"If You've Seen One Brain Injury, You've Seen ONE Brain Injury"

When Dr. Taryn Stejskal meets with couples, first she listens to their story then works with them to form strategies that work for their individual issues.

See more of Dr. Taryn Stejskal's videos here.

When people are stuck, I try to think critically about what types of interventions or tools are really going to help them. A couple of years ago at a conference one of my mentors posed a question to us when I was a student and he said, "If a couple came to your office, what would you give them, would you give them problem solving tools, would you give them communication skill's tools or would you give them tools to have a better intimate relationship?" And you know different students said different things, some people said problem solving, some people said communication, some said they would talk about intimacy. My response was give them what they don't have--right? If people don't have communication skills, or they don't have problem solving skills that can be a great place to start. But the first thing I want to do when I meet with people is really listen to their story. I think any kind of idea or intervention or initiative that I have is going to be much better formed if I understand where these folks are coming from. And I think when people believe that we care about them, that we understand, that we've listened to their experience, they're much more likely to buy into this idea that we have as a clinitioner, as a professional. And so I think this as a therapist is where the work that I do becomes more of an art than a science because there really is no one size fits all approach. One thing that I like to say is if you've seen one brain injury, you've seen one brain injury, so even if there's a very similar injury or very similar family system typically things are going to be different. So, I try to listen to where people are coming from and then add things to the family or to the individual or to relationships that aren't there at present and I think might be helpful in terms of augmenting some of the people's needs.
Posted on BrainLine January 8, 2013.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine, and Dan Edblom.