# Math Therapy: Way Beyond Tutoring

### I help people learn--and love--math so they can thrive in school, work, and life.

## Why math therapy?

Math is painful for most people. More than half of Canadians have inadequate math skills. A worldwide innumeracy epidemic has caused much math anxiety and self-doubt. Numeracy is a critical life skill that is foundational for financial literacy, science literacy, and career success. Despite this, most people see math skills as "nerdy" and feel okay saying "I hate math."

## What is math therapy?

Math therapy is the joyful healing that comes from deeply understanding numbers and operations. As clients experience the pleasure and power of sense-making, doubts and anxiety vanish, opening the door for success in school, work, and life. More coaching details.

## How does math therapy work?

Clients develop in five areas over 5-10 one-on-one sessions using research-based approaches gleaned from decades as a math teacher and K-12 district-level math leader. Find out more about coaching with me.

Diagnosis - Each client's developmental phase is rapidly and accurately diagnosed through a natural math conversation. Phases can range from a reliance on counting (some), through additive phases (many), into multiplicative thinking (some), and beyond (rare).

Development - With continued exploration of number and operations, a fundamental understanding grows. This growth occurs rapidly since clients always work in their precise developmental phase (instead of following a curriculum which may not be suitable). Years of progress often take a few hours.

Deprogramming - Lifelong misconceptions and gaps are detected and healed in minutes, usually with laughter. Even math-resistant clients unlearn the "rote recall rut", and begin to trust their own true understanding of numbers and operations.

Deepening - Working in client-relevant contexts, mathematical situations once thought impossible to work with are made clear and solved with ease. Calculator dependency is replaced by a powerful capacity to estimate and solve using a flexible variety of mental strategies.

Discovery - As math healing deepens, positive feelings bloom as the brain enjoys making sense of math. Clients discover a newfound, permanent math joy and power.

Watch math therapy in action or see how misconceptions can be uncovered. I have helped hundreds of clients move from math misery to being more numerate than pretty much everyone they know. Curing math trauma is not only possible, but joyful.

## Isn't this just tutoring?

Math therapy goes way beyond tutoring. Cathartic emotional breakthroughs happen when people heal old beliefs (e.g., "I'm stupid", "there's a trick but I never remember", "I'm not a math person"). Math trauma is dissolved by actually understanding numbers and operations as never before.

Tutoring is about today's topic, but math therapy is always based on each client's unique developmental edge. By turning misconceptions into understanding, years of progress are made rapidly, where tutoring benefits can fade quickly.

With a focus on understanding, math capacity and confidence grows. The point of math therapy is self-reliance and to finally understand math itself, not spend endless time in extra classes or tutoring committing steps to memory.

## Old School Math ↔️ Math Therapy

25-35 ← class size → individual

partial ← differentiation → full

fixed by grade ← curriculum → flexible by student

memorize steps ← pedagogy → make sense

short-term ← retention → long-term

summative← assessment → diagnostic

bored/confused← zone → sweet spot

shallow ← learning → deep

recall/rote/practice ← main move → make connections

"what's the next step" ← meme → "what makes sense?"

slow and fades← progress → rapid and stays

growth in years ← pace → growth in hours

mostly written ← mode → mostly mental

computing crutch ← calculators → learning tool

tutoring band-aid ← assistance → independence

confusion/doubt/fear ← emotion → clarity/surety/joy

uncertain guessing ← confidence → certain knowing

guess/regurgitate ← habit → understand/apply

resist thinking ← long-term → trust thinking

## Why are so many people innumerate?

Policymakers have long prioritized advanced school topics like calculus instead of essential numeracy. This has led to developmentally inappropriate curricula, even in earlier grades. Add in high-stakes testing, and even great math teachers feel they must stick to curriculum instead of meeting students where they are.

Inevitably, students resort to memorizing math procedures or formulas they don't understand, and math becomes a bewildering and frustrating experience. Any learning is fragile, forgotten after the next test or course. In general, trying to remember things that make little or no sense isn't effective, healthy, or fun.

This widespread form of math trauma has been inflicted on generation after generation, leaving most people with significant deficits and negative attitudes. Society sees math as confusing or mysterious, and stigmatizes illiteracy while at the same time labelling math skills as nerdy.

## How can I start?

Choose either 5 sessions (ideal for most people thrive mathematically) or 10 sessions (for deeper math healing and empowerment) and then book your first session. Write to me with questions or if you'd like a free consultation (single sessions available by special request). For younger students, parents or guardians are encouraged to join in the first session.