Ross Zafonte, DO: The Power of Individual and Group Therapies for Veterans with TBI and PTSD


One of the most powerful aspects of the Home Base Program is the way it helps veterans and service members come together again with those who may have had similar experiences in combat and now back at home with issues around TBI and PTSD. Along with the comprehensive individualized treatment plans for each person, the program includes group therapies and events, which play a large role in the healing process.

Dr. Ross Zafonte is the Chief of Traumatic Brain Injury for Home Base, part of the Wounded Warrior Project's Warrior Care Network.

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Our therapeutic plans vary by the group of people that we’re getting, but there is an extensive group-related exposure. So they might get two to three hours of some form of group intervention per day. And then there are group activities. They could be horse related, hippo-therapy. They could be going to a farm. They could be going to an event. But remember, our veterans are different in the fact that they have built intense bonds with other veterans, almost like the athletes, as team members, over a period of time. Getting back to a sense of that is getting back to a sense of normalcy. I think being in a group, adhering to each other - and really only veterans can understand the veteran experience - and having someone else who is a partner, a collaborator, who can relate in many ways to the difficulties that they’ve experienced is a critically important facility to our issue. BrainLine is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families.

Posted on BrainLine October 6, 2021. Reviewed October 6, 2021.

About the author: Ross D. Zafonte, DO

Dr. Ross Zafonte is the Clinical and Research Leader for Traumatic Brain Injury at the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. He is the Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, vice president of Medical Affairs at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MGH.

Headshot of Dr. Ross D. Zafonte