BIFI: Brain Injury Family Intervention

The Brain Injury Family Intervention (BIFI) is a comprehensive, whole-family intervention designed to satiate the complex needs of families after brain injury. Founded on cognitive behavioral and family systems counseling theories along with years of clinical experience, the BIFI was designed by Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer to promote effective coping strategies for families experiencing significant emotional and behavioral changes post-injury. This manualized intervention addresses eleven topics that are frequently relevant for both injured and uninjured family members while allowing clinicians the flexibility to consider the uniqueness of the needs of each family.

The BIFI was designed to meet six primary goals of effective whole family rehabilitation after TBI. These objectives include:

  1. Providing patients, families, and caregivers with fundamental information about common symptoms and challenges after brain injury;
  2. Helping family members better understand how the injury has affected each member of the family and the family as a whole;
  3. Teaching patients, families, and caregivers a variety of strategies which will enable them to problem solve more effectively and more efficiently achieve personal goals;
  4. Teaching coping strategies that facilitate the process of emotional recovery, helping each family member to feel better about themselves, their lives, and their relationships;
  5. Instilling hope by identifying progress and personal strengths, and helping families access community resources;
  6. Teaching family members effective communication skills in order to develop a strong, mutually beneficial long-term support system.

In order to reach the outlined clinical goals, the BIFI was designed to be implemented in a five-session format with two or three topics covered during each 90 – 120 minute session. The sessions are best implemented by a clinician one family at a time and are most effectively delivered in a hierarchical format, with discussion of earlier topics providing a foundation for discussion of later topics. To learn more about BIFI topics or see the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the FAQs tab to the left. Additionally, to view a list of publications detailing BIFI outcome data and program effectiveness, please click on the Publications tab. Further information can be obtained by emailing Nancy Hsu at The BIFI Intervention Kit and Manual are available for purchase through the university at our store.

  • To view and/or print a copy of the VCU BIFI Brochure.
  • To refer a family to the BIFI program at VCU, please download the BIFI Referral Form, complete, and fax to (804) 828-2378 / Attention: Jenny Marwitz

This project funded by grant H133A070036 from the 

National Institute on Disability and Rehabiliation Research (NIDRR)


The contents of this website were developed over time under a series of grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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