Psychology and Neuropsychology
The Role of the Psychologist
Major life changes are associated with spinal cord injury and the Psychologist works as part of the rehabilitation team to assist the client and their family in transitioning through the period of new learning, adjustment, change and coping that follows after a spinal cord injury.
At the Spinal Injuries Unit the Psychologist meets with all clients to provide:
- An initial assessment of a client’s current level of coping and adjustment following their injury. This includes identification of social supports, coping skills and any psychological, behavioural or cognitive risk factors that may complicate a clients adjustment to injury or impact on a client’s participation in the rehabilitation process.
- Provision of intervention and treatment in line with the clients identified goals and support needs. This includes the provision of counselling and other evidence based psychological therapies.
- Education to the client and family regarding the immediate and long-term emotional and behavioural consequences of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or other neurological condition. The psychologist works with the client and family with the aim to enhance the client’s independence and control over their physical and emotional health so as to maximise the client’s ability to resume meaningful daily activities following discharge.
- Neuropsychological assessment, quantification and documentation of an individual’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses following suspected head trauma or other neurological condition. This information can be used by the Psychologist and the wider rehabilitation team to clarify medical diagnosis and to guide recommendations for appropriate rehabilitation goal planning.
Further information about the role of Psychologists working within the Princess Alexandra Hospital can be found at: http://paweb.sth.health.qld.gov.au/clinicalsupport/psychology/default.asp (link will only work within Queensland Health)
For general information about the role of Psychologists working in Australia, or to contact a psychologist in the community please contact the Australian Psychological Society: http://www.psychology.org.au