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3 Cognitive Therapy Strategies After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Most common cognitive impairments following TBI

The nature and extent of the cognitive impairment following TBI can range widely, depending on the severity and positioning of the injury. If a focal brain injury transpires, the outcome could be comparable to an injury provoked by a CVA (Cerebrovascular accident or stroke), such as 

  • aphasia
  • apraxia
  • unilateral neglect
  • visuospatial dysfunction.

Nevertheless, these are the usual findings following TBI. Due to the mechanisms of acceleration-deceleration that oftentimes degrades the ventral and lateral areas of the frontal and temporal lobes, the most commonly encountered sequelae are attention and memory deficiency, difficulty in adhering new data, solving problems, planning, but also problems linked to impulsivity and self-control. 

Some “subclinical” findings such as a change in naming, verbal fluency, and auditory perception are also reported. In the initial stages, attention deficits are the most frequent and severe in the residual stage, usually concerning difficulty in sustaining divided attention. The long-term memory is usually regained, but some patients maintain difficulties in learning new information and in remembering it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

One of the most important elements in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation is cognitive therapy.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy aids people in achieving specific changes or goals, which might include:

  • A way of acting: eg. smoking less or being more sociable;
  • A way of feeling:  eg. encouraging a person to be less afraid, less depressed, or less worried;
  • A way of thinking: eg. learning problem resolution or getting rid of self-deprecating feelings;
  • A way of managing physical or medical problems: eg. reducing back pain or supporting a person in following the doctor’s instructions.

Cognitive Behavior Therapists customarily concentrate more on the present circumstances and their resolution, rather than the past. They focus on a person’s viewpoints and beliefs about their life, not on personality characteristics. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy treats patients, as well as their parents, children, life partners, and families. Superseding outdated, ineffective ways of living, with ways of living that work, and helping patients gain better control over their lives, is the main goal of cognitive behavior therapy.

Here are three strategies which will allow therapists and the caregivers to set the best conditions for cognitive therapy of TBI patients in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation:

1. Promote Self-Awareness

The treatment of most executive cognitive functions starts with supporting the self-awareness of deficiencies. Without recognizing how impairments influence performance, a patient might be resistant to cooperation with therapists on a program of recovery.

For instance, it is challenging for the therapist to work on an anger management program or problem-solving strategies with a patient who doesn’t understand that they face these difficulties.

2. Develop Goals

Goal-setting considerably affects community participation. A patient without goals has trouble making decisions and becoming motivated to succeed in overcoming the challenges that go with the TBI functional recovery.

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For example, when patients are asked to “consider the consequences” of a specific action, they might be urged to examine the result of this action on the outcome of their goals, like independent living, work, academic progress, more satisfying relationships, etc. Absence of goals compromises behavior change, decision-making, and motivation.

3. Facilitate Problem-Solving Skills

Through functional activities that build both self-awareness and self-confidence, patients may re-establish meaningful life roles and an efficient everyday routine, even when confronted with residual deficits. These qualities, in turn, will allow patients to solve their daily problems more effectively and with confidence. 

In the therapeutic relationship, it’s crucial to know how to rate activities, strengthen patient’s self-esteem, and promote long-term patient participation in a home setting and the community.

If, after reading this article, you believe a TBI rehab center is the way to go when it comes to your cognitive therapy needs, and you are wondering “where will I find the best neuro rehab near me?”, look no further.

NeuLife Rehabilitation –  one of the best TBI rehab centers!

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the best TBI rehab centers with specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. 

Our programs for neuro rehab, including cognitive therapy, are customized to meet the individual needs of each patient, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, we are able to treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury facility.

If you have any more questions concerning post-acute brain injury rehabilitation or any other issue regarding brain injury, call us to make an appointment today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our best brain injury facility. 



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.