Goals / Objectives
This optional module contains information to allow the participants to better understand how grieving is a factor that must be addressed when dealing with TBI. It also includes information on acceptance of the injury and living a meaningful life despite the individual’s challenges. If the facilitator decides to use this module the number of group sessions should be increased to 7 and this module will fit best in week 2 or 3 of the group.
Grief is most often associated with death. However, death is not the only cause of grief. There are other losses in life that are life-changing and will elicit the same grief responses as death. Grief resulting from a disease such as Alzheimer’s or a catastrophic injury such as a brain injury is profound. Individuals and their families and friends grieve the loss of the person that existed before the injury. Even if the injury was not catastrophic and may have previously been unidentified, once a person is aware that they sustained a brain injury, they also become aware of the losses in typical development, identity, personality, relationships, etc. that could have resulted from that injury. Our society is only beginning to understand how profound this type of grief is, and participants must be given a space to explore their feelings on this subject.
Since receiving the brain injury diagnosis and becoming involved in the criminal justice system, participants may be feeling intimidated, overwhelmed, and powerless. Accepting the injury and their new reality is important for individuals to create a meaningful life after the injury. Experiences with grief and acceptance can differ depending on when the injury occurred in the individual’s life. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has some easy-to-understand themes that focus on empowering the individual. ACT is focused on accepting the injury and its permanence, deciding what is important to the individual in life, and working to realistically incorporate those values into their life. Commitment to these ideals is another core concept of the intervention. This module will help participants understand that their lives can still be meaningful even after the injury.
Here are some videos to give a little background information:
The primary goals of this week will be for participants to:
- Have a better understand grief in the context of brain injury
- Learn how grieving is an on-going process
- Provide strategies for addressing grief
- Empower the individuals to live a life meaningful to them
- Strategies for acceptance
TIME: Allow 1.5 hours for the session.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:A minimum of four participants is recommended.
The following video provides a helpful example of how grieving related to brain injury can be different from what we traditionally think of related to brain injury:
- Colored pencils/pens/crayons
- Plain piece of paper for each participant
- Snacks (check for allergies, dietary restrictions)
- Scribes/ readers if necessary
- Take-Home Impressions Form (PDF)
WRITE ON BOARD
Write the following learning objectives on the white board for reference for participants throughout the treatment group:
- Structure and topic
- Homework review
- Grieving & TBI
- Group Activity (Empowerment and Acceptance)
Write the following group rules on the white board for reference for participants throughout the treatment group:
- Confidentiality: The information we discuss in this group is private, and members are expected to keep it that way.
- Respect: Give your attention and consideration to participants, and they will do the same for you. Examples include:
- No talking over each other
- Pay attention to the person talking (listen, don’t just wait for your turn to talk)
- Encourage each other, etc.
- Participation: You are expected to take part in the discussion and contribute to this group. The pace of this group, however, may limit some participation. Let’s briefly discuss one way that the group leader(s) can signal you when we need to wrap up discussion and move on.
Note: If additional rules were agreed upon, be sure to include each additional rule during this review.