A new ‘gratitude intervention’ has been carried out with service users at Ty Aberdafen, aiming to improve their wellbeing. The focus was on supporting them to both experience and express gratitude by using a ‘three good things’ diary for four consecutive weeks. This involved recording three good things that happened each day. Outcome data for mood, wellbeing and level of functioning have been collected and the data is currently being analysed.

Anxiety and depression are common after brain injury, which can impact significantly on rehabilitation. Furthermore, due to the many changes caused by the brain injury, survivors are also likely to experience a decrease in their wellbeing.

Positive psychology interventions have been shown to be effective in improving wellbeing in the general population and there is some evidence that people with brain injury may also benefit from such interventions.’ explained Dr Irina Lapadatu, Clinical Psychologist at Ty Aberdafen. ‘Gratitude has been shown to be clearly associated with wellbeing and may be the key to positive growth after trauma. However, cognitive impairment (e.g. in attention or memory) after brain injury may limit opportunities to notice or remember things to be grateful for.’

The clinical team at Ty Aberdafen, led by Dr Tracey Ryan-Morgan, will be sharing the outcomes of this positive psychology via their website.