Clinical Director's Report
Carolyn Lemsky, Ph.D., C.Psych, Clinical Director
Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology
The past fifteen years have seen many advancements in the field of neurorehabilitation, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology. Keeping up with these advancements is a constant challenge that we are meeting through refinement of our comprehensive model of service. This past year we have updated and improved staff training. All CHIRS staff have access to a series of workshops related to brain and behaviour relationships, fostering working relationships with clients and families, first aid, crisis response and prevention and a variety of other topics. The challenges of living with the effects of acquired brain injury are many. It can be a daunting task to foster independence while ensuring a supported and safe living environment.
At CHIRS staff are provided with the training and supervision needed to collaborate with clients and their families to create a lifestyle that is both productive and satisfying. At the core of our model of service delivery are the integration of information related to cognitive abilities and disabilities, personal goals and available community supports. A team of professionals, including neuropsychologists, a neuropsychiatrist, and social workers, provides regular supervision to assist staff in understanding the needs and potentials and emotional responses of program participants. Clients are supported in developing a healthy awareness of strengths and needs. Armed with this knowledge, they are able to fully collaborate in the development of strategies that can be used to address their own life goals. Some major points that are emphasized in our model of service include the development of daily routines. Routines foster independence by allowing persons with memory and organization difficulties to independently complete activities of daily living with a minimum of external intervention. Every attempt is made to encourage the development of cognitive compensation strategies that both promote independence and feelings of accomplishment and self worth. As we continue to refine our model of service, we strive to provide the maximum possible amount of participation in the community through employment, volunteering and recreational opportunities.