Mentor Training Program

Welcome to the HeadStrong Mentor Training Program

The HeadStrong Mentor Training Program is designed to help you be an empowering support person for yourself and others. Our trainings are excellent for professionals, family members, care-partners, people living with brain injury, and students. Mentoring is a traditional way societies pass on knowledge by working side by side and setting a positive example. The Mentor Training includes three key modules:

  • Rebuilding Identity After Brain Injury
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Meaningful Projects & Activities

In each module we explore the concepts and learn practical skills to empower ourselves and people living with brain injury. We explore the role of social identity in rebuilding life after brain injury; design meaningful projects and activities, learn skills to reduce conflict, and practice communication tools that build trust during conflict resolution. We provide all training materials and handouts to use in your work or home setting. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a detailed description of each of the modules.

Check out the Youth & Mentor Stories:
link to mentor diaries pdf


All of the information was incredibly useful and the language it was presented in was understandable…

Visually Appealing… detailed and cutting edge…

Great Sensitivity and inclusive language

“Rebuilding Identity” and “Conflict Resolution” were so helpful

I got a lot out of the training and have been able to implement some of the techniques in my role as a mentor

Liked the group because it gets everyone on the team on the same page

Appreciation and Acknowledgement

The HeadStrong Mentor Training Program is based on the excellent model of the New York State TBI Apprenticeship Program. We are indebted to Tim Feeney, PhD and Mark Ylvisaker for their groundbreaking work in this field.

Robert Karol, PhD work gave us insight on anger, reward and punishment, and alternatives to traditional behavioral interventions. We are also grateful to Aspiro Wilderness Therapy Camps for their work with young people and self-efficacy and the Arbinger Institute for their work with authentic communication.

Special Thanks To:

  • Tim Feeney, PhD
  • Mark Yivsaker, PhD
  • Dussault Law group
  • Mike Nelson NBLE Law
  • Jeff Tilden, Gordon Tilden, Thomas & Cordell, LLP
  • Will Smart, Keller Rohrback Law Offices
  • Tony Choppa, OSC Vocational Systems, Inc.

Their generous contributions allowed us to prepare the Mentor Training materials and expand our program.

Big Thanks to Anne B James, PhD, and George Tomlin, PhD at the University of Puget Sound. Also graduate students at the Occupational Therapy Department for your serviceship, volunteerism, and outstanding mentoring. We are honored to collaborate with this great university and program.

We are infinitely grateful to the many people, families, and supporters who work everyday to rebuild meaningful lives after brain injury.

2nd Collage for Vertical Response TOP

The HeadStrong training program is designed for people living with brain injury, family members, care-partners, professionals, para-professionals and anyone living or working with brain injury. This training helps us reach our potential to be empowering support people for ourselves and others.

Rebuilding Identity

Identity is key to our motivations and roles in our communities. It is nearly always impacted after brain injury. When our desired identity is supported, it helps us find a positive role in our community. We work with the tools and exercises to recognize and rebuild an authentic desired identity.

  • Introduction to brain injury and neuroplasticity
  • Identity and role in community
  • Joe & Sara’s stories of Identity Mapping
  • Identity mapping group work
  • Group discussion & Close

Conflict Resolution

Here we explore a critical issue after brain injury. We do exercises with self-monitoring and self-calming and learn communication skills to reduce conflict. We create “Maps to Okay” to help navigate difficult emotions. These tools help us develop successful habits to build trust during stressful times. We provide  training materials and handouts to use in your work or home setting.

  • Introduction to Conflict Resolution
  • Self-Monitoring & Self-Calming Group Exercise
  • Map To Okay Group Exercise
  • Group Discussion & Close

Meaningful Projects & Activities

Meaningful projects & activities is the last module in our three-module series and is based on the work we do in Rebuilding Identity. We brainstorm projects that are meaningful to you or the person you are working with. We use exercises and tools to make ambitious projects doable. We work with planning tools for successful projects – goal, obstacle, plan, do, review. When our identity is supported and we are engaged in meaningful projects, our sense of belonging and purpose are restored. Headstrong provides all training materials and handouts to use in your work or home setting.

  • Introduction to Meaningful Projects and Activities
  • Group exercise: choosing a meaningful project
  • Goal, Obstacle, Plan, Do, Review (GOPDR)
  • Group exercise: create Goal, Obstacle, Plan, Do, & Review
  • Discussion & Close


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