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Counseling Offers New Tools to Cope with the Effects of Brain Injury

Counseling Offers New Tools to Cope with the Effects of Brain Injury

Early in his career, Eric Martin used to daydream about the perfect job. “I saw myself sitting among a circle of professionals, putting all our focus into helping someone who experiences profound suffering,” he recalled. In 2009 he joined Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS) and his dream came true. That vision, he said, “was what my first day at CNS was like.” Now he’s in sessions daily, helping patients and families navigate the journey of rehabilitation at the CNS Dallas clinic. “It’s a beautiful experience,” he says. “For me, it’s a calling.”

CNS Counselor Eric Martin‘We Meet Them Where They’re At’

Counseling is vital for patients and their loved ones. Often, the “new normal” has shattered their world, but in counseling they’re given hope, communication tools, and self-care strategies. Counseling is also a safe place for spouses, children, or anyone in the patient’s sphere to vent, grieve, and express emotion.

“Neurological injury can happen to anyone,” Eric pointed out. “Some patients struggle with confusion or post traumatic amnesia, and it can challenge every part of their experience. But we meet them where they’re at. Understanding someone’s story is part of our process. We can then work together at their pace in the emotional journey to inspire clarity, strength and hope.”

In addition to stroke or traumatic brain injury, Eric’s patients may also have depression, addiction, or childhood trauma. “Those feelings are pent up and need expression,” Eric observed. “This requires an encouraging and compassionate yet impactful approach to foster lasting change.”

CNS Counselor Eric MartinA Journey of Healing

Over the years, Eric has seen radical transformations in his work. Many people come to CNS with a “landmine of feelings,” he said. When patients need to grieve a deceased parent or are plagued with memories of abuse, Eric has helped them to let go - literally. He once gathered a bouquet of balloons, took a patient to an open field, then asked him to read a letter to his father – an assignment that Eric requested. In a torrent of emotion, the man released the balloons, and his pent-up pain, into the sky.

For a patient’s loved ones, counseling can also define new pathways to deal with new realities. CNS believes in preparing families for a changed paradigm of parenthood, marriage, or problem solving. “We teach them about assertive communication, validation, and active listening,” Eric said. “To witness relationships blossom and have a deeper connection than they had before their injury is profound.”