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.
- 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.