Hero’s Journey

Hero’s Journey

Kit Malia, BED, MPhil, CPCRT and Anne Brannagan, DIPCOT, MSc

An educational group curriculum on brain injury for adults and survivors provides content and exercises to increase understanding and adjustment to the physical, cognitive and behavioral changes caused by brain trauma. It is designed for use by clinicians, caregivers and families in rehabilitation, community and home settings.

Item: HERO
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Full Description

Taking a unique approach to understanding the complexity and impact of acquired brain injuries, Kit Malia and Anne Brannagan have produced a workbook that is filled with practical exercises for clinicians, families, and individuals to use in rehabilitation settings, community programs and at home. The activities are designed as “adventures, challenges and insights” that are intended to enhance understanding of how the brain works and the various consequences of an injury. Each exercise has clear instructions and is accompanied by witty and clever analogies and illustrations which make this workbook entertaining as well as educational.

It is divided into 5 parts with activities focusing on understanding:

  • The Brain
  • Rehabilitation
  • Cognition
  • Emotions and Behavior
  • Adjustment

This workbook is an innovative approach to brain injury education that is a “must have” for any brain injury program.

For more manuals by Kit Malia see

  • How to Do Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Procedures for Assessing Awareness and Adjustment
ISBN# 978-1-931117-49-7
Pages 120 pages, 8 ½ x 11, perfect bound, softcover
Year Second edition, 2008


Kit Malia, BED, MPhil, CPCRT, is the only Certified Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist in the United Kingdom (via the Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation, USA). He holds a research degree in Neuropsychology. Initially trained as a teacher for people with learning disabilities, he has spent almost 19 years working as a cognitive rehabilitation therapist with adults who have acquired neurological injuries at The Defense Medical Rehabilitation Center, one of the largest brain injury rehabilitation units in the UK.

Mr. Malia has published scientific papers on cognitive and psychosocial rehabilitation, and clinical standards in brain injury rehabilitation. He is the primary author of Brainwave-R (an extensive collection of cognitive strategies and techniques for brain injury rehabilitation). He has also co-authored The Brain Injury Workbook with Dr Trevor Powell.

Mr. Malia has lectured at various conferences in Canada, USA, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation, USA, and is the chairperson of the International Division for the SCR.

Ms Anne Brannagan, DIPCOT, MSc, Clinical Specialist, qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1988 from the London School. She did a two year orthopedic rotation before specializing in Neurorehabilitation at the Defense Services Rehabilitation Center in Headley Court. She gained a research master's degree from Kings College in 1993.

Ms Brannagan is particularly interested in the cognitive and executive sequelae of acquired brain injury. She runs workshops with Kit Malia, training both professionals working in the field and caregivers of individuals with brain injury around the country. In addition, she has lectured on cognition at conferences in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and the USA.

She is currently the membership chair of the Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation. She also is the chair of the National Executive Committee of NANOT and is deputy chair of the brain injury forum. Ms Brannagan has developed a number of rehabilitation activities, including a practical approach to the assessment of executive problems (The Brannagan Executive Functions Assessment) following brain injury and cognitive/psychosocial groups.


What is a Hero’s Journey?
How to Use this Work Book

Part I: The Brain

#  1 Talking Heads
#  2 The Lights are Off
#  3 The Car and the Ferry
#  4 The Engine
#  5 The Custard Theory
#  6 The Back Streets
#  7 Cells That Fire Together Wire Together
#  8 The Caveman Principle
#  9 Caught in a Rut
#10 Flower Power

Part II: Rehabilitation

#11 The Compass
#12 Who am I?
#13 The Shattered Mirror
#14 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Part III. Cognition (Thinking and Learning)

#15 Turning Cogs
#16 Building a Wall
#17 The Treacle Monster
#18 Hi I’m Eva
#19 The Foundation
#20 Attention Jigsaw
#21 Canadian Logging River
#22 The Capacity Bucket
#23 Post Office Sorting
#24 Memory Tree
#25 Filing Cabinet
#26 Prisoner of the Moment
#27 Help Yourself
#28 Conductor of the Orchestra
#29 Get a Grip
#30 The Web
#31 Blind Spot
#32 Hard to Live With
#33 Support Structures
#34 Seeing is Believing
#35 The Sorcerer
Part IV. Emotions and Behavior

#36 Pudding Mix
#37 Different Expressions
#38 The Behavior Tree
#39 Short Flash to Bang!

Part V. Adjustment

#40 Losing Bits of Yourself
#41 The Grief Process
#42 Change Curve
#43 How Much Further?
#44 Stress Balance
#45 Social Support
#46 Stress is Good!
#47 Fight or Flight
#48 The Tornado and Thermal
#49 The Hero’s Journey
#50 Ways of Coping
#51 Structured Problem Solving




Some Words from the Authors……..

This work book was written to help improve the quality of life for people following brain injury. We have run education groups over many years. During this time, we have discovered certain concepts that help people move forward in rehabilitation.

The 51 stories, analogies, similes and images that we have used in this book form the basis of our education group. Each concept is presented as an image with a story. Explanatory text is also included. Images and stories provide a quick and easy way to understand some quite complex ideas. We have found the 51 images in this book work well.

The work book is suitable to be used by families, people with brain injury, caregivers, and therapists. The concepts should be worked through from start to finish and then revisited as many times as needed to fully understand them. This understanding will help you make progress.

Some concepts and exercises are very easy. Others are more difficult. Some families and individuals will be able to do them on their own. Others will find they need some help from therapists or caregivers with some sections. Each person is different.

This workbook can be used by therapists and caregivers in rehabilitation and community settings. It can also be used by families and survivors at home. It provides you with information to better understand the full impact of a brain injury. The exercises and activities are tools to help individuals and families as they rebuild their lives.

The whole process of adaptation following brain injury is a Hero’s Journey - hence the title. Anyone who manages to make this adjustment successfully is a hero and should be honored.

We hope that this work book is useful and wish all those people, who are on their Hero’s Journey, the very best. Take heart, you're not the first, and unfortunately you will not be the last. It is possible to make this journey!

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