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Hope when car accidents that lead to traumatic brain injury

Anyone who has gone through a traumatic brain injury and the subsequent recovery process knows the difficulty of reaching a new state of "normal." What is often overlooked, however, is the damage that can come to the relationships between patients and their spouses or significant others. New research is focused on aiding couples as they move through the aftermath of car accidents or other events leading to traumatic brain injuries.

Psychology experts are working to devise a treatment program to support families affected by brain injuries. In many cases, marriages or relationships in Hawaii are strained by the role shifts that follow such an event. The person who is injured is often placed into a position of dependency, and the other party often takes on more advanced care roles to address those needs.

Unfortunately, many families going through the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury do not have access to adequate levels of psychological support. To address this need, researchers have devised a three-step program to help couples. As with many therapeutic approaches, this one begins with education. Patients and their partners learn more about the different types of brain injuries and the possible changes that could follow.

Next, individuals are given skill-building exercises in which they learn to better manage their emotional needs, including anger and resentment. When the dynamic between partners is drastically altered by a brain injury, there can be a great deal of bitterness, guilt, despair and hopelessness. This part of the larger therapeutic approach is aimed at giving partners the tools they need to address these feelings and move beyond them. Finally, patients and their partners are provided with continuing therapeutic approach as needed. Counseling can be completed on the individual or couple's level, and can provide a safe place to express one's feelings and gain a different perspective on the changes that follow a serious brain injury.

This type of psychological support can be greatly beneficial to patients and their families, but it can be an expensive process. For those in Hawaii who were injured in car accidents, achieving a fair financial settlement is key to having the ability to seek these and other treatment options in the years that follow the incident. A successful personal injury lawsuit can help ensure that families can access the tools they need to sustain their relationships as they navigate the recovery process.

Source: medicalxpress.com, "Emotional adjustment following traumatic brain injury", Sathya Achia Abraham, Oct. 24, 2014

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