions to your parent’s dementia, your child’s autism diagnosis or brain injury. Nor does the course solve business cash-flow or offer business advice or coaching.

I’m a neuroscientist, not a medical professional and as such, I offer no medical advice, nor do I make any claims about health outcomes for you or your clients, patients or students. I’m not a trained business coach or advisor, and I make no claims about outcomes for your business, or your coaching or wellness practice.

However, I do hope to inform, inspire and enlighten you to the beauty and wonder that is the world of neuroscience research.


What has neuroscience got to do with coaching?

Much of what I teach is based on the principles of psychoeducation. I’ll teach you how to accurately, clearly and simply explain neuroscience to others.

The rationale behind a psychoeducational approach is that, given a clear understanding of their condition and self-knowledge about their individual strengths, resources, and coping skills, clients are more relaxed and better equipped to deal with their problem(s), which contributes to their emotional wellbeing.

A core message is simply that education has a role in emotional and behavioural change and expectation. More positive emotions and behaviour, in turn, lead to an enhanced sense of self-efficacy and wellbeing.

Here’s what a few others in the coaching industry have to say about neuroscience:

“While executive coaching is gaining momentum worldwide as a valuable part of the leadership development journey, the field of neuroscience is providing a better understanding of the inner workings of the brain and evidence of the benefits of coaching.” International Coaching Federation 2015.

“Neuroscience is the area of knowledge coaches are going to have to know if they wish to work in a high level and professionally responsible way.” Professor Paul Brown (Association for Coaches, author of Neuropsychology for Coaches)

A 2014 survey of executive coaches found over 75% of coaches say that neuroscience should have a role in executive coaching. And over 50% believe a coaches’ credibility is enhanced by knowledge of neuroscience.

However, a recent paper cautions against claims that neuroscience provides a foundation, or scientific proof coaching ‘works’.

“Neuroscience has the potential to offer great insights … Although there is no truly convincing support for a neuroscientific foundation to coaching, there are some interesting ways in which coaching and neuroscience can interact.” Anthony Grant, 2015

A healthy foundation is required for coaching or therapy to work.

“You can do whatever kind of psychotherapy or analysis, but if you don’t have a healthy foundation, you’re building a house on sand.” John Arden PhD Author of Rewire Your Brain.

Research suggests that: Nearly 3 million Australians live with anxiety or depression. More than 332,000 Australians living with dementia, and without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to be almost 900,000 by 2050. Statistics in the US and the UK are similarly scary. Leading a brain healthy life may reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia later in life (Alzheimer’s Australia). People with sound social and emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday stressors and are less likely to experience mental health problems in the future (Beyond Blue).

Health coaching, in particular, is emerging as a powerful intervention to help people initiate and maintain sustainable health change – the type of change that could impact on dementia and mental illness.

“Knowledge alone is not enough for creating or maintaining good adherence habits.” World Health Organization, 2003

If you’re a coach or working in the wellness industry today, getting clear, relevant evidence-based information on brain and mind health and wellness has never been more important.

Ummm, I'm a stickler for grammar — I notice you spell 'enroll' with only one 'l'?

You must be from the US! Here in Australia (NZ and UK) we spell ‘enrollment’ and ‘enroll’ with only one ‘l’, i.e. ‘enrolment’ and ‘enrol’. You might have also noticed I spell ‘visualization’ with the letter ‘s’, i.e. ‘visualisation’. It all means the same.

Refund Policy

I want you to be satisfied with your purchase, and to give your best effort to apply the strategies and learnings from the course. I offer a 30-day refund period for purchase if you believe the course is not of acceptable quality or does not match the curriculum description.

Refunds will not be provided more than 30 days following the date of purchase. After day 30, all payments are non-refundable and you are responsible for full payment of the fees for the program whether or not you complete the program.

Please note: If you opt for a payment plan and you do not request a refund within 30 days, you are legally required to complete the remaining payments of your payment plan.

All refunds are discretionary as determined by Dr Sarah McKay trading as Think Brain Pty Ltd ABN 19626919266. Refunds will not be made due to changed financial circumstances. Refunds will not be made due to a ‘change of mind’.

We may revise and update Terms of Use or Refund Policy from time to time in our sole discretion. All changes are effective immediately when we post them.

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