Psychological Dimension TBI Improvement – Part 4

Brain Injury Blog by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

January 24, 2012

Psychological Dimension TBI Improvement – Part 4

The psychological aspect of improvement is probably the greatest influence upon the other three areas.  It is assumed there is also a culminating effect of applying cognitive strategies for improvement in other dimensions as well.  It is a person’s ability to psychologically know he is improving when progress is so slow that makes the difference.

A person should use common sense to visualize possible things, but not easily giving up on various treatments.  Not giving up is a strong key to improvement.  The last key is probably the most powerful, that is to “believe” there is a possibility that improvement is possible.

A TBI survivor saw a Spanish child after he awoke from his coma that said, “(Name), don’t worry, everything is going to be okay!”  This was enough for this person to truly believe things would be okay.  Although the person never knew where the boy came from, it was enough to cause great belief that it maximized healing.  It has been affirmed by Dr. Benson in Timeless Healing that “belief” can have a powerful impact on healing.

Psychological aspects effect social, cognitive, and physical improvement.  It is ironic that the very thing injured in a TBI, i.e., thinking can have that much influence in healing a person.  Therefore, believe that healing is possible, even though it sometimes seems improbable and a person will get as far as practicable or further.

In the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey, in a chapter in this book is called:  “Begin with the End in Mind.”  Dr. Covey explains that a person must begin an idea with the final outcome in mind to be effective.  Likewise, a person must always visualize where he wants to go in his improvement.  This will greatly affect his attitude toward improving.  It is a through an optimistic outlook that a person maximizes his ability to get through adversity.  I would always see myself as walking, no matter how difficult it was for me.  This helped make it happen.  Visualizing does not insure complete healing, but increases the probability of maximum healing within the framework of a person’s injury.

A therapist was working with a person’s right arm and would stretch the shoulder muscles.   One of the exercises he did with the patient was making large circles with the out stretched arm straight up in the air.  It was very difficult to control the circular movement of his arm.

The therapist said, “Control builds strength!”

This comment was very profound.  The same is true with the ability to see improvement in adversity.  That is, when a person has control of his adversity, he has inner strength.  A person gains control by implementing strategies and a plan for meeting the challenges he encounters.  A person should be proactive in his approach to dealing with his adversity.  This will result in control over the situation.  A person will build strength of character and motivation.  Seeing and knowing personal improvement is very encouraging.  Even though the improvement is very small, a person must consciously look for it systematically.  Know it is there; find it!

Luke Skywalk in “Star Wars” wanted to be a Jedi Knight.  He was told to find Yoda in a swamp area in order to be instructed how to be Jet Eye Knight.  Luke found Yoda and began training.  After a while Yoda told Luke to use the Powers of the Force and raise his Space ship out of the swamp.  Luke tried several times and could not do it.  Luke sat off to the side extremely discouraged.  Yoda stepped to the edge of the swamp area pointed a finger and the ship slowly rose out of the swamp.

Luke in awe said, “I don’t believe it!”

Yoda responded, “That is why you fail!”

There are two aspects to “believing.”  The first is to have a sincere faith that God will help to heal a person.   The second is to believe in your own ability to follow through with a rehabilitation plan.  The strategy of “visualizing” is really in a sense having faith in getting better.  This does not mean unrealistic expectations for the future, but not knowing what the future will bring, have faith that it will be as good as possible.  There is always some degree of healing until we die.  Having “Faith” and “Believing” promotes wellness psychologically.  This psychological advantage has a positive effect on physical healing.  Although complete restoration is not assured, there have been many examples of healing that are unexplained by science.

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