Tailoring Psychotherapy To The Needs Of The Brain Injured

The Nature Of Head Injury is an article published in Traumatic Brain Injury and Vocational Rehabilitation, where Thomas Kay, Ph.D. and Muriel Lezak, Ph.D, attempt to debunk the most common myths surrounding brain injury.

One of the myths that the article debunks is that victims of brain injury need traditional psychotherapy — which is focused on getting the patient to “open up”, and providing a safe place where feelings, fears, and worries can be explored. But, Kay and Lezak warn, this can actually be detrimental for those with brain injury.

Such a process is guaranteed to lead to further disorganization and confusion in a person whose major problem is structuring and organizing the thinking processes, while trying to keep surges of emotion from washing everything away entirely.

Yes, it is true that victims and their families alike can benefit from professional counsel. The issue is, however, that therapy needs to be tailored to the needs to the injured — the focus needs to be not on “talking things out”, but on helping the victim achieve a sense of structure and security.

When individual “therapy” is a successful adjunct to a rehabilitation program, it is a structuring, supportive, problem-solving approach.

While some brain injury victims could still be suffering from lingering psychological conditions — that were present previous to the accident — the truth is that, most brain injury victims suffer from a sense of disorganization, and would benefit more from therapy that is geared towards helping them recover the sense of structure and control that they might feel they have lost.


This post is a part of the Debunking Ten Myths Of “Recovery” series. If you are interested in reading the rest of the series, you can view the rest of the posts on the Ten Recovery Myths tag.<

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