Group Programs

Client Services offers a variety of group-based programs addressing the complex needs which can arise for individuals after brain injury.

We also create some customized groups for individuals who are experiencing similar journeys.  These groups consist of 4-6 people who meet to discuss the experience of having a brain injury, learn and share post-injury strategies, and re-envision life after injury. Customized groups are held off-site and are by invitation only, as we work carefully to bring together clients with similar situations such as stage of injury, family dynamics, career history, etc.

NOTE:  CLIENTS MUST PRE-REGISTER to attend most group programs.  Any group that runs on a drop-in basis will indicate this in the group description.  Please read all group descriptions carefully.

TO REGISTER FOR A GROUP PROGRAM or MAKE AN INQUIRY ABOUT A CUSTOMIZED GROUP, please call Gillian Games, Group Programs Coordinator, at 250-762-3233 ext. 114, or send her an email.

Guided Meditation and Gentle Yoga

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The Yoga for Relaxation group is an opportunity for individuals at all levels of skill or experience to participate in a gentle, restorative yoga practice.  In this class, the focus is on holding fewer poses for longer periods of time.  Props are used to assist you with the poses, allowing you to completely relax and let go.

Benefits of participating in yoga for relaxation include:

  • enhanced flexibility
  • deep physical relaxation
  • stills the mind
  • soothing to the nervous system
  • develops qualities of compassion and understanding toward others and self
  • enhances mood state

This class is led by volunteer yoga instructor, Bonita Summers, who provides a safe, nurturing environment tailored to the individual needs of those with brain injury.

This class will be of interest to those who:

  • experience anxiety
  • have difficulty quieting the mind
  • struggle with balance, coordination, or flexibility
  • have difficulty sleeping

This class takes place in a large, quiet space at the BrainTrust Canada offices.  Yoga mats are provided.  Class size is kept small.

Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

Return to Balance

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This group is based on balancing five pillars of wellness - the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of ourselves.  Concepts covered in the group include:

  • redefining self after brain injury
  • adjusting to the 'new you'
  • identifying what gives you meaning in your life
  • tools and coaching for optimal living
  • relationship strategies

The Return to Balance Group provides many opportunities to participate and share both successes and challenges.  In hearing each other's stories group members find that they are not alone in navigating life with a brain injury.  Strong friendships are often formed as both self-esteem and self-awareness increase.

This group is suitable for those who are:

  • struggling to let go of their former life
  • having difficulty understanding or accepting their brain injury
  • seeking greater empowerment in their life
  • wanting to be more social
  • wanting support in learning how to regulate their emotions

Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

Leisure Club
Once/month, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

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The Leisure Club meets once a month to enjoy a social outing in the community. One or more Community Support Facilitators from BrainTrust accompanies the group on each outing. Activities that the group attends are coordinated by a Community Support Facilitator and are based on requests from group members as well as availability of events in the community. Outings could include such things as the following:

  • going to the movies
  • going bowling
  • attending a poetry reading
  • attending a community-based cultural event ( i.e. Okanagan College Youth Powwow)

The Leisure Club could be a good fit for you if you:

  • like meeting new people
  • are ready to make some new friends
  • want to get out and socialize
  • want more fun in your life!

Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

Resource Navigation & Support
Wednesdays, 12:00 to 2:00 pm

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BrainTrust Canada provides this drop-in opportunity (no pre-registration required) every Wednesday from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. You are welcome to stop by to complete an intake process, get help in finding and accessing community resources, and get assistance with completing required paperwork.

If we can't help, we do our best to connect you with the resources that can.

Resource Navigation and Support is suitable for those who:

  • want to know more about accessing the individual or group services provided by BrainTrust Canada
  • want help in finding housing, applying for jobs, completing disability forms, etc.
  • want to learn where else in the community they can find support for their needs

Caregiver Support
Now available by individual appointment only

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We recognize that the use of 'natural supports' such as family, friends, and peers is one of the most valuable ways for our clients to be assisted in living as independently as possible. Caregiver Support is geared toward preventing burnout of these essential support people.

The goals of Caregiver Support are to:

  • provide an opportunity to share experiences/challenges on the recovery journey
  • provide self-care tools and strategies for caregivers
  • share useful resources related to brain injury
  • strengthen understanding of how relationships can change after injury and provide new relationship strategies

Caregiver Support will be of interest:

  • to anyone in the role of caregiver or support person of someone with brain injury
  •  at any point in the recovery journey - whether it's Day 1 or several years post-injury

Clients must book their appointment via email or by calling 250-762-3233 ext. 101. 

Healing Art

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The Healing Art Group meets weekly to explore opportunities for self-expression through art.  This group is taught by artist, Noelle Nadeau Khoo, who provides participants an opportunity to become familiar with a variety of art materials and forms of artistic expression through a discovery-oriented approach. It is based on the understanding that anyone can be creative in some form or another - no previous art experience is necessary.  Participants keep a collection of their work in a personalized mixed media art journal.

Members of the art therapy group have done such things as:

  • painted abstract images on canvas
  • learned to use alcohol inks
  • experimented with creating Picasso-style cubist portraits
  • collaborated as a group to create one abstract painting

The Healing Art Group is of interest to those who:

  • are interested in 'playing' with art materials
  • would like to discover their creative side
  • want to share time with others in a friendly, supportive environment
  • want a unique way to relieve stress
  • had previous experience with any form of art (thought this is definitely not required)

Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

NOTE:  This group is currently full.  To join the waiting list, please contact Gillian Games.

Art Group Projects

Peer Support Group

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The Peer Support Group is an opportunity to meet with other individuals with brain injury to discuss and share experiences that are related to both brain injury and the community at large.   The content and activities of the group evolve with its members.

Participants in the peer support group may:

  • receive resources and information for coping with life after brain injury
  • examine and share new research in neurology
  • host a guest speaker or attend a lecture in the community together
  •  co-facilitate a session for the other members of the group on a topic of shared interest

The Peer Support Group would be of interest to those who:

  • had a professional career prior to their injury
  • have an interest in current brain research
  • are interested in 'paying it forward' by contributing in some way to the field of brain injury

Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

Inner Rhythms Drum Circle
Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:00 pm

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Some of the potential therapeutic benefits of group drumming include the following:

  • lowers blood pressure and reduces tension, anxiety, and stress
  • improves memory, eye-hand coordination, and posture
  • enhances focus and concentration
  • promotes body learning
  • helps control chronic pain by promoting the production of endorphins
  • boosts the immune system
  • integrates the whole brain
  • helps participants feel connected rather than isolated

The drum circle is facilitated by Joan Casorso.

The Inner Rhythms Drum Circle is a group that will run for six-week cycles. Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

Cognitive Enhancement Group

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The Cognitive Enhancement Group provides an opportunity for individuals with brain injury to receive assistance with cognitive rehabilitation in a group setting.  Participating in the activities provided can enhance the person's ability to process and interpret information and perform mental functions.

This group is designed to 'enhance' (not replace) the work of others who are a part of the individual's recovery process i.e.) speech-language pathologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physician, etc.

Activities are tailored as much as possible to the needs of the group members, and address cognitive deficits that occur after brain injury such as:

  • impaired attention
  • decreased concentration
  • easy distractibility
  • impaired memory
  • poor judgment
  • poor executive function (goal setting, problem solving, time management, managing day-to-day tasks)

The Cognitive Enhancement Group fits those at any stage of recovery following brain injury whether the individual is newly diagnosed or sustained a brain injury years ago.

Clients must pre-register to attend this group.

Cooking Group

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The Cooking Group is an opportunity for clients with brain injury to learn or re-learn how to prepare simple, healthy meals that follow the Canada Food Guide.  Facilitated by Laura Plummer, a member of our Community Support Team, clients are taught at their own pace how to be independent in the kitchen.

Cooking classes cover such things as:

  • healthy and inexpensive menu planning
  • making nutritious choices
  • shopping tips and budgeting
  • safe food preparation

Each class ends with the group participants sharing a meal together.  Participants also receive copies of all of the recipes, so they can cook these meals again at home.

The Cooking Group would be of interest to those who:

  • want guidance in learning to cook for themselves
  • want to expand their skill in the kitchen
  • would enjoy preparing and sharing meals with others

Clients must pre-register to attend this group..  

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For more information or to inquire about joining a group program

contact Gillian Games
Group Programs Coordinator, BrainTrust Canada