An acquired brain injury (ABI) is often sudden and unexpected. It can impact a person’s thinking skills as well as their emotional well-being and mental health. The changes in relationships, roles and responsibilites following an ABI can affect the well-being and mental health of family members. In recognition of this, our psychological services aim to provide a range of supports to meet the needs of individuals and family members.
When you first attend Headway or if you are already attending a Headway service, we may be recommend that you engage in a neuropsychological assessment.
In general, a neuropsychological assessment aims to identify how the ABI has impacted a person’s thinking (cognitive) skills, and to help you, your family, and staff to better understand your cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
The assessment involves a review of your medical records, and an interview with you and someone who knows you well. We then complete some Pen-and-paper tasks with you to evaluate different skills such as memory ability, language, and attention skills. The outcome of the assessment will help to inform your rehabilitation needs and goals.
We also offer psychological assessments for individual’s and family members who may benefit from our counselling and psychotherapy services.
Psychotherapy, therapy and counselling are all words which can be used to describe the same process. There are many reasons why a person may seek therapy after an ABI. For example, coping with changes after an ABI can be overwhelming, and low mood, depression and anxiety are common.
Psychotherapy provides a safe, supportive and non-judgemental space, where you can talk about things in your life that you find difficult, and explore your feelings around these.
We have an information leaflet on our psychotherapy service available for download here.
Cognitive rehabilitation is based on the principle of neuroplasticity. Its aim is to help you to learn about the effects of an ABI on your skills and abilities, and to support you to learn strategies and skills to overcome, compensate for, and/or adapt to these effects.
Headway provides a range of support services for family members and carers of people with an acquired brain injury. Education, group and individual support is available for family members to address areas such as grief and loss, adjustment to change, self-esteem, conflict and relationship issues that may arise as a result of brain injury. See our page on Family Supports here.
We offer peer support groups to individuals who have had an acquired brain injury, and to their family members.
Our peer support group for people who have had an acquired brain injury runs a couple of times a year. The aim of this group is to provide peer-led emotional support to group members. In addition, the group can act as an information and social forum.
We offer regular peer-support groups to carers and family members. These provide a space where people can discuss problems, ask questions or simply listen to others in similar situations.