An Immediate Need

The need for emotional support begins the moment any individual family member learns that a loved one has suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury. The nature of a TBI can be complex and its treatment course varied amongst survivors. Similarly, our ability to cope with the stress of a family member’s traumatic brain or spinal cord injury is equally variable and complicated.

For many, their immediate and extended family structures provide adequate and effective support to allow them to focus on the patient and his/her related care. Others, however, may be less fortunate and perhaps lack these fundamental family resources. This can leave spouses, parents, siblings, and even children in emotionally compromised situations. A lack of adequate and appropriate education about the injury can further exacerbate the stress and turmoil that loved ones may feel.

As a result, emotional support remains pivotal to both patient and families. Psychotherapy (individual, group, and/or family formats) or counseling are frequently used options in regards to provision of emotional support. Other means of bolstering emotional strength includes reaching out to friends or acquaintances, attending support groups, as well as reaching out to professional organizations such as the NeuroTrauma Association of Florida or Brain Injury Association. Recovery for the survivor is an extended process. Similarly, emotional strength is progressively developed and remains essential throughout the recovery process.