Tool 16: Essential thriving guide   

Some of the essential survival tips when you are working with people with ABI are:

Getting to know the person with ABI


  • What is the injury?
  • What is the effect?
  • How is the effect expressed in behaviour?
  • What are strategies for managing the behaviours?
  • How the person with ABI is dealing with this change
  • The impact of their ABI on family and friends.

Realistic expectations

Set realistic expectations:

  • People with an acquired brain injury can grow in their skills for independence in the short and long term (except where the ABI is caused by a degenerative disease).
  • The rate of development can be slow and so not noticed. People give up too soon.
  • Most people with a traumatic brain injury and many with others forms of ABI are young - they have a lot of life ahead of them and plenty of time to develop.

Know yourself

  • What pushes your buttons?
  • How do you respond appropriately when your buttons are pushed?
  • How do you sustain yourself when the day to day work stresses build up?

Be part of a team

  • See yourself as part of a team.
  • Who's in the team?
  • What are their roles?
  • Who can I get support regards to what?

Notice signs of disillusionment and identify strategies for dealing with it

What best describes your current work with this person / these clients:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Stagnation
  • Frustration

What do you need to do to build a relationship and set realistic expectations?

Notice signs of stress and identify strategies for dealing with it

  • What's your level of stress in working with this client / these clients?
  • What strategies work for you in reducing stress?