Samantha (Sougandhi) Backhaus, PhD, HSPP
Dr. Backhaus is a licensed Clinical Neuropsychologist, specializing in adult clinical neuropsychology. She has broad training and experiences in conducting clinical, behavioral, and neuropsychological assessments and treatments for individuals with brain injury (including mild TBI), stroke, and other neurological disorders for over 20 years. Dr. Backhaus earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with additional specialization in Neuropsychology from Nova Southeastern University and completed an APA-approved pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System. She then completed a formal, APA-approved post-doctoral fellowship in Rehabilitation Neuropsychology at the Detroit Institute of Michigan / Wayne State Medical School, where she obtained training in outpatient and inpatient neurorehabilitation, concussion assessments, forensic evaluations, comprehensive neuropsychological examinations, as well as psychotherapy with individuals who have suffered brain injuries.
She served as the Associate Director of a specialized Outpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation program. In this capacity, her roles generally consisted of clinical / diagnostic services, research, and program development. Clinical / diagnostic services included completing comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations in adults with various types of brain injuries and neurological disorders, facilitating / leading a team of brain-injury certified rehabilitation specialists in providing comprehensive holistic neurorehabilitation care, and providing evidenced-based cognitive and psychotherapeutic rehabilitation to persons with injuries. She conducted psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, caregivers, and groups. She helped initial development of a Concussion track, a Post-traumatic Confusion Track, as well as a Day Treatment Program Track (DTP). The DTP uses a manualized approach via use of the Cognitive Rehabilitation Manual developed by the ACRM Cognitive Rehabilitation Special Interest Group, as well as developed cognitive rehabilitation group therapy processes based on ACRM recommendations.
From a research and program development perspective, she also co-developed evidenced-based treatments to help improve the long-term functioning of individuals with brain injuries and family members, including development of the Brain Injury Coping Skills Group (BICS) program, and a Couples CARE treatment program. She has been asked to provide training to many facilities throughout the US on how to do the BICS and Couples CARE interventions. She is also asked to speak at various conferences nationally and internationally on neuropsychological and neurorehabilitation care of persons with brain injury, as well as provision of the evidenced-based group interventions she helped develop. For her work in these areas, she received the Sheldon Berrol Award in 2019 for “Outstanding Service to Improving Clinical Services in Brain Injury,” presented by the Brain Injury Association of America; the “Best Clinical Scientific Presentation and Treatment of the Brain Injury Coping Skills Group” in 2009 presented by the American Society for Neurorehabilitation and American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine; as well as the “Healthcare Hero Finalist” in 2011 presented by the Indianapolis Business Journal. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Backhaus has been an active member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) for over 15 years.