2135 Charlotte St., Suite 3, Bozeman, MT 59718 Phone: (406) 586-8030 Fax: (406) 586-8036

~ THERAPY BLOG ~

  • A Neuroscientist's description of his concussion

    This article just came out in the New Yorker.  The write, who is a neuroscientist (studies the brain), describes his injury and symptoms. I especially like how he wrote about why symptoms occurred several days after his injury, as well as his analogy of his word finding difficulties.  I am sure many of you with concussions will relate to this article. His discussion about sleep was also descriptive.  Please feel free to share the article with your lived ones, so that can understand more about your concussion. 

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/neuroscientists-diary-of-a-concussion

    We a Neuro Rehab Associates would be happy to talk to you about any of these symptoms and options on how to mange them.  

    Cathy Fisher

  • Understanding Social Security Disability

    The Brain Injury Association of Montana sponsors free seminars through out the year.  On October 9th, 2014, they had a one hour Webinar on Understanding Social Security Disability.  You can go to this link: http://www.biausa.org/Default.aspx?PageID=7317317&A=SearchResult&SearchID=8409419&ObjectID=7317317&ObjectType=1 and scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the handouts.  It does not look like they have posted the actual webinar yet, but I expect they will do so shortly.  You may also be interested in the other webinars that are posted:  Outsmarting Brain Injury and Getting Back to Work and Realistic Hope after Brain Injury.

  • Sleep and Brain Injury

    People sustaining brain injuries often have sleep difficulties whether it is falling asleep or staying asleep.
    Information from Brainline.org regarding sleep stated: "During sleep, your brain and body recharge. Proper sleep follows regular and predictable rhythm cycles. When you sleep, your brain sets down memories and refreshes various connections that allow your brain to work. Quality sleep helps you think more clearly, be more alert, and function at your best in all areas: mental, physical, and emotional." To read more on why brain injury affects sleep, effects of sleep difficulties, what makes it worse and what to do about it, read more at this link: http://www.brainline.org/content/2009/06/sleep-and-brain-injury.html

  • Problem Solving and Emotional Regulation group

    DO YOUR EMOTIONS SABOTAGE YOUR PROBLEM SOLVING ABILITIES? 

    Neuro Rehab Associates launched a new group: Problem Solving and Emotional Regulation. In this 12-14 week group, problem solving processes and emotional regulation will be broken down into concrete terms. A 5 step approach to problem solving will be practiced.  Emotions will be understood at a meta-cognitive level and strategies to manage/regulate emotions will be practiced.  To learn more about the group and when our next group will begin, contact us at 586-8030. 

  • What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know

    From brainline.org

    A brain injury affects not only the person injured, but also those around them, and it can be confusing for everyone. Here is what someone with a brain injury might want their friends, family and others to know.

    Lost & Found: What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know
    Barbara J. Webster, Lash & Associates

    I need a lot more rest than I used to. I’m not being lazy. I get physical fatigue as well as a “brain fatigue.” It is very difficult and tiring for my brain to think, process, and organize. Fatigue makes it even harder to think.
    My stamina fluctuates, even though I may look good or “all better” on the outside. Cognition is a fragile function for a brain injury survivor. Some days are better than others. Pushing too hard usually leads to setbacks, sometimes to illness.

    Brain injury rehabilitation takes a very long time; it is usually measured in years. It continues long after formal rehabilitation has ended. Please resist expecting me to be who I was, even though I look better.
    I am not being difficult if I resist social situations. Crowds, confusion, and loud sounds quickly overload my brain, it doesn’t filter sounds as well as it used to. Limiting my exposure is a coping strategy, not a behavioral problem.

    If there is more than one person talking, I may seem uninterested in the conversation. That is because I have trouble following all the different “lines” of discussion. It is exhausting to keep trying to piece it all together. I’m not dumb or rude; my brain is getting overloaded!

    If we are talking and I tell you that I need to stop, I need to stop NOW! And it is not because I’m avoiding the subject, it’s just that I need time to process our discussion and “take a break” from all the thinking. Later I will be able to rejoin the conversation and really be present for the subject and for you.

    Try to notice the circumstances if a behavior problem arises. “Behavior problems” are often an indication of my inability to cope with a specific situation and not a mental health issue. I may be frustrated, in pain, overtired or there may be too much confusion or noise for my brain to filter.

    Patience is the best gift you can give me. It allows me to work deliberately and at my own pace, allowing me to rebuild pathways in my brain. Rushing and multi-tasking inhibit cognition.

    Please listen to me with patience. Try not to interrupt. Allow me to find my words and follow my thoughts. It will help me rebuild my language skills.

    Please have patience with my memory. Know that not remembering does not mean that I don’t care.

    Please don’t be condescending or talk to me like I am a child. I’m not stupid, my brain is injured and it doesn’t work as well as it used to. Try to think of me as if my brain were in a cast.

    If I seem “rigid,” needing to do tasks the same way all the time; it is because I am retraining my brain. It’s like learning main roads before you can learn the shortcuts. Repeating tasks in the same sequence is a rehabilitation strategy.

    If I seem “stuck,” my brain may be stuck in the processing of information. Coaching me, suggesting other options or asking what you can do to help may help me figure it out. Taking over and doing it for me will not be constructive and it will make me feel inadequate. (It may also be an indication that I need to take a break.)

    You may not be able to help me do something if helping requires me to frequently interrupt what I am doing to give you directives. I work best on my own, one step at a time and at my own pace.

    If I repeat actions, like checking to see if the doors are locked or the stove is turned off, it may seem like I have OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder — but I may not. It may be that I am having trouble registering what I am doing in my brain. Repetitions enhance memory. (It can also be a cue that I need to stop and rest.)

    If I seem sensitive, it could be emotional liability as a result of the injury or it may be a reflection of the extraordinary effort it takes to do things now. Tasks that used to feel “automatic” and take minimal effort, now take much longer, require the implementation of numerous strategies and are huge accomplishments for me.

    We need cheerleaders now, as we start over, just like children do when they are growing up. Please help me and encourage all efforts. Please don’t be negative or critical. I am doing the best I can.

    Don’t confuse Hope for Denial. We are learning more and more about the amazing brain and there are remarkable stories about healing in the news every day. No one can know for certain what our potential is. We need Hope to be able to employ the many, many coping mechanisms, accommodations and strategies needed to navigate our new lives. Everything single thing in our lives is extraordinarily difficult for us now. It would be easy to give up without Hope.

     

  • Learning how to learn in college, especially after a brain injury (click title to watch)

    In the September Issue of Brain Line, the above video was posted. 

    "If you look at what successful students do, they're very engaged with their material. They attend study groups. They go to the professor when they don't do well on a quiz. … A lot of kids have to learn how to learn in college," says researcher and speech pathologist Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, Ph.D. She talks about how the most successful students with TBI in college are those who know themselves and who are willing to access the support services they need.

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