The desire to help those who needed it most brought me into the field of psychiatry. Working with the brain injured has taught me that even an abundance of passion isn't enough to truly provide that help- a complete sea change had to occur in the way I viewed people with brain injuries. That view has become the foundation of how we treat and work with our clients.
I've outlined the principles we work by...that I hope will help our clients, their families, case managers and physicians see eye-to-eye on treatment of the brain injured - and each other.
People with traumatic brain injuries are people. Just like you and I. They have needs, wants, hopes, dreams and aspirations. They have unrealized, untapped capacities, functionality and motivation. They want to lead fulfilling lives; have the freedom to learn, work, socialize and love. Helping a person with a TBI requires patience, perseverance, acceptance and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation necessitates immense effort by the clinical team and the patient/client. It means a restoration to health by training and therapy by a gently guiding hand. Rehabilitation should stand under scrutiny, be consistent, clinically relevant, goal-oriented and patient-centered.
The social ramifications of a brain injury are cataclysmic. Brain injury hides behind a mask that looks just like you and I, but behind the facade lies one of the most painful of burdens to endure: pervasive loneliness. The cognitive and executive symptoms combined with affective instability and behavioral symptoms can sentence that person to social isolation. We must consider that each patient possesses the capacity to learn and feel fulfilled; the right to ongoing rehabilitation and opportunity for independence.
Rehabilitation should exist for the term of the injury. When a person has reached their capacity for self-satisfaction and happiness, it should cease. Although the brain injury may never be cured, the person who survives has the right to the rehabilitation that will, ultimately, help them recover happiness and fulfillment.
Life Skills Village's commitment to our clients is to ensure the very real possibility of that goal. We believe we will have the final, critical word in the care of our patients/clients. We will recommend only the level and types of care with the potential to promote true rehabilitation.
Life Skills Village promotes and supports the following:
1. All rehabilitative programs should show outcomes, primarily for functionality.
2. Residential placement for brain injury should monitor for living skills (i.e. grooming, cleanliness, organization, bill paying, etc).
3. Goals should be patient-centered; based on desire, potential and ability.
4. The decision regarding where all therapies are provided is clinical. This requires our scrutiny of all programs and residential facilities as well as discussion with case managers, caregivers and other physicians.
What's more, we commit to a constant evolution of new treatments devised at LSV or by another clinician/institution; so that we may continue to offer our clients hope, purpose, fulfillment and - ultimately - independence.
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About the Doc
Dr. Bryan Weinstein is a practicing psychiatrist with certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has practiced psychiatric pharmacology and psychotherapy since 1997. Dr. Weinstein is the CEO of Life Skills Village.