Patricia Pereira, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, new member of Bacharach’s psychology team
Psychology Helps People Experiencing Trauma in Life
Imagine a traumatic life experience such as having a chronic illness, brain injury, or undergoing cardiac surgery. In situations like these, patients’ minds may be swirling with many questions. Will my life ever be the same? Will I be a burden on my family members? Will I be able to return to work? The life-changes and adjustments associated with the rehabilitation process can be overwhelming.
This is where Bacharach Rehabilitation’s psychology team comes in. The highly credentialed team members focus on the emotional health of patients and family members in the recovery process.
Patricia Pereira, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Patricia Pereira, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist, a new member of Bacharach’ psychology team with over 20 years of experience, assists patients with the recovery process to reduce emotional barriers. “If patients are feeling depressed or anxious, I work with them individually and try to help reduce emotional or social barriers that might limit the person from benefiting from rehab services.”
Through a client-centered therapy approach, Dr. Pereira and her colleagues work with empathetic understanding. Other therapeutic strategies may include:
- Validation therapy – validating the patient’s emotions, fears, and beliefs
- Stress management – helping patients adjust to changes such as rehab schedules, physical disabilities, and negative emotions to achieve their rehab goals
- Cognitive behavior therapy – helping patients understand how personal thoughts/beliefs influence mood, behaviors, and learning new coping strategies
At other times, the interventions may be as simple as changing rehab schedules to accommodate the patient’s preferences.
As family members are very much a part of the entire rehab process, therapy is available jointly, individually, or through family conferences. “The family may not understand the consequences of the injuries, whether short or long term, or if the person will return to their previous levels,” says Dr. Pereira “Families are essential for the patient’s healing process and we’re here to help them, too.”