Take The Time

December 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Messages | Leave a comment

Take the Time:

We spend our lives trying to cope in a time-compressed, 24/7 society that’s filled with noise, distraction and unending demands.  There is nothing like the holiday season to encourage us to feel even more rushed, preoccupied or worried about getting everything done.  In keeping with the “idea” of the holiday rush, here’s a calming, encouraging message.

Take the time this season to be patient when someone gets in your way or behaves rudely and turns into a Grinch before your very eyes.  Take the time to drive safely, even if it will make you late.  Take the time to listen with your ears and your eyes when talking with someone you love.

Take the time to do something nice for yourself in the midst of preparing for the holidays.  Take the time to stop, breathe deeply, relax and smile when weather, traffic or long lines screw up your schedule.  Take the time to smile at people who look like they need a moment of kindness or tolerance.

Take the time to reflect on each day instead of letting your experiences slide into oblivion.  Take the time to truly look at your surroundings, indoors and out, and see how things evolve.  Notice & absorb.  Take the time to learn something new every day, each week to enrich your life and keep things simple.  You will be glad that you did!

From Blog Post by lesliecharles.com 12/14/2010



Suffering and Loss? Is it Worth the Struggle?

August 15, 2010 at 11:54 am | Posted in Nancy's Story, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Does Anyone Live Free from Suffering and Loss?  Is it Worth the Struggle?

In November of 1971, I was an active, liberal and rebellious college student.  I was very social, well organized, intelligent and goal-oriented.  I was fiercely independent with just the right touch of passive aggressive resistance to authority figures.   I remember laughing a lot and handling stress without much thought of anxiety.  An ability to manage multiple demands came easily to me.  In the fall of that year, my world collapsed…

In a split second, my career changed from one of a special education teacher to an entry-level position in the field of brain injury recovery.  This was brought on by my being involved as a passenger, in a head-on collision in the Ann Arbor area.

That afternoon, an impressive set of credentials was awarded to me.  My right wrist was crushed, both my eyes would never again work together and I sustained a severe brain-stem injury.  Fortunately the driver of the other car was a physician, who immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in order to restore my breathing.  After being rushed to the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, life support was administered to me.

Click here to read the full story!

The A to Z of Coping with a Disability

August 15, 2010 at 11:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The A to Z of Coping with a Disability by Marcia K. Harris

A. Acknowledge the change in your life,

B. Build a support network.

C. Cry if and when you need to.

D. Don’t give up…there is life after trauma.

E. Express your feelings, buried pain is still pain.

F. Friendship is a two way street; don’t forget you still have something to give.

G. Grieving is a normal part of any loss.

H. Helpless you are not; do as much for yourself as you can, even if it’s limited to telling someone else know YOU

want something done.   Don’t “give away” all of your power.

I. Invite people to visit you if you can’t get out, to see them.

J. Join a support group…it’s a great way to meet new people.

K. Know your limitations…don’t push anything too far, you’ll pay later,

L. Learn how to take care of yourself to the fullest extent possible.  Keep as much control of what happens to you

as you can.

M. Mental health is important too…if you need help – get it.

N. Nurture yourself; taking care of yourself and your needs is nothing to be ashamed of.

O. Open your mind to new/different ways of doing things.  Different isn’t bad, it’s just different.

P. Prioritize your goals…keep attainable ones first…build for success.

Q. Quality of life is an individual choice…don’t let other people define what that means for you,

R. Remember who you are is not defined by what your body does or does not do.

S. Survive…do whatever it takes to make it through the struggle.

T. Try new things…what you can do may surprise you.

U. Use your mind…you are probably the one who knows the best way to adapt the things you need to adapt.

V. Victims are helpless, hopeless and pitiable.  Don’t be a victim.

W. Watch your attitude…it’s contagious!

X. “X-actly” who you are now depends upon who you were “before”, and what you do with what you have left.

Y. You are still a person worthy of dignity and respect.

Z. Zeal for living is an admirable trait in anyone; pursue all that life has to offer you!

UM Council for Disability Concerns’ 2010 Certificate of Appreciation

July 19, 2010 at 12:09 am | Posted in Nancy's Story | 1 Comment

Dear Nancy:

Please accept our congratulations at having been selected as a recipient of the UM Council for Disability Concerns’ 2010 Certificate of Appreciation.  We truly appreciate your efforts in raising consciousness on behalf of individuals who happen to have disabilities, in particular traumatic brain injuries.  We would like to present you with this Certificate at our annual Neubacher Award Ceremony on October 29th, at 9:30 am, in the Rackham Assembly Hall (fourth floor of Rackham).  Please feel free to invite members of your family and your colleagues.

Thank you for caring and for all you have done in an upbeat yet realistic manner to assist others.  We will be honored to meet you at the Ceremony.  (No need to rsvp to this message–unless by chance you are unable to attend).


Anna Ercoli Schnitzer
Chair, 2010 Neubacher Award Committee
Member, UM Council for Disability Concerns

This is the explanation of the award:

The University of Michigan’s Council for Disability Concerns established the James T. Neubacher Award in October 1990 as a memorial to Jim Neubacher, an alumnus of the University who was a columnist for The Detroit Free Press and an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Award is presented annually in October during Investing in Ability Week, a series of programs and activities designed to increase awareness and understanding of people who have disabilities and disability-related issues.

The Award includes a stipend provided by the Office of the President.

Sponsored by the Council for Disability Concerns, the Office of Institutional Equity and the Office of the President.


June 5, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Posted in Nancy's Story | 3 Comments

I wasn’t aware that I was going anywhere until, I decided to look back and see from where I’d come.  For nearly 39 years, I have been recovering from a severe brain stem injury that I sustained while I was a student.  From being a patient who was on life-support in a neurosurgery intensive care unit in Ann Arbor to the Rehabilitation Institute in Detroit, I have continued to crawl out from some horrendous circumstances, one step at a time.

Immediately after my trauma, I needed to learn how to walk, talk, think, and take care of my most basic needs.  If I considered the magnitude of what I had to accomplish, I would have given up.  But I didn’t think that way.  I did not focus on long-term goals.  I chose to concentrate on things that I could accomplish immediately.  I built one success upon another.  I have continued to gently push myself toward excellence.

After returning to undergraduate school at the University of Michigan, I gradually began to re- learn how to reintegrate into the mainstream.  Because I didn’t know what Rehabilitation Professionals might have said I couldn’t do, I went ahead and did.  After my brain injury, I completed college and attended graduate school in social work, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My employment history is short.  I worked briefly in alcohol treatment before giving-up and getting on Social Security Disability.  Just because I was now considered 100% disabled by the federal government, I did not quit trying to accomplish.  I did what I could do.  I was able to establish relationships and could talk with anyone.

I found a role that I could perform at a local head injury support group meeting.  I could be a brain injured peer counselor & help others to reintegrate into the mainstream, because I had done that.  My experiences and education would only enhance my credibility.

After having read a book that introduced coaching, Therapist as Life Coach, Transforming Your Practice, I realized that was in fact what I had been doing.  I chose to further my knowledge of coaching by registering as a student of the International Coaching Academy 1½ years ago.

Since that time, I have participated in another student’s Mind to Succeed program.  It was  wonderful!  After that experience, I have been able to identify & achieve goals that I previously did not consider.  I’m very pleased with myself and I see no reason to stop trying to excel.  I have developed a list of short term goals that I intend on reaching and they follow:


1)      I will finish taking ICA classes by the 3rd. week in June.  After that, I will do whatever needs to be done to graduate in December.

2)      My Disability Life Coaching Business Plan will be submitted to Michigan Rehabilitation Services in the middle of June, 2010.

3)      I will become a FACE Facilitator – FACE is a communication tool.

4)      I will participate in Jeff Albert’s Coach Approach Selling Boot Camp on June 18, 19 & 20th.

5)      On July 24 & 25th, I’m traveling to Florida to participate in a Silva Life System Seminar conducted by Mandy Bass.

6)      On the 39th anniversary of my brain stem injury, Nov. 11th, I’m going travel to Toronto to attend a Personal Strengths workshop.

7)      In December of 2010, I will graduate from ICA and become a certified Disability Life Coach.

8)      After graduation, I will collect the funds, $699, to allow me to take the Learning Leader Course in order to become qualified to lead groups for ICA.


Am I pursing excellence?  I honestly don’t think in those terms.  I simply so what I have always done since I was hurt.  I try to do a little better today, than I did yesterday in all areas of my life.  I’m better at some skills than others.  I’ve learned that I must be interdependent with those in my environment and be grateful for all my privileges.  When I do that, I feel good about myself.  When I feel good about myself, I can contribute to ICA’s global community.

The New Pink Book – Acceptance Groups for Survivors

May 21, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rehabilitation professionals who work survivors of traumatic brain injuries or other conditions resulting in disabilities can use Acceptance Groups for Survivors: A Guide for Facilitators.

Based on the life experiences of a brain injury survivor, this structured group program is designed to help facilitate acceptance of deficits. The Guide provides discussion-provoking questions for each of 24 group sessions, preceded by specific objectives facilitators can expect to achieve. Groups are designed to help survivors deal with themselves, their feelings, and others through constructive guided “sharing”.

Go to the book page on this blog to order your copy now!

Note From a Client (Katie’s amazingly enhanced recovery)

May 21, 2010 at 9:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hi Nancy,  Katie has asked me to help her write a paragraph or two about her specific experience and current outcomes because of  Katie’s amazingly enhanced recovery options that YOU, AND YOU ALONE  have given her the tools she can use to continue with more health  and quality of life along the journey in her recovery from her brain injury.
We will be sending that to you ASAP..

🙂 Love Kathy

Lessons from the Olympics

May 7, 2010 at 1:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lesson from the Olympics – taken from newsletter by Leslie Charles

It would be helpful to identify two enduring lessons that can benefit us all.  The first involves time: in watching these incredible athletes, we see the results of a LOT of hard work.  It helps to remember that behind those incredible performances are hundreds of thousands of hours of concentrated practice.  It requires an incredible amount of repetition if you want to take a skill to world class level.

Here’s the other lesson:  If you do something every day (from minutes to hours) you build a habit that gets “wired in” and is always there when you need it.

The secret to resilience, mental hardiness, and staying power is the practice of positive thinking.  From visualization to positive affirmation and then to application or practice, over and over again, with a few tweaks in between: that’s what it takes.  Yes, the discipline is difficult but the skill building endures over time.

Recovery is Making Progress

April 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recovery is Making Progress

As someone who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a car accident, while I was in my last year of undergraduate school at the University of Michigan over 38 years ago, my life has been filled with expected challenges, and with some that were not planned or expected. The years since my injury have taught me much abut recovery from trauma.  I’d like to share three lessons that help me to achieve the goal I set.
1) Recovery is Making Progress – one small step at a time
2) Recovery demands commitment
3) Recovery needs sustained determination to overcome obstacles and attain goals

Please visit my web site for more information at: www.survivoracceptance.com

You can click on this link to find out more about my book:    Acceptance Groups for Survivors: A Guide for Facilitators

More To The Nancy Bauser Story…

April 12, 2010 at 10:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Out of her own experiences as a brain injury survivor, Nancy Bauser presents a step-by-step methodical guide on how to help victims of catastrophe.  Bauser, who survived an automobile accident in 1971, developed a systematic approach for facilitators, social workers, psychologists and rehabilitation personnel to use in order to help others who have undergone similar physical traumas.  Groups help survivors become invested in recovery, understand personal worth, become aware of strengths and weaknesses, deal with loss, learn problem solving skills, and later to reach realistic goals.  RECOVERY IS MAKING PROGRESS is the underlying message of the book.

After her severe and life-threatening brain injury in 1971, Nancy Bauser did much more than just recover. She went on to earn her Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan in 1973 and then a Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976. Nancy became a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers in 1984. After establishing herself as a Disability Peer Counselor and making presentations from San Diego, California in 1995 to Seville, Spain in 1997, Nancy published her award-winning Acceptance Groups for Survivors, A Guide for Facilitators in 2001. In 2004, Nancy achieved Diplomat status in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, with Board Certification in Disability Trauma. In 2008, a revised and updated edition of Acceptance Groups for Survivors was released. Nancy Bauser, MSW, ACSW was named the Author of the Year by Jones Harvest Publishing based on her contribution to society and book sales. Nancy was awarded the title of 2009 Energizer Bunny Keep Going Hall of Fame Semifinalist, in 2010.

An example of the kind of impact Nancy has had on people with who she works, is explained by the parent of one of her clients:

I have never laid eyes on you but I feel your heart and from Lodi (over a thousand miles away)…..I am now crying because YOU understand and more importantly,  CARE about something bigger than yourself……You care about the people who are beginning the journey you began over 38 years ago and SURVIVED AND THRIVED……. The word care, is a “HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!” You seek to understand……what a tremendous gift.

:) Kathy

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