Women living with traumatic brain injury: Social isolation, emotional functioning and implications for psychotherapy

Debjani Mukherjee*, Judy Panko Reis, Wendy Heller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) typically experience social and emotional sequelae that can be effectively addressed in the context of a psychotherapeutic relationship. Traumatic Brain Injuries can affect the full range of human functioning, from activities of daily living to experiencing a coherent sense of self. In this article, we focus on two issues, social isolation and emotional functioning, that encompass a number of key challenges facing women with TBI and are common and fruitful foci of psychotherapy. Social isolation includes marginalization in multiple communities, the invisibility of cognitive disabilities, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, and difficulties in employment and access to transportation. Emotional functioning includes posttraumatic stress symptoms, loss of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anger, and shame. Two exemplary cases are used to illustrate the themes and underscore the complexities and realities of adjusting to TBI. Recommendations for therapists and consumers are woven throughout the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalWomen and Therapy
Volume26
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2003

Keywords

  • Emotional functioning
  • Psychotherapy
  • Social functioning
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)

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