Moving Forward: Psychotherapy with a Youth After Brain Injury

  • Mary C. Kaven


Shaun was sitting quietly on the couch in the dayroom of the residential treatment center (RTC), listening intently to a book on tape with a headset while his peers were talking or playing games. Just under 5 ft and 100 lbs, with curly blond hair and fair, even facial features, he looked more like his 12-year-old peers on the unit than his chronological age of 15 years. Shaun was pleasant and cooperative in conversation. His vocabulary was quite good, and he talked about the Harry Potter books he had heard on tape. He was open about not being able to read or tell time. He could read short words and the numbers on a digital watch, but he did not understand what time his activities and meals took place. He knew his colors, could count aloud into the double digits, and print his first name with difficulty. He asked for help in constructing an animal from a novel building set he saw on a shelf, but he knew what looked realistic and what did not. He denied having any auditory or visual hallucinations, and there was no mention of such in his medical record. He admitted being very picky about food and having trouble ending activities and said he wanted help to tell his schoolteacher how to understand him and help him learn. In a session with his parents, Shaun was teary, more regressed, and oppositional. He told his parents that he does not belong in this world and should die.


Cognitive Behavior Therapy Status Epilepticus Vagus Nerve Stimulator Source Memory Neuropsychological Evaluation 
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Resources for Clinicians

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Resources for Families

  1. Academy of Cognitive Therapy,
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary C. Kaven
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent DivisionUniversity of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerque

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