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The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month in March each year.
According to Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Injury is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. In fact, every 9 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a brain injury.
An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is a brain injury that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. More than 3.6 million people sustain an acquired brain injury each year.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a type of ABI. A TBI is caused by trauma to the brain from an external force At least 2.8 million people sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury each year.
As a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) for over 34 years, my career focus is treating individuals with brain injuries, specializing in treating concussions. In 2005, I founded Neuro Rehab Associates, an interdisciplinary outpatient clinic treating individuals with ABI, TBI, and other neurological diagnoses. In 2015, I co-founded the Concussion Resource Center (CRC), a non-profit providing resources to assist individuals and families navigate the road to recovery.
I have been a Certified Provider of The Listening Program for over ten years. Throughout my career, I have treated hundreds of individuals who have sustained brain injuries along the continuum of care from coma to returning to their daily lives, including work and school. TLP has been tremendously important to my patients. It complements my treatment and supports their cognitive, emotional, and physical needs.
Many patients with acquired and traumatic brain injuries may experience some or all of these consequences following their brain injury:
Emotional & Behavioral
I recommend The Listening Program for my clients with brain injuries because it’s an easy way to engage their brain and body to improve cognitive, emotional, and physical function to promote recovery.
With my experience as a TLP provider, I have had many notable outcomes using TLP. One particular client had such remarkable results that I love sharing.
74-year old client “Nancy” sustained a traumatic brain injury from falling headfirst on an uneven sidewalk, hitting her chin and arm on the sidewalk. Her recovery was involved, but she was goal-directed and motivated to improve. She was determined to attend her granddaughter’s college graduation ceremony, only a few months away.
Nancy experienced dizziness and nausea and wore sunglasses during at least the first 50% of my speech therapy assessment due to photophobia. As a result of my assessment with her, I recommended physical therapy to assess a possible vestibular disorder in addition to speech therapy once her severe dizziness and nausea were under control.
Next, we targeted her poor auditory processing skills, sensory sensitivities, and selective attention with The Listening Program. I recognized that it was stressful for Nancy to constantly modify her environment and avoid most social interactions, especially large gatherings like a graduation ceremony. She simply could not tolerate situations with too many people, noise, or commotion, which worsened her symptoms.
As she used TLP, she made many significant improvements, which were reflected in her post-TLP assessment. Some of the highlights include:
“Nancy” completed The Listening Program and reported that she achieved her goal, and enjoyed her Granddaughter’s graduation ceremony and a celebration that followed!
The Listening Program provides progressive training through a full range of sound frequencies, using neuroacoustically modified music listened to through headphones for 15-minutes each day. It works by stimulating the auditory system and its connections to the brain.
TLP is a neuroscience-based music listening therapy. It includes four individualized protocols based on decades of research. My clients may use one, two, three, or all four programs, depending on their needs.
A foundational program to calm auditory sensitivities, improve sensory processing, motor control, reduce stress and anxious feelings to develop a sense of safety and well-being.
An intermediate program to promote executive functioning for success at school, work, and life. Supports improved communication, listening, focus, attention, and memory.
TLP Level One
The most advanced program to refine and improve auditory processing, executive function, sensory regulation, emotional and social wellbeing, communication, mental and physical abilities.
A flexible rhythm-based program to encourage synchrony in the brain and body. Activate more fluid movement and body rhythm for higher-level thinking skills and adaptive responses to stress.
People can experience improvements in seven Brain Focus Areas when they use TLP consistently over time. All seven areas are typically negatively impacted from a TBI:
Since The Listening Program engages a wide range of large-scale neural networks, including the nervous system, it effectively improves overall brain health and sensory processing to support healing and recovery.
Sound frequencies affect different areas of human brain function and performance. TLP music is engineered to train the four brain training frequency zones across the spectrum of human auditory perception, supporting bottom-up (sensory input) and top-down (perception and response) brain functions; green, orange, red, and blue. Each music module is color-coded according to its corresponding zone.
GREEN ZONE | Sensory Integration
(lower frequency sounds)
ORANGE ZONE | Speech and Language
(mid & higher frequency sounds)
RED ZONE | High Spectrum – Executive Functioning Skills
(higher frequency sounds)
When “Jay,” a 40-year-old man, lost his creativity following his Acquired Brain Injury, we decided to give The Listening Program a try. Soon, the creative juices began to flow again! He frequently draws while listening to TLP and is considering channeling his career towards a more creative avenue.
My experience with The Listening Program has been eye-opening. I hadn’t really thought much about how music would affect your brain, and in such positive ways. But after just three sessions, I was hooked.
First, I found it helpful just to tune out of the world and into something else for a few minutes on either side of the day. Not unlike the feeling I get from meditation, I feel refreshed, usually, after a session. So the simple value of setting the business of the day aside helps, especially since fatigue can be such an issue post-aneurysm.
Second, listening to the music becomes an interesting brain exercise if you follow the listening prompts. I easily began to hear elements of music that I often didn’t consciously notice. I also have a bit of synesthesia, seeing colors and patterns to music. My awareness of that has also increased, and I think because I relaxedly concentrate on the sounds…it has overlapped into an ability to focus on reading and writing.
I don’t think I could have cleared the high bar of stroke recovery so quickly without TLP. I feel like it has helped to sharpen what was a very fuzzy mind.
A 60-year-old woman with a brain tumor found TLP to help her with her memory and was hoping it would also help her balance, which was affected by her brain tumor. She plans to complete the training several times a year to maintain her overall brain functioning.
A 75-year-old woman with a history of a concussion completed The Listening Program as part of her speech therapy treatment. She was receiving PT at the same time for vestibular therapy. She noted that she was more successful at completing her balance exercises for her PT home program immediately after or while completing her 15 min TLP training.
A 55 year-old-man with a history of concussions who experienced severe sensory overload found TLP to be one of the only things he could do to ground himself and feel less overwhelmed, stressed, and more relaxed. Since he was significantly affected and had not been able to listen to all zones, he knew which color zone to listen to related to how he was feeling or how he wanted to feel whether he wanted to become calm and centered when things became too overwhelming and he began to shut down or to be energized when he had little energy.
I have also prescribed TLP for individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairments, and these clients have enjoyed the program and found it beneficial.
It is very satisfying to see my clients progress and turn the corner in their recovery process to achieve their individualized goals.
– Cathy Fisher, M.S., CCC-SLP
The Listening Program has been a vital component of my practice when treating individuals with brain injuries and other neurological diagnoses.
In my experience, as one of many modalities I use in treatment, TLP has provided a missing piece in the recovery process following brain injuries. It is a complementary treatment for Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy.
Cathy Fisher, M.S., CCC-SLP
Cathy is a speech-language pathologist and founder of Neuro Rehab Associates, Inc. an outpatient clinic offering Speech, Physical, and Occupational therapy in Bozeman. She received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Arizona and has dedicated her career to working with adults and school-aged students with neurological disorders, specializing in the treatment of people with concussions. Cathy Co-Founded the Concussion Resource Center, a non-profit developed to assist individuals and families navigate the road to recovery following concussions.
Cathy has been an active member of the Bozeman Sunrise Rotary Club for over 20 years and is a co-founder of the Fix Up Festival- Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a one day event where free home repairs are made to the homes of 12 low income, elderly or disabled citizens of the Gallatin Valley.
She received the Bozeman Business and Professional Woman’s Association’s – Woman of Achievement award in 2016. Her hobbies include skiing, hiking, gardening, travel, and time with her family in the US and France.
Tags Advanced Brain Technologies, Brain Injury, Brain Injury Awareness, Brain Injury Recovery, Brain Injury Rehab, Brain Injury Support, Concussion, Concussion Management, Concussion Recovery, Executive Function, language, Light Sensitivity, listening therapy, memory, sound sensitivity, speech therapy, Stroke, tbi, The Listening Program, Therapeutic Music, Thinking, Traumatic Brain Injury
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