This workbook has been developed specifically for survivors of brain injury and blast injury. Based on journaling workshops for survivors of traumatic brain injury, it is filled with journaling exercises that guide the user through examining and expressing the many ways that the brain injury has affected and altered their lives. Vignettes by individuals give it a personal touch and also serve as examples of journaling. Users may go through the workbook from front to back or they may select chapters and activities most relevant to their lives and stage of recovery.
Breaking it down into sections, users explore…
• changing sense of self
• loss, memory and resilience
• altered relationships with family and friends
• anger and emotions
• grief and loss
• facing the future
• building hope
• moving forward
Journaling is a proven therapeutic tool used to explore one’s inner self by expressing emotions, confronting fears, relieving anxiety, coping with stress, celebrating successes, and preparing for new challenges. By writing for only a few minutes at a time, journalers can heal and cope with crises due to illness, death, or any life-altering event.
This is the first journaling workbook developed specially for adults with acquired brain injuries, and it can be used by individuals or facilitated groups. Families will find it helpful as an outlet and coping mechanism for survivors. Clinicians will find it a useful cognitive tool for building communication skills of reading, writing and comprehension. Both families and clinicians will find it helpful for promoting insight, self-awareness and goal setting.
|Pages||120 pages, 8½ x 11, perfect bound|
About the Authors
The Importance of Story
What is Journaling?
Relax Before a Journaling Session
Chapter 1 After Brain Injury: What Happened? What Can I Discover?
1-1 How My Injury Happened
1-2 How It Feels to be Me
1-3 The Worst Part
1-4 Making Metaphor
1-5 Talking with Your Brain
1-6 Map to My True Self
1-7 Kindred Spirits, or Not
1-8 What Else Happened to Me?
Chapter 2 Loss and Change: Brain Power, Memory, and More
2-1 Loss List
2-2 Empty Spaces
2-3 Unnamed Losses
2-4 Glued Together
2-7 Memory Lists
2-8 Improving Memory
2-9 Other Functions Lost
2-10 Because of Those Losses…
2-12 I Still Have This
2-13 Using the Senses to Remember
Chapter 3 Relationships: Family, Friends, and Others
3-1 Once Upon a Time
3-2 Once Upon a Time, Part 2
3-3 Explaining My Injury
3-5 Writing a Letter
3-6 What I Really Need
3-7 Confusing Changes
3-9 Overcoming Loneliness
3-10 Asking for Help
3-11 Asking for Help, Part 2
Chapter 4 Adjustments: Anger and Grief
4-1 Telling the Story of My Anger
4-2 Feeling the Anger
4-3 Grieving the Losses
4-4 Feeling the Grief
4-6 Awareness, Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Accommodation
Chapter 5 Back Into the Community: Moving Forward With Hope
5-1 What Your Life Means
5-2 Hope in Your Future
5-3 Nurturing Hope
5-4 Asking Others to Hope With You
5-5 Your Home
5-6 A Letter from Home
5-7 New People
5-8 Making Your Way Around
5-9 Work Issues
5-10 Back at Work
5-11 Back to School
5-12 Social Activities
5-13 Giving of Yourself
Chapter 6 Later On: Any Positives?
6-1 Your “Sports Pages”
6-2 Your Better Stories
6-3 Love Letters
6-4 Time Capsule Treasures, Part 1
6-5 Time Capsule Treasures, Part 2
6-6 No One Can Take This Away From Me
6-9 Learning From Your “Teachers”
6-10 Being a Teacher
Chapter 7 Miscellaneous Prompts Brain Injury Resources
"‘What is your medicine?’ I was asked.
"‘Story. Story is my medicine,’ I answered."
Deena Metzger, Entering the Ghost River
As a person with a brain injury, you have been hurt and traumatized by something most people haven’t experienced and can’t understand. Whether your brain injury is the result of an accident, surgery, military service, violence, infection, medical emergency, or any other cause, you now must deal with a number of challenges you never expected or imagined. One major challenge you face is making sense of a life disrupted and perhaps altered forever. Another is being accepted as a person who still has value and whose life still holds meaning and purpose. Yet another is revealing a new self to people, perhaps even your loved ones, who don’t realize or understand the changes the injury caused in you (changes you may not understand, either). Since every brain injury is as unique as the person who experienced it, you will face your own individual hurdles.
However, no matter how many challenges your brain injury has created for you, one thing is certain: You have a new story to tell.
Being natural-born storytellers, we humans assign meaning to everything. So, usually without realizing it, we build our lives from the stories we tell ourselves and each other. Like weavers, we combine ordinary and significant events alike into stories that tell us who we are and where we belong in our world. When we answer the question, "What did you do at work/school/home today?" we are telling our story. When we describe our honeymoon in Hawaii or how we watched the polar bears at the nearby zoo, that’s a story. So is writing a letter that reveals our sorrow over the death of a baby son or the quiet joy of a long-lasting love. When we dream of a desired future or struggle to understand our past, we are using storytelling to shape our lives. We also hold many unspoken stories in the deepest chambers of our hearts and spirits, some of which can embrace us like a lullaby or burn us like acid.
This book is titled After Brain Injury: Telling Your Story. What is story? Why is it important?
Often, "story" means pieces of writing such as science fiction or fairy tales or romance novels. But in this book, it means the story of your life, all those millions of pieces, large and small, that have gathered together to become "You." That huge, complex story begins with the basic facts of your life: for instance, where and when you were born, your gender and ethnicity, the age of your parents and their marital status at that time, whether they died young or lived into old age, the number and ages of your siblings, whether you have a religious faith, where and when you attended school, and illnesses and injuries.
On the day you were born, you began the lifelong process of collecting and creating stories about yourself and the world. Especially in the youngest years, this is mostly an unconscious process, since your young brain basically soaks up whatever happens to and around you.
For more information see Barbara Stahura interview on Arizona Public Media