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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 Superseding outdated, ineffective ways of living, with ways of living that work, and helping patients gain better control over their lives, is the main goal of cognitive behavior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.

Veteran’s Rehabilitation Program at NeuLife Rehabilitation

Military service may take a heavy toll on one’s body. The price that the heroic men and women of the U.S. military pay for their service can be extremely high. For this reason, NeuLife Rehabilitation proudly helps Veterans and their families overcome life-altering consequences of their patriotic service to our country. 

The real cost of trauma

The advancement in medical technology has allowed many servicemen to survive severe injuries, but for many survival came at the cost of traumatic limb amputations and associated mental scarring, which, in itself may lead to devastating outcomes. 

Apart from disabling physical injuries, veterans experience mental health disorders, substance abuse-related disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) at disproportionate rates compared to their civilian counterparts. Every day, an average of twenty American veterans commit suicide. The numbers are staggering and young veterans aged 18–44 are most at risk, according to the National Institutes of Health


Military personnel exposed to the traumatic events of combat, assault, serious injury, and ultimately the threat of death, may have to deal with the consequences of such exposure long after the distressing event has ended or the threat has been removed. 

Whether directly or indirectly witnessed, the experience is ingrained in the memory and often leads to traumatic event flashbacks, trouble sleeping, nightmares, anxiety, anger or susceptibility to alcohol and drug abuse. 

When these symptoms persist and have long-lasting negative effects on one’s life it could be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The rate of PTSD may be up to 15 times higher in active duty service members compared to civilians.


Center for Disease Control defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury. TBI in military personnel usually results from close contact with an explosion, often in the form of a significant blow to the head or body.

Symptoms vary and depend on the severity of TBI, but may include headaches, fatigue or drowsiness, slurred speech, memory problems, mood changes, and mood swings, unusual behavior, convulsions, and seizures – according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness

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Veteran’s Rehabilitation Programs at NeuLife Rehabilitation

As a registered residential treatment facility through the VA Choice Program, and an organization managed and operated by many Veterans, our dedication to those who have served our country runs deep. Our plans for Veterans range from residential rehabilitation to tailored outpatient services. 

NeuLife’s residential rehabilitation provides personalized care to treat the difficult challenges of TBI and PTSD with the singular purpose of achieving the best possible outcome for the Veterans. Our post-acute rehab programs and care plans, guided by an interdisciplinary team of clinical experts, are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community re-integration. 

In addition to individualized treatments, we also work closely with relatives to address issues that may affect the family as a whole. We proudly accept referrals from the Veterans Administration (VA).

To learn more about post acute rehab and residential rehabilitation for Veterans contact us, or schedule a tour! Call us at 800-626-3876, or send us an email on Visit us at 2725 Robie Avenue, Mount Dora, Florida 32757.


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. Â Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Why do Some TBI Patients Experience Personality Changes?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to many physical problems like impaired memory, frequent headaches, dizziness, and balance issues. However, TBI may also cause personality changes and this is something that many patients grapple with.

Fifty-nine percent of the subjects in a study in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation presented significant personality change after experiencing a traumatic brain injury. The most obvious of these changes include “neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness,” particularly in patients with frontal and temporal lesions. 

In a more recent study published in the American Journal Health of Behavior, students active in sports who have experienced concussion showed a higher risk for depressive symptoms, self-harm, and poor mental health. Thus, a psychological evaluation following a TBI is essential to facilitate a better treatment plan for the patient.

The Impact of TBI to the Brain

Scientists cannot pinpoint the exact reason why traumatic brain injuries can change one’s personality. However, experts in neuro-rehab widely believe that TBI affects the intricate connections between the cerebral cortex and the limbic system. 

The cerebral cortex helps the brain process memory, cognition, perception, and awareness. The limbic system, located below the cerebral cortex, is the center for brain functions like emotions and behaviors.

Experts at the NYU Langone Medical Center say that only 10 to 20 percent of patients may develop mood and anxiety problems after one concussion. This is a small but otherwise significant minority. 

Some experts in post-acute rehabilitation also believe that patients who experience TBI are already in an exceptionally stressful situation. People respond to any form of extreme trauma in the body differently.

Some TBI survivors may end up doing or saying things they don’t mean while other patients become more emotional than they were before they suffered a TBI.

Some patients present heightened aggression and quickly become frustrated and short-tempered. For others, the changes could be subtle and less significant. 

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What To Do With This Outcome

Needless to say, it’s challenging for many patients to recover from a traumatic brain injury. It’s important, however, to recognize the emotion, and understand why these changes happen, to prevent a full-blown mental illness.

Families or friends around the patient must also be sensitive to these changes. Support from a professional is also paramount as therapy and neuro-rehab may help the patient manage and even correct these personality changes. 

Learn more about Neulife post-acute rehabilitation

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. As one of the post-acute rehabilitation centers in Florida, its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary and vocational counseling, and more.

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.



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.