Whether a sudden event occurs leading to a brain injury or an on-going condition is diagnosed, individuals and their family members have enormous adjustments to make. For some, additional help is valuable in managing this process.
As an experienced brain injury practitioner, I understand the nature and extent of brain injury or neurological disorder and the effects on cognitions, emotions and behaviours. Counselling is within the context of this understanding.
For the individual
- An accepting, confidential space to explore emotional issues including feelings of loss, anger and guilt
- Work on adjustment, self-acceptance and finding meaning in life
- Strategies to manage anger and anxiety
- A realistic approach to future hopes and goals
Evidence shows that the impact on relatives and carers of this client group can cause serious long-term effects including mental health problems and marital and family breakdown. Family members need support to promote their own quality of life. This directly benefits the affected individual by promoting the well being of those most likely to be the providers of their long term support. Family counselling provides:
- The opportunity in a confidential space for family members to express and work through feelings of loss and anger.
- Fostering of ways of coping and development of resilience.
- Facilitated meetings with different family members to talk through difficult issues within the context of the effect of the brain injury or neurological condition. This may be the individual and their partner; the parents of the individual; other pairs within the family group or the family as a whole.
- Attention to any affected member of the family, including siblings.
- Development of positive strategies for managing potentially difficult situations.
Examples of situations when neuro counselling can help
- Potential relationship difficulties due to personality changes and difficulties with anger following traumatic brain injury. Information and strategies to manage the situation.
- Family issues involving children where a parent has suffered a brain injury. Work with any of the individuals and/or the family group. Potential collaboration with a clinical psychologist to provide family therapy
- Close liaison with the case manager and solicitor is a key aspect. Confidentiality is negotiated with the clients.
- The partner of a person with a severe long-term condition such as multiple sclerosis. I am able to offer a confidential space away from the family for them to express and work through their potentially profound feelings of loss and anger.
- A young person with a severe brain injury. How the parents come to terms with the situation and resolve conflicting emotions and attitudes between them.
- Support to case managers and solicitors in the management of complex issues relating to traumatic brain injury and the emotional effects on all affected.
- Individual counselling for individuals severely affected e.g. with locked in syndrome. Experience of working via communication aids.