Painting bright futures with creative therapies in brain injury rehabilitation

Brain injuries have a significant impact on someone’s life. From struggling to accept their condition, to physical and emotional challenges, there are many pieces to the puzzle – and most of these are invisible. Addressing both visible and non-visible needs is key to understanding the support someone needs on their rehabilitation journey to regain their quality of life.

Alongside our person-centred approach, we adopt the slow stream rehabilitation technique, looking at the bigger picture of someone’s life, beyond their physical support needs. This includes using a wide range of clinically proven neurological therapies to support the challenges people with brain injuries face.

From Physiotherapy to Psychotherapy, we consider how someone’s past and present circumstances might affect their goals and rehabilitation outcomes.

We also use creative therapies to support many aspects of the rehabilitation journey, as  emotional wellbeing, cognitive development and communication can all benefit from applications like drama and music.

But they also have additional benefits that burrow deeply beneath the surface.  

What are creative therapies?

Creative therapies play a big role in brain injury rehabilitation. As well as improving functional skills essential for daily living, creative therapies can help individuals rediscover themselves. Building a sense of self-identity, creative sessions support people with brain injuries to adapt to their past experiences of life. This supports them to find new ways of thinking about situations and changes their perceptions of themselves and other people.

Aiding cognitive function, this enables people to process information about the world around them more effectively and cope with new situations and challenges.

Art-based interventions also support self-expression and provide a non-verbal “voice” for people with brain injuries. New methods of expressing themselves can reduce the anxiety many people with brain injuries experience when communicating, empowering them to continue to explore exciting new ways of freely expressing their thoughts and feelings. This helps us craft a better understanding of individuals, their needs, wishes and preferences, which empowers our teams to truly tailor the support we provide.

Collaborating with industry-leading therapy providers, our sessions foster a safe, nurturing environment where the people we support are empowered to build self-awareness, relearn skills, and work towards reaching their goals.

It’s a space that’s free of judgement, where individuals can freely express themselves and learn to find peace with their pasts, so they can move forward with their futures.

A picture of a man and a woman painting on a sketchpad. Text reads, "Therapists empower people to dig deep and unearth their feelings. Using a variety of different materials, complex thoughts and emotions can be easily depicted, without a need for physical words, reducing anxiety and fear, and supporting mental wellbeing."

A scientific foundation

Most creative therapies are underpinned by psychotherapy and are commonly used to treat mental health conditions outside the brain injury space. Our therapists are expertly trained to apply the principal techniques of creative therapies to the complex needs of people with brain injuries.

With a deep understanding of how the brain functions and how it might be affected after trauma, specialist techniques are used to target specific parts of the brain.

Therapists across the creative disciplines collaborate with each other, as well as with rehabilitation support teams, to ensure sessions are tailored to meet an individual’s needs – supporting them to fulfil their rehabilitation goals.

Sessions are pre-planned in line with someone’s goals but are kept fluid so they can adapt to how the individual feels on the day. With a thorough understanding of brain injuries and how they can affect someone’s emotions and behaviours, therapists have a portfolio of practices they can use to suit someone’s feelings, while helping them work towards their goals.

Our core creative therapies

Neuro Music Therapy

Neuro Art Therapy

Neuro Drama Therapy

How does it work?

Person-centred support is at the heart of all that we do. Our professional therapy partners, Chroma, echo our ethos, putting the people we support at the centre of their sessions, ensuring they get exactly what they need every time. Whether that’s communicating something they’re afraid to talk about through painting, or simply singing loudly to shake off some stress, the people we support are empowered to make decisions and take control of their wellbeing.

Collaborating with our Therapy Leads, the people we support and their support networks, our creative Therapists at Chroma outline a plan to help individuals achieve their rehabilitation goals. From learning to walk again, to transitioning back into the community, our creative therapists empower the people we support to fulfil their aspirations.

Creative Therapists use a balance of creativity and clinical practices to explore different ways of supporting individuals with brain injuries to reach their goals. Support is based on the barriers someone might be facing when working towards their goals. For example, someone might wish to move to a transitional flat but suffers from a sense of abandonment. In this case, Art Therapy might be used to help someone unlock emotions about past experiences and change their perceptions around living independently.

The people we support are empowered to choose their creative activities with the help of their therapist. Working collaboratively empowers them to make decisions, while staying on track to reach their goals.

Our therapists understand the importance of encouraging the people we support to make decisions about their care. They work in a way that helps people feel confident to express their opinions and ask questions about their therapies.

A picture of a man and a woman playing the guitar. Text reads, "Our therapists take time to get to know each person as an individual, and understand their challenges, preferences, and aspirations.

By building trusting relationships, they reduce the anxiety and fear people may have around their conditions. They are empowered to be their authentic selves."

Dedicated support

Within our brain injury rehabilitation services, we support individuals to engage in therapy techniques outside their scheduled sessions. Our expert teams include a dedicated Therapy Lead. Playing an important role in bridging the gap between therapists and the people we support; they help connect individuals with the right therapists.

Even though they’re always on hand to support people during their sessions, they respect individuals’ privacy and might not attend discussions around sensitive subjects.

Creative therapies like Neuro Drama Therapy and Neuro Art Therapy are usually kept private. Instead, Therapy Leads will look for opportunities outside these sessions where they can get involved in supporting this type of therapy. Visiting art galleries, museums, shopping for art supplies, and choosing a landscape to paint are all ways they can support therapy delivery.

If a person we support is not engaging well with their therapy, their Therapy Lead works with them to overcome barriers and get them back on track. Playing an important role in providing emotional support, they have excellent insight into each person we support.

Faithfully by their sides, they respect individual choices and preferences, to support people to live their lives to the fullest. They empower individuals to enjoy their therapy sessions and make strides towards bringing their hopes and dreams to life.  

Find out more

If you’d like to learn more about our specialist brain injury support and how we can help you or a loved one, fill out our quick and easy form and a member of the team will be in touch.

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