Brain Injury Center Family Support Group: Family Dynamics

Betty Frain, PhD, MFT and I recently went to Shanghai for the 2nd International Conference on Existential Psychology (assocated with APA Division 32) and presented the films we made with our family members about experiences growing up with a brain injured sibling. We both had an extremely meaningful experience, meeting with colleagues from the East and the West. We were particularly moved by the Chinese students’ quality of sharing. For a brief report on the conference, please see Dr. Louis Hoffman’s page at

In addition, please see the list of family support groups offered by the Brain Injury Center of Ventura below. Betty and I will be sharing our films with other families along with some discussion and suggestions for coping, communication, and self-care that will be included in our upcoming book. Our support group is in bold print.
Family/Friend/Caregiver Support Groups

All Family/Friend/Caregiver Support Groups meet at the same date, time and location as our Survivor Support Groups.


Workshops presented by the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County

Intended Audience: Brain Injury Survivors, Families/Caregivers, Professionals

Location: Wellness & Caregiver Center of Ventura County on the campus of Camarillo Health Care District, 3687 E. Las Posas, Building H, Camarillo (directly across from the Camarillo Police Station)

Time: 6pm – 7:30pm

Please call to register 805/482-1312 for one or all of these monthly workshops.

July 17, 2012 – 6pm to 7:30pm

Topic: Self Esteem and working with Challenges

Presenters: Carol Leish, MA and Stanlee Panelle, MA, MFT

“Self Esteem”, we here those words so often that we gloss over their true meaning and importance. Come along and explore what real self esteem is, why it is so important and how you build it into your daily living. Learn coping techniques for physical, emotional and cognitive challenges using humor, improvisation and accommodations to a wide variety of situations. You are not alone and we are all more similar than different – learn from famous people who have challenges and the ways they have used self esteem to through various accomplishments.

July 24, 2012 – 6pm to 7:30pm

Topic: Family Dynamics and Living with a Brain Injury Survivor

Presenters: Juliet Rohde-Brown, Ph.D. & Betty Frain, Ph.D., MFT

A brief documentary will be shown that was developed by the presenters regarding their own family experiences around growing up with a brain injured sibling, followed by a discussion with participants about their experiences. The presenters will share some strategies for coping with caregiving stress, finding meaning, and communication skills with non-brain injured children who are siblings of a brain injured brother or sister.

August 14, 2012 – 6pm to 7:30pm

Topic: Neuropsychological Assessments – what they are and why they are important

Presenter: Eric Lande, Ph.D.

A core part of neuropsychological assessment is the administration of neuropsychological tests for the formal assessment of cognitive function. It is important to remember though that neuropsychological testing is more than the administration and scoring of tests and screening tools. It is essential that neuropsychological assessment also include an evaluation of the person’s mental status. Aspects of cognitive functioning that are assessed typically include orientation, new-learning/memory, intelligence, language and executive function. These tests can be used as benchmarks and tools to rehabilitation of cognitive challenges. This interactive workshop will demonstrate how these tests are administered and how they are used in working up an on-going rehabilitation program.

September 11, 2012 – 6pm – 7:30pm

Topic: Exploring Challenging Behavior and Brain Injury

Presenter: Jeffery Hayden, MA., BCBA

You can’t RATIONALIZE behavior. It’s not that understanding behavior is so complicated; it’s often that people have to suspend what they “think” the behavior is about and just look at the evidence. This is a pretty challenging proposition for most people. This workshop will help put “behavior” in perspective and help you walk through the challenges.

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