Personal injury is a disruptive experience which can affect people in a variety of ways. Effects can range from the short-term to the life-changing. While the dominant focus is the physical injury itself it is rare that the effects are limited to the purely physical.

Stress from:

  • lost time on the job,
  • lost income,
  • reduced physical capacity, or fear of
  • not regaining previous levels of functioning,
  • impacts on family relations,
  • loss of career and future plans,

Such issues may complicate recovery and a return to “normality”. Trauma from the event itself may lead to anxieties and phobias. A person’s previous ability to cope with stress is an important indicator in their ability to cope with personal injury trauma; alternatively, regardless of how “strong” they have been in past situations, some stress overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. Psychological counselling is often a valuable component of a person’s recovery process.

Not only are these factors essential in successful recovery of the “whole person”, but they also directly affect physical recovery itself. Successful recovery from an injury therefore involves addressing problems before they become complications. Comprehensive recovery should therefore include a psychological component which assures that recovery is being made on all fronts. Psychological intervention is particularly effective in moving a person’s focus from the past – the injury event and its effects – to the future.

Reaction To Injury


Anger is a common initial response to physical injury. People become angry for two main reasons: frustration when our bodies do not function in the way to which we have become accustomed to, and annoyance when we must endure pain. Utilizing guided imagery and hypnotic techniques, our counsellors provide coping techniques for many types of chronic pain. We successfully help clients change their perception of problems – over time, a perceived loss or limitation can be “reframed” as an “opportunity for learning something new or developing a more meaningful area of life”.


With the loss of ability comes the sense that “we are less than we once were”. Depression is a common by-product. Using standardized tests, Roth Associates in Psychology can quickly assess the degree of depression that our client is experiencing. Furthermore, we also collaborate with our client’s physiotherapist in an effort to build upon latent strengths and create a sense of optimism regarding the process of change. Our client will eventually experience a sense that while capabilities may be different than before the trauma, they as individuals are not “less” or “inferior”.


A lasting fear of a particular object or situation can easily become entrenched in someone’s mind long after a frightening or painful event or physical injury heals. “Emotion” can quickly overwhelm “logic”. It is not uncommon for a broken leg to evolve into “a fear of working with equipment” or for a winter automobile accident in snow to lead to a “paralyzing fear of driving”. Roth Associates in Psychology has extensive training and experience in freeing clients from the crippling effect of phobias.

Conquering Crisis

Families and Relationships

Injured people often require additional support and this may create added stress on family relations. The loss of ability can alter an individual’s identity, which, in turn, may change the roles family members assume with one another. Our counsellors specialize in making these transitions in roles easier.

Sometimes injuries cause sexual relations to be painful. Since it is often difficult to talk about sexual concerns, many couples unnecessarily suffer a deterioration of quality in their physical intimacy due to the pain or injury. We offer a sensitive and professional environment in which sexual issues can be discussed and suggestions and solutions considered.

Relaxation Training

Our counsellors guide clients toward a sense of well-being and help to diminish the painful side-effects of emotional, physical, and spiritual injury. Relaxation training can reduce the severity of stress, anxiety, insomnia, chronic headaches and backaches.


We are more than “the sum of our parts”. So much attention is focused on having “the broken part improve” that many clients risk becoming unbalanced in their approach to health. Sometimes our clients need to be reminded that leisure, life-style, exercise, rest, play, diet and attitude are all critical elements of “well-being”. Our counsellors can help restructure clients’ lifestyles and renew their commitment to a healthy and fulfilling life. We understand that the entire person – not just the injured part – needs to be cared for and nurtured.

Career and Life

Disability or injury forces us to challenge our view of ourself relative to the world of work. During the process of rehabilitation there is time to explore career and life opportunities which one may have previously ignored. Our counsellors help clients tap into their potential for experiencing passion from work by encouraging creativity, and providing the most contemporary search techniques and strategies.

Career & Life Management Support

Our counsellors can offer emotional support to physio-therapy clients. We understand that physical injuries also cause emotional scars. We are sensitive to the reality that many clients need to grieve their loss of prior abilities. Similar to grieving over the death of a loved one, injured individuals may experience denial, anger or depression. We can hasten the process of acceptance and emotional healing.

Building On Strengths

life-coachingAll too often health professionals focus on their clients’ weaknesses rather than on their abilities. Although it is often helpful to acknowledge what has been lost, counselling is most successful when working to develop an individual’s strengths. Our counsellors, often working with physiotherapists, can provide clients with a process of personal exploration which augments their strengths and identifies other skills. Self-esteem and confidence can be enhanced. We encourage our clients to consider skills from other areas of life — such as from hobbies, relationships, and community service. Expertise and skills employed in a prior job may reveal abilities that can be transferred to new employment. Personality, interest and aptitude testing can help to identify alternatives that may not have been previously considered.

How To Get Help

If you need help, don’t wait until the situation reaches critical proportions. Although many referrals come from family physicians, nurses, lawyers, physiotherapists, etc., a referral is not necessary. You can call on your own to request an appointment. We understand that often a problem requires prompt attention. Every attempt is made to provide an appointment within one week. Day and evening appointments are available.