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The Found Self

206-621-8558

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est. 2002

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More than just a bump on the head! Though not always visible and sometimes seemingly minor, head injury is complex. It can cause physical, cognitive, social, and vocational changes. In many cases recovery becomes a lifelong process of adjustments and accommodations for the individual and the family.

     Depending on the extent and location of the injury, impairments caused by a head injury can vary widely. The irony of mild head injuries is that often, such injuries do not even require a hospital stay, yet they result in changes so profound that lives are forever changed. 

     Some common impairments include difficulties with memory, mood, and concentration. Others include significant deficits in organizational and reasoning skills, learning, cognitive, and executive functions.

     Recovery from a head injury can be inconsistent. In many cases gains may be closely followed by setbacks and plateaus. A "plateau" is not evidence that functional improvement has ended. Frequently, plateaus are followed by gains.

     Changes in memory, social and organizational skills after a brain injury makes it difficult to function in complex environments. Only individuals and families who live with brain injury can truly understand the experience. You and your family have lived the experience and by necessity learned about brain injury and its consequences. Others will not fully understand because they lack knowledge and understanding of brain injury. 

       The needs of those living with brain injuries are complex and change over time. As you seek services you will meet others who do not fully understand brain injury.  Educating others about brain injury is an important role for you to play. While brain injury has many common features, each individual and family bring their own unique needs and perspective to the experience. No one will be able to speak about your needs and experiences as well as you can.  The education of others will be a continuing process as your needs change.

       Education is part of the advocacy process by which you can build awareness and acceptance.  It can also help match services and programs with your strengths and needs, develop partnerships with professionals, and even work toward changing the system. 

     Your life today is probably very different than the one you had before brain injury.  Looking back, you might be surprised to see that you have grown through this experience.  As you look toward the future, know that you are not alone. Organizations, agencies and services listed on the pages of this site can help you. (Scroll down to links to support groups.)

       Reach out to them and build a network of support for yourself and your family.  With the support and help of others, you and your family will be able to set out in a new, rewarding direction. 

          The Found Self - The devastating nature and scope of your brain injury impairments might cause you to fear that you will never return to your pre-injury self. While you might be unable to do things the way that you used to, there is no saying that you can not attain a stature which rivals and in some instances surpasses the old self. The tools in this section will help you identify your goals and the steps involved in achieving them.   They will enable you and create appropriate structures, networks and resources to guide and support you as you achieve your goals. 

Use the form below


The Found Self

1. Ask yourself what do you want to be able to do that you are unable to do now, list your top 5 preferences. Such as improve concentration, attention, memory, and stamina. Improve comprehension and analytical skills. Remember to stop, think and get my emotions under control before acting. Get promoted at work, improve relationships, change careers. Learn deep relaxation techniques. See TBI Checklist 
 
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
2. Now rank order, your preferences.  Determine which of the five is a prerequisite to the others, and which of them is most important to you. Analyze how you may combine your residual, abilities and aptitudes to restore, enhance or augment your skills.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

2. Of the 5 choices that you listed in number one above, pick the one that most closely matches your top preference, then list the skills required to attain such a goal. Such a list might include: high energy level, initiative, intelligence, communicative, analytical, creativity, technical skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, intuitive sense, and business sense. Be as specific as possible.  See Essential Skills for ideas.
1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.

3. Assess your residual skills. List 10 skills that are fairly well in tact. List 5 skills that are completely lost.
Intact Skills Lost Skills
1. 6. 1.
2. 7. 2.
3. 8. 3.
4. 9. 4.
5. 10. 5.

4. How close is the fit between your preference and your reality?  How close do your residual skills match the skills required to achieve your ideal status?  Rate the closeness of the fit on a five point scale by circling the appropriate score.
High fit
4
3
2
1
0
No fit

5. If the fit is not close, what are your alternatives?  Check the ones that you think make the most sense.
_____ Seek other options. ______ Try to change myself
_____ Accept things as they are. ______ Other

6. Write down a few ideas of how you would go about doing what you checked in number 5 above. Then, list 5 skills that you want to improve or recover. List 5 things that you could do to improve your skills.  See Essential Skills for ideas.
1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.

7. List 10 personality attributes that could help you attain your heart's desire. Such a list might include. Hard working, patient, loving supportive, responsive, flexible, strong, ambitious, resourceful, competitive, thorough and resolute. 
1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.

8. List 10 personality attributes that most closely characterize you now. Such a list might include: Optimistic, trustworthy, able, caring, patient, fun loving, adventurous, energetic, knowledgeable, perplexed, weary, cautious, impatient, resigned, pessimistic, anxious, self-centered, dignified, just, honest, masterful. 
1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.

9. How close is the fit between personality attributes that could help you attain your heart's desire and your current reality? Rate the closeness of the fit on a five point scale by circling the appropriate score.
High fit
4
3
2
1
0
No fit

10.  If the fit is not close, what are your alternatives? Check the ones that you think make the most sense.
_____ Seek other options. _____ Try to change myself
_____ Accept Things as they are. _____ Other

11. Write down a few ideas of how you would go about doing what you checked in number ten above. Then, list 5 skills that you want to improve or recover.  List 5 things that you could do to improve your skills.  See Essential Skills for ideas.
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.

12. Some people take a job or embark on a career because they expect to get something from it. That something may include the satisfaction of being successful, the status or prestige associated with the position or the income they receive. It might also include pleasure in helping others or in solving problems and the satisfaction of interacting with both colleagues and clients. Rank order rewards that you value in a job or career. Such items might include:
_____ Feelings of accomplishment _____ Opportunity to be successful
_____ Prestige / social standing _____ Positive work climate
_____ Helping others _____ High income / job security
_____ Good working relationships _____ Challenging work
_____ Solving problems _____ Opportunity to develop
_____ Other - specify _____ Other - specify

13. This question requires you to gaze into the future. Imagine that three years have passed; where do you envision your self on your path to attaining your heart's desire?  List three significant achievements that you will have made.
1. 2. 3.

14. Write down a few ideas of how you would go about doing the steps that you will need to take to move you to the next significant level of achievement.
1. 4.
2. 5.
3. 6.
15. This questions requires you to gaze even further into the future. Imagine that another three years have passed; where do you envision your self at that point? List three additional achievements that you will have made.
1. 3.
2. 4.
3. 5.

 

 
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