Systemic-Oriented Psychological Counselling for Caregivers of People with Severe Brain Injury: Reflections on a Clinical Case
- 123 Downloads
Severe brain injuries can have dramatic consequences on family life, often changing rules and routines and fostering intense and prolonged caregiving duties. People affected by the injuries have to face relevant restrictions in their activities and a loss of independence. Thus, primary caregivers are often involved in their assistance, which can entail the help for self-care, movements and many activities of daily living. Furthermore, cognitive and behavioural symptoms can complicate communication, disrupt previous relationships and put an additional strain on all family members. Indeed, caregiving relationships take place in wider familial and societal contexts and are obviously influenced by previous characteristic of such relationships, as they were before the onset of the pathological condition. Therefore, a thorough examination of typical emotions, feelings and thoughts that can emerge during caregiving must be paralleled by an ecological and developmental perspective, in order to appraise the complexity of these cases and provide effective interventions. The present work aims to address such topics taking inspiration from a clinical case.
KeywordsAcquired brain injury Caregiving Family Psychological counselling
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest, since they have received no funding for the present work. The story is based on a clinical case which has been modified enough to be unrecognisable without loosing the clinical relevance. An informed consent has been collected.
- Backhaus, S., & Ibarra, S. (2012). Brain injury coping skills: A support and education program for adults with brain injury and their caregivers. Youngsville, NC: Lash & Associates.Google Scholar
- Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. Collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution and epistemology. New York: Ballantine.Google Scholar
- Boscolo, L., & Bertrando, P. (1996). Systemic therapy with individuals. London: Karnac.Google Scholar
- McDaniel, S. H., Doherty, W. J., & Hepworth, J. (2013). Medical family therapy and integrated care, Second edn. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- McGoldrick, M., & Carter, B. (2003). The family life cycle. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Normal family processes. Growing diversity and complexity, Third edn, (pp. 375–398) New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Ownsworth, T. (2014). Self-Identity after brain injury. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Qualls, S. H., & Vair, C. (2012). Caregiver family therapy with dementia. In P. R. Peluso, R. E. Watts, & M. Parsons (Eds.), Changing aging, changing families (pp. 63–78). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Rolland, J. S. (1994). Families, illness and disability. An integrative treatment model. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Tramonti, F., Bonfiglio, L., Di Bernardo, C., Ulivi, C., Virgillito, A., Rossi, B., & Carboncini, M. C. (2015). Family functioning in severe brain injuries: Correlations with caregivers’ burden, perceived social support and quality of life. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 20, 933–939. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2015.1009380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar