Журнал психологии и психотерапии

Журнал психологии и психотерапии
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ISSN: 2161-0487


Beyond the Classical Psychotherapeutic Setting to Better Provide Support for Caregivers of Persons with Severe Acquired Brain Injury: Some Clinical Evidence

Daniela Silvestro, Eva Azicnuda, Mariagrazia D’Ippolito, Marco Giustini, Rita Formisano and Umberto Bivona

The psychological distress of caregivers of individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) has been well documented. In fact, there are frequent reports of family strain, depression, emotional difficulties, burden, anxiety, social isolation, loss of income and problems adjusting to new roles.. Given the above background, the present paper aimed at better defining the role of the psychologist in a severe ABI rehabilitation setting through the identification of “new” practices to support caregivers. Our clinical experience with caregivers suggest the usefulness of “sewing” the psychological setting (where and how) on the basis of the specific context (in terms of chronicity and severity of injury) in which the therapeutic relationship occurs. The intervention is mainly educational in the early phase, as the psychologist can support the caregiver also outside the therapy room and essentially on the basis of his/her relationship with the survivor. It becomes purely psychological only later, because it is more classically structured and takes place inside the therapy room and is essentially based on the emotional needs of the caregivers. In conclusion, our study suggests to adapt psychological support according to caregivers needs specifically related to the rehabilitation process and phases, even informally outside the classic psychotherapeutic setting.