How Counseling Can Help After a Concussion
What Is a Concussion?
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion?
- Can’t remember what happened before or after the blow
- Seems disoriented or confused
- Forgets where they are and what they are doing
- Becomes slow to answer questions
- Loses consciousness
What Are the Psychological and Emotional Effects of a Concussion?
- Mood swings
- Emotional outbursts (crying, laughing)
How Can Counselors Help After a Concussion?
Developing a treatment plan.
Sorting through feelings.
Learning how to ask for support.
- “I need you to help me navigate the grocery store.”
- “After this meeting, I need to take a cognitive break.”
- “Is there someone who can read my emails to me and write down the responses I dictate to them?”
Balancing hope and realism.
Understanding medical papers.
Adjusting back to life.
Resources on How to Deal With a Concussion
- Brain Injury Association of America: national brain injury advocacy organization with provider and caregiver webinars, a database of virtual support groups, and educational content, including a concussion information series.
- Brainline: national multimedia project providing authoritative information and support to anyone whose life has been affected by brain injury or PTSD—patients, their family and friends, and their healthcare professionals.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Injury Center, Heads Up: campaign and hub of information aimed at supporting children and teens, with information on returning to school and sports after a concussion.
- Concussion Alliance: education and advocacy nonprofit that aims to address the needs of concussion patients and educate providers on current research and recommendations.
- Concussion Legacy Foundation: organization supporting patients, caregivers, advocates, and others affected by concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease resulting from repeated brain trauma.
- Headway Foundation: group founded by athletes seeking to promote a safer sports culture and provide resources for patients, including its Concussion Circle community that features weekly discussions, one-to-one peer support, and a meditation program.
- International Concussion Society: global organization in a mission to provide a central repository of accurate and scientifically vetted concussion research to medical professionals, athletes, administrators, coaches, patients, and the public; offers a page with facts on concussions.
- National Concussion Management Center: nonprofit with information on concussion management for individuals, families, educators, and healthcare providers.
- PINK Concussions: organization that focuses on medical care for women and girls with brain injuries, including concussion incurred from sport, violence, accidents, or military service; provides a list of support groups.
- United States Brain Injury Alliance: group advocating for those living with brain injuries by sharing patients’ stories; offers webinars for providers and peer-to-peer communication.