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In the CBT-TBI program, we treat individuals who develop the most severe form of depression (major depression) that occurs within 10 years of a traumatic brain injury. The treatment uses a version of cognitive behavioral therapy, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury (CBT-TBI). The primary goal of CBT-TBI is to decrease depressive symptoms and improve life satisfaction within this population. Our longer-term, secondary goal is to decrease the costs associated with managing depression within this population.

Foundation of CBT-TBI

CBT-TBI was delivered both in-person and by phone, and was adapted from Simon and Ludman’s structured telephone care management and CBT protocol. While originally developed for English-speaking primary care patients, the program has been adapted for different populations and translated into several languages.

Important changes to CBT-TBI

Using our experience and lessons learned from our team’s prior counseling studies, this program has been tailored in several ways to meet the needs of individuals living with TBI. For example, our brief care management services address issues specific to promoting TBI rehabilitation and recovery, including:

  • returning to work or school
  • dealing with substance use
  • addressing social and interpersonal isolation

Additionally, support persons such as a spouse, significant other, parent, adult child, or other caregiver are invited to attend sessions to assist with planning, implementing and monitoring practice activities.

Other important changes have been made to address cognitive impairment in carrying out CBT-TBI. Read more here about examples of accommodations for cognitive impairment.