Using CBT as a recovery tool after a serious injury


Rehabilitation plays a pivotal role in the recovery process for a patient who has suffered a serious injury as a result of an accident.

The 2015 Rehabilitation Code requires a claimant’s solicitor to consider the appropriate treatment needed as early on in the compensation process as possible, so that they have the best opportunity for serious injury recovery; whether medical, social or psychological.

There are a variety of rehabilitation options that can address your clients’ needs following a serious injury, and, dependent on the case, some are more suited than others. In this article however, we will focus on the benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and how it can help a claimant during their recovery journey.

What is CBT?

CBT is a type of talking therapy that is used to change the way people think and behave. It is commonly used to treat people who are suffering with stress, anxiety, depression - or a combination of the three - by helping them to talk about the symptoms they are experiencing, and how to best overcome them.

CBT and serious injury

CBT can often greatly benefit victims of a serious injury. The trauma of an accident, the injury and its subsequent medical consequences can have an emotional, as well as physical, impact on them. CBT can help them to address their thoughts and feelings, and change the way they think and behave following the accident.

Managing their thoughts

CBT can help claimants minimise the negative impact an injury has on their lives. CBT techniques teach people to manage their psychological symptoms following a serious injury, so that they are able to think positively about the future and move away from a negative spiral of thoughts and feelings when addressing what happened to them.

Their memories, including flashback episodes of the event, may result in them feeling anxious and prevent them from doing things they would have normally done before the accident. CBT looks at how thoughts, feelings and actions following the injury are all connected, and how to effectively manage them in order to, gradually, recover from anxiety and to feel empowered to live their lives post-accident.

Managing pain

The claimant may also be living in chronic pain as a result of the accident. Living with constant pain can be exhausting, depressing and stressful. CBT can help the claimant to find ways of managing that pain by underpinning their thoughts and feelings, and looking at how they can manage their physical behaviour, for example, making sure they only complete everyday tasks when they feel well enough.

What is EMDR?

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is an innovative treatment which is particularly effective in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The procedure enables traumatic memories to be addressed with a consequent reduction of anxiety and cessation of flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and sleep disturbances. This can be particularly effective for those suffering from PTSD following a serious accident.

How MAPS can help?

As part of our rehabilitation service, we have a network of medical professionals who can swiftly source and provide CBT or EMDR to a claimant following a serious accident. Our expert team understands the emotional impact a serious injury can have, and recognises the vital role rehabilitation plays in the claims process to ensure the claimant has the best possible chance of recovery.