Health and Healing after Traumatic Brain Injury
Understanding the Power of Family, Friends, Community, and Other Support Systems
by Heidi Muenchberger, Elizabeth Kendall, and John Wright, Editors
May 2013, 260pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-2886-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-2887-4
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Each year in America, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury, commonly affecting infants and toddlers as well as teens, young adults, and the elderly. The direct medical costs and indirect costs attributed to traumatic brain injury totaled an estimated $76.5 billion in the United States in 2000. Despite the significance of brain injury in economic and health terms, the individual and social costs are not as clearly understood and articulated. Even less well understood is the role of the environment in facilitating new beginnings for individuals following brain injury.

In this groundbreaking book, experts show what a difference support systems—family, friends, community and social programs—can make towards the recovery of the millions of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury each year.

Health and Healing after Traumatic Brain Injury: Understanding the Power of Family, Friends, Community, and Other Support Systems stresses the importance of an integrated and systems approach to healing. This book offers a unique combination of practitioner perspectives on what works for individual patients, consumer stories and learned insights over time, as well as researcher insights from innovative programs. It provides a holistic account of the important factors in living with a brain injury that will inform and benefit health practitioners and policy makers as well as people with brain injuries and their family members and friends.

The chapters explore the current best evidence and contemporary views on healing that draw on optimism, aspirational living, and meaningful partnerships. The authors focus on the emergent area of the salutogenic experience of injury—how brain injury changes and shapes lives in positive ways—and on the variables within individuals and their environments that provide a supportive influence in long-term healing.


  • Presents multiple viewpoints from the perspectives of consumers, practitioners, researchers, and policy makers
  • Advocates an integrated approach to healing after brain injury that incorporates multiple strategies
  • Demonstrates how change and growth are possible after brain injury
Heidi Muenchberger, PhD, is associate professor of environmental psychology at Griffith Health Institute, Queensland, Australia. Her previous experience as a clinical neuropsychologist combined with her current research into the impact of the social, natural, and built environment on wellbeing provides a unique perspective from which to consider health and healing after brain injury. Muenchberger is widely published in academic journals and has authored several book chapters relating to brain injury and post-injury growth.

Elizabeth Kendall, PhD, is professor of community health and rehabilitation at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Her published works include more than 100 journal articles and Praeger's award-winning three-volume series Disabilities: Insights from across Fields and around the World. She is a psychologist who has worked in brain injury rehabilitation for the majority of her career. Kendall derives additional insight into her area of expertise as a result of her sibling who sustained a traumatic brain injury 30 years ago.

John Wright is a rural scientist who has lived with a brain injury for over 40 years and is a strong advocate for disability and wellbeing in the community. His experiences throughout his lifespan provide an important and often absent account of the lived experience of brain injury and insights into maximizing life opportunities in spite of disability. Wright's work in the fields of disability and education has enabled him to put his ideas into practice for hundreds of young people affected by brain injury.


"Too often following traumatic brain injury, injured persons and their families are left with little information on how to positively cope and adjust to their new life. With Health and Healing After Traumatic Brain Injury, the authors provide hope and tangible information on ways to successfully adapt to the challenges presented by this disability. This book is a major contribution to the caregiving and professional support literature." —Charles Edmund Degeneffe, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Rehabilitation Counseling Program, San Diego State University

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book cover to cover and never got bored. After reading the moving introduction by John Wright, I wanted to keep reading. What I really like about this book is that it provides information on such a range of broad topics and it covers issues that are not usually found in other TBI books (e.g., chapters on intimate partner violence, culture and ethnicity, siblings, family resilience). For someone who has just acquired a brain injury and/or for the caregivers/families, this book provides excellent insights about the issues that may emerge. Most importantly, some of the chapters provide realistic hope that life is not over after a brain injury. Equally important is the message that ‘one is not alone’." In a nutshell, I enjoyed reading every chapter. This is overall an excellent book." —Dr. Annick Maujean, Clinical Psychologist
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