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New Ways to Heal: Art Therapy for Brain Injury Patients

power of mind headTraumatic brain injury (TBI) leaves more than just a physical effect. Those who suffer a moderate or severe TBI often suffer not just physical impairment but also emotional and cognitive impairments. Modern trends in therapy aim have a holistic effect, helping the patient regain both physical and non-physical abilities.

Appropriate therapy after TBI

The impact of a brain injury will depend on factors such as the degree of impact and location of the brain damage. The most effective treatment is tailored to help the person meet their daily challenges, both at home and at work. Treatment approaches can include:

  • Physical therapy to help regain physical strength, flexibility, and coordination
  • Speech therapy to improve the ability to speak and even swallow, if that ability has been lost. Speech therapy can also include learning to communicate using special devices.
  • Occupational therapy to focus on re-learning how to perform necessary tasks like personal care and hygiene.
  • Vocational rehabilitation helps a person attain the skills needed to return to work and respond to challenges in the workplace.\
  • Cognitive therapy helps the patient improve cognitive skills like memory, perception, attention, judgment, and planning.
  • Psychological counseling addresses the emotional aspects of a brain injury, helping the person to cope and address work and relationship effects.

TBI patients find therapeutic value in creative outlets

TBI can lead to depression and other mental health issues that are, unfortunately, still stigmatized in society. Psychological therapy suffers from the same stigma and often deters brain injury patients from getting the help they need. But some individuals with brain injuries are finding help from creative therapy.

Drexel University conducted an 8-year study that followed the mental health of 1,500 active-duty service members who participated in art therapy. One of the participants was Chris Stowe, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2016 after suffering from traumatic brain injury sustained as a bomb technician. Stowe experienced anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder but was hesitant to seek treatment. He now sees the value in it and runs a weekly glass-blowing workshop as art therapy for service members and veterans.

Creative therapy is now being incorporated around the world. For instance, the Scottish Head Injuries Musical Support Group is a theater group in Scotland made up entirely of individuals who have a TBI. The group gives members a way to connect with others who understand what they are going through while educating their audience about misunderstood aspects of recovery.

Brain injury therapy in California

The good news for those in LA who have suffered a TBI is that there are many art therapy and other creative therapy options in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. However, many people face battles with insurance to cover these types of rehabilitation because the damage is not visible to the naked eye.

If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury and believe someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation, including the cost of rehabilitative therapy. TBI is complex but you can increase your likelihood of success with an experienced Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side. Call the Salamati Law Firm today at 855-544-0776 for a free consultation.

Additional TBI therapy resources:

  1. NCBI, What are the treatments for TBI?, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/tbi/conditioninfo/treatment
  2. Philly.com, For service members with traumatic brain injuries, art can be healing, http://www.philly.com/philly/health/how-art-can-reveal-trauma-in-soldiers-recovering-from-traumatic-brain-injury-20180703.html
  3. Largs & Millport News, Remarkable tale from trauma to theatre after brain injury is moving, http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/news/16367650.remarkable-tale-from-trauma-to-theatre-after-brain-injury-is-moving/
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