The impact of a physical injury can often be straight forward in identifying a legitimate physical injury.
Psychological trauma can often be missed by the medical practitioners and denied by the workers themselves. Often the worker tries their best at managing the symptoms without treatment – hoping that they will go away. Unfortunately time does not heal trauma – processing of the incident and its impact is imperative to treat the trauma symptoms.
Treating psychological trauma early – within weeks of the incident has the best results. Often the worker is avoidant of reminders of the incident, which often includes avoiding the idea of returning to work or seeing a psychologist.
Their fear often is of increasing intense flashbacks, memories or reliving of the incident. I always say to my patients that they already deal with the emotional pain of trauma on their own, and that with my help they have someone to support and coach them to know how to resolve the trauma.
Psychologists often use EMDR and cognitive therapies as well as exposure therapy to treat trauma related symptoms, enabling the worker to return to work again.
Patients are often surprised by how much of a positive benefit treatment can have for them.
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing – pairs the target memory with the negative beliefs associated with the memory. This breaks it down into an easier to deal with experience of thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and images. The second part involves reinforcing a new positive belief to be associated with the memory for the future.
Exposure therapy or desensitisation is a gradual reintroduction to situations, activities or things that the patient had been avoiding.
If you are involved in a Worker’s Compensation Claim and would like to see one of our psychologists, please feel free to call us on: 6381 0297 or contact us here.