Improving after Brain Injury

Brain Injury Blog

Improving after Brain Injury 

by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

There are three essential things to insure improvement after a Traumatic Brain Injury:

1. A plan

2. Goals and objectives

3. A way to record progress daily do this and Motivation WILL COME!

A plan for improvement is a must.  All improvement programs that are effective start with a plan.  If there is no plan, there is no direction on how to proceed.  A person with a TBI often lacks the thought process to think through this first step.  Therefore, no plan results in minimal progress.  While at the hospital, a therapist has a plan and knowledge as what to do for you in these early stages of your recovery.  It is after the Survivor goes home that is crucial to maximizing improvement.  A plan tells you not what to do, but how to carry it out.  There has to be a consistent way that a person implements strategies for improvement.

The second essential step is to establish realistic goals.  Specific objectives will help a person attain his goal for improvement.  Goals should be set up in different areas.  For example, Social goals, Cognitive goals, Physical goals, and Psychological goals provide an excellent approach to total improvement.  A Survivor will find that establishing goal in each area will often help improvement in another area thereby maximizing the benefit of goal setting.  Be as specific as possible in selecting realistic goals.  For example the goal of clear thought is best achieved by specific objectives such as teaching, writing, performing hobbies, or doing activities that always include cognitive thought.

The third component of improvement involves being certain there is a way to make a daily record of your progress.  This may in the form of a chart with indications of time spend doing an activity or a tally mark that it is completed.  The survivor will find there is an increase in time or tally marks as the months go by.  This has a two-fold purpose.  It acts as self-accountability for doing the task and also provides motivation to continue the effort!

These are the basic elements of what will insure maximum improvement for the TBI, ABI, or Stroke victim.  Of course, every survivor is different and has different limitations.  Therefore, each program should be tailored for that person.  But, improvement will be realized if the survivor has a plan, knows how to set realistic goals, knows how to validate small improvement, and is motivated to repeat the process.

This blog from ideas expressed in the Traumatic Brain Injury Improvement through Motivation. (Jarvis Rehabilitation Method)

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