Brain injury survivors
Counselling can help the brain injury survivor to:
Verbalize the length and breadth of their losses.
Establish new meaning in life by paying attention to new aspects of life or applying old abilities in new ways.
Achieve a sense of self-acceptance and forgiveness.
Learn behavioural and cognitive strategies to help them cope with anxiety and low mood.
Foster realistic hope.
Having a brain injury can be a life changing event for the individual and those people around them. The effects of the injury may impact on many important and valued areas of life.
It can sometimes be helpful in these situations to talk to someone who has an understanding of the impact and implications of brain injury and is completely separate to the rest of their life.
By providing a confidential, close working relationship, counselling provides the opportunity to talk about the issues that are important to the client with someone who really listens carefully without judgement, supporting them to find their own solutions and move forward.
Brain injury and all the inherent stressors that it can bring, sometimes has a profound impact on the relationship between two people. Couple counselling after brain injury is often more structured and directive than one-to one counselling.
Counselling can help couples to:
- Listen to and understand more about each other.
- Communicate in an easier and more constructive way.
- Resolve conflicts without hurting each other.
- Negotiate difficult decisions.
- Get solutions instead of going round and round in circles.
- Recover the love, respect and fun that has previously been enjoyed together.
Families and Carers
“The more that family members are able to cope with the situation, the better the brain injury survivor’s recovery.” (Davis, 2009).
Brain injury can be one of the most difficult challenges that confront a family. Families are faced with the challenge of mourning the person they have lost, whilst responding to a person who behaves differently. The stress of ongoing involvement in a compensation claim, with all the inherent uncertainty, loss of personal control and hard hitting information around disabilities and loss of future potential of their loved one, can be very painful.
Family members are affected in their ability to cope because they have suffered an extremely traumatic life event and also an ongoing stressful set of circumstances. Research has shown that the family member’s ability to cope and reduced family functioning has an impact on the brain injury survivor’s rehabilitation.
Counselling can help family members:
verbalise the length and breadth of their losses.
explore and normalise feelings of anger, guilt, frustration and sorrow in a completely confidential situation.
address their feelings about the role changes that may have occurred after brain injury.
learn about the impact of their relative’s brain injury and share their worries in a safe environment.
Identify positive emotional and practical coping strategies to help deal with issues as they arise in the future.
Verna provides couselling from Cornerstones Counselling Centre in Sheffield. When required she is able to travel to the clients home and local community.