I have spent the past six years working with people who have suffered traumatic brain injury. I have worked in emergency departments, intensive care units, acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, and a home health care agency. At each location I was able to document where the greatest need lies during a crisis like the one that occurs after the TBI of a loved one.
At a rehabilitation hospital, during a family group session, we discussed the feelings associated with the psychological absence of their loved ones. I asked the group if what they were experiencing might be best described as “grief.” The group agreed that “grief” was the best word to describe what they were feeling. Not one person had thought of “grief” as a word to describe their feelings before because their loved one was still alive. With the permission to call what they were feeling “grief” the families were able to talk about it, and start to heal.
Families need to be armed with knowledge when facing the TBI of a loved one. I have found that disseminating my experiences and scholarly information using a multi-media approach provides the best way for families to digest material during this time of crisis.
Behind Brain Trauma 101
I am a Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) student at Rutgers University (learn more here). The final requirement of this program is to complete a multi-media project. This multi-media project will use a combination of blog posts, interviews, podcasts, and interactive educational components to help the consumer cope with the brain injury of a loved one.
I am Licensed Social Worker and Certified Case Manager with experience in catastrophic injury, mental health, and grief and loss. I earned a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2011 and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Central Michigan University in 2009.