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Brain Injury Alliance Annual Professional Conference

March 17, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

Brain Injury Alliance Connecticut

speaker presenting to a large group pf people

2023 Annual Professional Conference
March 17, 2023 at Quinnipiac University

Co-sponsored by Connecticut Psychological Association

We look forward to another year of outstanding, informative, and top-notch professional education on current topics within brain injury practice and research.



Our full day of LIVE, in-person workshops will include the following seminars:

Keynote Presentation: “Look Closer.  My Brain Injury Is Invisible”
Stacia Bissell, M.Ed., Brain Injury Speaker, Educator, Coach

This presentation features Stacia talking about unwelcome consequences from her invisible brain injury from a bicycle accident eleven years ago, and how she started learning to accept, adapt, manage, and eventually thrive. She will share her personal TBI story with a focus on how her professional team helped her gain insight into her own brain injury so that she could find congruity between her former and new self.



Domestic and Interpersonal Violence: What Brain Injury Professionals Should Know
Sarah Raskin, PhD, ABPP/ABCN, Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Rachael Schippani, MA, Coordinator of Community Education and Volunteer Programs/The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services, a program of BHcare
Davine Lynnette Manson, Motivational Speaker & Founder of Divine Restorations, Inc.

This workshop features a panel of speakers including a brain injury survivor, a certified domestic violence advocate and educator, and a neuropsychologist who has performed research on effects of brain injury following domestic violence. The panel will provide information on the current research regarding cognitive and emotional changes unique to brain injury after domestic violence and situate it within psychological, social, and cultural frameworks. The panel will provide information on ways to recognize that someone with brain injury is in an interpersonal violence situation and how to support them and guidelines for understanding their needs and perspectives.

Is It Time to Switch Our focus to Quality of Life Instead of “Recovery” for Individuals Living with Supportive Services in the Community? A Conversation.
Barbara Nadeau, Ph.D., OTR/L, Clinical Professor, Program Director for Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program Quinnipiac University

In-Person only, will not be recorded. Many long-term community support models such as the ABI Waiver have an expectation for individuals and their providers to set progressive goals and continually work toward improvement of function and behavior. Does this positively impact individuals living with the long-term consequences of brain injury or does the continuous focus on deficits harm individuals’ sense of self-worth and self-efficacy? In the first half of this workshop participants will examine the social and cultural forces that have shaped our beliefs about brain injury rehabilitation. We will also discuss research findings from the field of disability studies regarding quality of life. The second half of the workshop will be used for an exploratory conversation regarding the questions raised above and potential avenues for change within our practice and systems. All viewpoints are welcomed!

Vision: A Crucial Piece for Management of Concussive Injury
Elizabeth Kloczko Wescott, OTD, OTR/L, SIGHT Multispecialty Center
Melissa Lambright, OD, FCOVD, Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, SIGHT Multispecialty Center
Kaelie Murray-Simmons, Vision Therapist, SIGHT Multispecialty Center
Lauren Jameson / Occupational Therapy Student, SIGHT Multispecialty Center

This workshop will cover an overview of the visual system, visual function, and visual changes resulting from brain injury/concussion. The session will discuss concussion symptomology, the importance of visual evaluation and treatment as a part of comprehensive brain injury/concussion program, and interprofessional collaboration for care of clients.

Cultural Humility
Anthony Lequerica Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Kessler Foundation

There is a growing body of research demonstrating the existence of health disparities in brain injury outcomes. A new wave of studies seeks to understand these disparities by examining the underlying factors using a social determinants of health model. This workshop will review some of the findings over the past several years and then consider ways to look at the care provided to traditionally underrepresented individuals with brain injury. It will explore concepts of culturally humble approaches that require both an intrapersonal and interpersonal perspective to work toward providing effective patient-centered care for individuals with brain injury.

Managing Challenging Behaviors with a Brain Injury
Michelle Brisman Ph.D., Director of Clinical Services/Neuropsychologist, The Supported Living Group

Behavioral dysregulation is a common sequelae of brain injury, negatively affecting clients’ lives, families, relationships, and progress with goals. This workshop discusses the etiology of behavioral dysregulation as multi-faceted. Understanding these factors is critical for managing challenging behaviors. Approaches for intervention for successful management of behavioral dysregulation will be discussed. Utilizing key methods to prevent the crisis and de-escalate the individual is ideal. Long-term management is best achieved with behavior plans that focus on encouragement of adaptive behaviors, shaping successes, and extinguishing maladaptive behaviors that are harmful to the client and their support network.

Ambiguous Loss
Peter Love, Ph.D., Peter Love Educational Consulting LLC

The workshop will introduce the theory of Ambiguous Loss, as developed by Dr. Pauline Boss. Ambiguous loss occurs when there is psychological presence but physical absence, as in the case of missing children, or physical presence but psychological absence, as in the case of dementia or acquired brain injury. The workshop will also cover the Six Guidelines Resilience process recommended by Dr. Boss and how families and staff can support the person with ABI in that process. The session will focus on how ambiguous loss impacts those with brain injury, family members, and caregivers. Participants will also learn how to support people with acquired brain injury to develop resilience in response to their experience of loss.

Brain Injury Resources: Helping Individuals and Families Navigate Their Way – New & Revised 2023 Edition
Victor Darr, Senior Brain Injury Specialist, Brain Injury Alliance of CT
Katia Reynolds, Brain Injury Specialist, Brain Injury Alliance of CT

Brain injury is a sudden and drastic life altering event that often leaves individuals and families feeling overwhelmed and lost – often needing guidance on how best to navigate the complexity of the healthcare, social services & and rehabilitation system. This workshop will provide an overview of various resources that individuals, families and professionals can explore. Based on BIAC’s “Road to Recovery” handbook, resources have been updated and revised to reflect the most current, up-to-date information available within the state of CT. This is a perfect workshop for those new to the brain injury community in CT and for those simply needing to refresh their knowledge on available resources within the state. Discussion will include commonly asked questions from families and individuals following brain injury, including those new to brain injury or several years post injury.

Durable Community Living: Tools That Help With Emotion, Behavior & Cognition After Brain Injury
Colette Seter Elliott Ph.D., Program Director/Rehabilitation Psychologist, Hospital for Special Care Neurobehavioral Program
Kris Shea, Graduate Student, University of Hartford
Lindsey LoStimolo, Graduate Student, University of Hartford

This workshop discusses how a neurobehavioral program (NBP) can be implemented with individuals whose behavioral issues preclude their ability for optimal and successful community living. This program provides a manualized and empirically supported treatment, rooted in cognitive rehabilitation for adults with brain injury. The treatment targets emotional regulation, problem-solving, and attention abilities. The strategies are further applied to maximizing life skills, reducing unsafe behaviors, building healthy habits, and applying cognitive remediation tools for successful and durable life in the community. Focus will be on application of strategies for both clinical and non-clinical providers.

Support for Wounded Warriors Living with Service-Related Traumatic Brain Injury
Staff Sergeant Juliet Taylor, Master’s Degree Mental Health Counseling, Intake & Program Access Specialist, CT Veteran Legal Center

This workshop provides essential information on the complexity of brain injury from a military/veteran perspective. TBI is a stressful injury to the brain and can often hide in plain sight for veterans because they are largely invisible injuries. Many veterans with traumatic brain injury remain untreated due to the consequences associated with injury. It is key that individuals and agencies work together to build awareness to service members struggling with TBI symptoms. Advocacy efforts should focus not only on quality care but also addressing any challenges faced by veterans when navigating through the complexity of systems. Recommendations on how best to support the individual and family members throughout the re-integration process for best outcomes is key to this discussion.

Conference Questions? contact Bonnie Meyers
Please call 860-219-0291(opens in new window) X 304 or email bmeyers@biact.org.


March 17, 2023
7:30 am - 5:00 pm


Connecticut Psychological Associaton
Brain Injury Alliance CT


North Haven, 06473 United States
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