Welcome. Traumatic accidents seriously impact one’s life. However, with the proper information and support you—or someone you care about—can recover the life you were meant to have. In this blog, you will find tools, tips and ideas to facilitate the recovery process —tools that help patients cope with physical and psychological injuries and conditions.
A note to insurance companies: you, too, will find valuable information here that will help you better serve your insured customers. In fact, when patients get the proper support and needed care and treatment up front, they need far fewer resources in the long run than they would if support is withheld. That translates into a big win-win for the insurance carrier and a boost to the bottom line.
Here, accident survivors will learn to do more than survive—they will learn to thrive.
January 17, 2019
A reader of one of my recent blog posts posted a comment that is the stimulus for this writing. He commented that there is an unrecognized problem: being misdiagnosed by mental health professionals. The gentleman, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, directed me to videos by a retired PhD Army nurse, Colonel Diane Corcoran.
Corcoran talks about near death experiences (NDEs) and the transformative lessons learned from them. She studies NDEs and offers legitimate criticism that mental health professionals are mostly ignorant of this body of work.Read More
January 15, 2019
Recently I had the pleasure of having a long telephone conversation with Dr. Michael Lewis, the author of When Brains Collide: What Every Athlete and Parent Should Know About Concussions and Head Injuries. Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Tulane University School of Medicine, and completed post-graduate training at Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins.Read More
January 8, 2019
There is relatively little empirical research into the flashback phenomenon. Nevertheless, flashbacks are a common distressing symptom people experience in the aftermath of surviving a traumatic event. Traumatic events emotionally overwhelmed the survivor and involve danger of loss of life or limb or witnessing others being harmed. Indeed, flashbacks, nightmares and sleep disturbance might be considered the trifecta of post-traumatic stress disorder.
December 14, 2018
Since the time of Galen, one of the greatest physicians of first-century Rome, the endocrine system—which produces and sends hormones through your body and organs—has been acknowledged as vital to the functioning of your body. But only recently has the role of endocrine glands and hormonal imbalances been highlighted as central in the neurobehavioral and neurocognitive dysfunction following head injuriesRead More
December 11, 2018
Most mental health professionals receive no training in the role inflammation and hormonal imbalance plays in disturbed emotion, behavior, and cognition. This is partly due to the continued split between mind and body that was crystallized in the 17th century by the French philosopher René Descartes.Read More
November 27, 2018
In my last blog post, I wrote about advances in our understanding of how neurosteroids, those hormones that are produced in the brain by glial cells, are impacted by traumatic injuries.Read More
November 20, 2018
Many of the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and TraumaticBrain Injury overlap. I believe the original developers of the diagnosis of PTSD were not well informed about TBI, and that many patients diagnosed with PTSD may, in fact, be exhibiting symptoms of traumatic brain injury.Read More
October 1, 2018
The role of psychology in the treatment of pain became center stage with psychologist Ronald Melzack’s conceptual model of pain, which he termed the Gate-Control Theory, first introduced in 1965 (Melzack and Wall, 1965).Read More
July 3, 2018
While I have specialized in the psychological care of people who have been deeply traumatized by overwhelming life experiences, it has been difficult to grasp an operational definition of exactly what the trauma means. The problem is often focusing on the event, what we refer to as the traumatic stressor.Read More
April 11, 2018
The symbolism of the Firebird has always held great meaning for me personally dealing with injuries, losses and transitions, and as a psychotraumatologist working with severely traumatized people who often feel destroyed by crushing life experiences.Read More
March 30, 2018
For many years during the brief drive to my office in downtown Mt. Clemens, I would daily pass an elementary school near the train tracks on Cass Avenue. The school sits within eyeshot of the old train station where Thomas Edison once learned to operate the telegraph. The legend goes that Edison one day saved the station master’s child from being run over by a train, and in appreciation he taught the young Edison how to work the telegraph.
February 27, 2018
Now that you have survived a horrible car crash that has turned your life upside down, you may find yourself thinking frequently about how you could have died or suffered even more serious injuries. The fact of the matter is you were a victim and now you are a survivor.Read More
December 15, 2017
From the highly evidenced-based field of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, we have known for decades that the holidays in America are traditionally a time ripe for off-the-chart stressors and wide-spread emotional regression.Read More
December 5, 2017
A powerful adjunct to post-trauma psychotherapy is body-oriented therapies and methods. Yoga, massage therapy, and Pilates are powerful tools that should be considered and included in the comprehensive treatment plan. In my work with auto accident trauma survivors I daily see the value of combining massage therapy and methods such as Pilates with the verbal working through of trauma in psychotherapy. I believe auto insurance carriers would earn big returns on their investments by paying for personal trainers to work with survivors in regular Pilates sessions which somatically supports the psycho-therapeutic work. When combined with regular massage therapy, the synergy of the combined approaches is the perfect combination for many people attempting to gain improved emotional regulation, physical health, and mobility.Read More
October 23, 2017
Gerard Butler, as King Leonidas, famed Spartan King in the movie 300, was able to hold off a Persian army of 150,000 soldiers, but he was recently dethroned from his motorcycle when a lady allegedly made an illegal U-turn in front of him on the streets of LA. According to Butler, he crashed into the car and went flying through the air, somersaulted and landed. In interviews, Butler talked about how the accident made him aware of how fragile life is because the accident could have ended his. His list of reported injuries included five fractures in his right foot, a torn meniscus, and various cuts and bruises. He minimized his injuries while admitting it was painful.Read More
September 25, 2017
I just returned from the fall conference of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan which was truly an amazing conference. I made many wonderful connections and learned a lot of new things about brain injuries and our health care delivery system from some of Michigan’s top neurologists, psychologists and case managers, and most of all, from the people who have sustained brain injuries.Read More
August 10, 2017
Our Michigan system is currently under attack by some politicians, insurance companies and newspapers. They say our system is too expensive and needs to be limited. They want to limit how much and the quality of care you receive, and how much doctors can be paid to provide that care.Read More
August 4, 2017
Most adults in the United States of America drive vehicles of one kind or another on public roadways and are at risk of being involved in an auto accident which may result in serious injuries or death. According to the National Safety council’s data in 2016, over 40,000 people died from auto accident related injuries and 4.6 million required medical treatment in the USA.Read More
June 19, 2017
Human history has been written in blood and suffering. It is only by small victories of the heart and spirit that we have endured, and through which we can but hope to prevail. If we as a species are to survive and evolve, it is necessary to find new ink, one composed of love, compassion, and understanding, and held in a crucible of forgiveness.Read More