Provincial Acquired Brain Injury Conference

Presented by OBIA and Participating Community Associations

Our Keynote Speakers

Dawn Neumann, PhD, FACRM

Know Thy Emotions:  A New Treatment Approach for Emotion Regulation after Brain Injury
Thursday, November 7 at 9:00 am

Problems with emotion dysregulation are quite common after TBI and often difficult to treat. Research suggests poor emotional control after TBI is impacted by reduced awareness for one’s own emotions. Poor emotional insight is a deficit referred to as alexithymia and is characterized by an inability to recognize and describe one’s own emotions. It is highly prevalent after TBI and is frequently associated with general emotion dysregulation, as well as anxiety, depression, and anger. Dr. Neumann’s presentation will discuss the clinical importance of evaluating and targeting alexithymia when addressing emotional problems after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). She will describe her alexithymia intervention, which was the first structured treatment ever designed to address this issue in the brain injury population, and share results from her promising phase I clinical trial. Next steps and clinical applications will be discussed.

Meg Soper

Bring It On… Strategies for Balance and Resilience

Thursday, November 7 at 1:00 pm

With more than 30 years experience in the health care industry and as a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room, Meg Soper understands how your attitude affects those around you at home and in the workplace environment. She combines her remarkable sense of humor with her unique perspective of life to captivate her audience and provide a presentation filled with inspiration and entertainment. Professional speaker and comedienne, Meg Soper is recognized as one of the premiere motivators in North America.

She has shared the stage with such celebrities as Ray Romano and Ellen DeGeneres. Meg is co-author of the book, “From the Stage to the Page – Life Lessons from Four Funny Ladies”. She has appeared on the CBC Television Network, Women’s Television Network and Prime TV, as well as being featured in many radio programs and comedy festivals. Meg has a tremendous ability to connect with her audience and take every event to a higher level.

Robert van Reekum MD, FRCPC and Emma van Reekum

Understanding and Coping With the Dual Challenge of TBI and Psychosis

Friday, November 8 at 8:15 am

Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and their caregivers, are often faced with significant loss, stress/distress, functional impairment, challenges for rehabilitation and treatment teams, and costs. Although not adequately studied to date, it is likely that all of these consequences are exacerbated when TBI and psychosis co-occur.  This presentation will focus on our current understanding of Psychosis Following Traumatic Brain Injury (PFTBI).  We will also provide strategies to help with the dual challenge of TBI and Psychosis, while acknowledging that there remain significant limitations of our knowledge, and significant barriers to care for this population.  Much more needs to be done, and so we hope that this talk will stimulate, and help to focus, ongoing efforts to better help the large numbers of persons who are being affected by PFTBI. 

Tom Dow

I Survived a Brain Injury: So Now What?

Friday, November 8 at 11:00 am

A “mild” brain injury can be anything but mild to those facing the ongoing symptoms and loss-of-self  associated with it.  While often invisible to the rest of the world; cognitive challenges, fatigue, dizziness, changes in personality and an array of other sequelae leave survivors struggling to navigate a new reality even decades after their injury.  In this presentation, one survivor will share his unique experience with ABI among the millions of other unique experiences out there.  The far-reaching effects of one injury to caregivers, family, friends and even strangers, will also be explored.   Through music and visual images, attendees will be brought along on a journey from recovery to discovery and beyond.