Progress Made

The Brain Injury Association of Minnesota held the 26th Annual Conference for professionals in brain injury in April. After attending the conference, I realized there has been progress made in this area. Professionals are learning about how to treat the whole individual. Not just the body or the brain but the entire person, disabled or not. Professionals are learning to care for individual as a whole.

The conference began with a keynote given by Tina Trudel, Ph.D. Her topic was titled “Sexuality and the Traumatic Brain Injury.” What a topic to cover at 8 a.m! Trudel did a wonderful job presenting the changes that can occur in sexual functioning and satisfaction after a traumatic brain injury. The information is useful for anyone who has had to deal with a disability. Historically, caregivers have seemed to overlook integrating sexual health into the care plan of a disabled person’s life.

Teaching this information to health care professionals will have an impact on the successful rehabilitation of a disabled person total well-being. Treatment plans need to consider all of the major areas of a person’s life in order to bring healing to the whole person.

Over the course of two days, several break-out sessions were held. Topics for discussion were aimed to help professionals learn more about patient care and healing the whole person. Some of the issues covered were, “Exploring a Mind-Body Approach for Brain Injury,” “Brain Injury and Domestic Violence,” and “Using Social Networks to Improve Patient Care”.

The conference ended with a wonderful plenary session given by Matthew Sanford. He gives a truly inspirational story of how he transformed from living in an injured body to fully living in his whole body, after surviving an accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. After studying yoga for nearly 20 years, Sanford shares his insights into how a mind-body approach maximizes long term outcomes for patients.

The Brain Injury Association of Minnesota offers several conferences throughout the year and also offers in-house training sessions. For more information, please visit their website at: