A new kind of normal: qualitative accounts of Multifamily Group Therapy for acquired brain injury

Grace Mary Couchman, Genevieve Margaret McMahon, Amber Lilyan Kelly, Jennie Louise Ponsford

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Acquired brain injuries (ABI) can have a major impact on social participation, causing increased social isolation and emotional distress for people with the injury and their family members. Multifamily Group Therapy (MFGT) provides information, resources, problem-solving strategies and opportunities for social networking for families where one member has an illness. By qualitatively examining the experience of group participation from the perspectives of both individuals with ABI and their family members, the present study aimed to elucidate the processes underlying and factors influencing success of facilitated MFG programmes with families impacted by ABI. Following participation in the 12-week MFGT, 29 individuals with brain injury and 30 caregivers participated in 90-minute, semi-structured focus groups. The overarching theme emerging from the transcripts was that of Finding One s Place , with sub-themes of Connectedness, Identity, and Knowledge and Understanding. The MFGT experience made a contribution to participants efforts to find their place in the world after an ABI. This was enhanced by connection with others within the group, sharing experiences, the development of self and family identity, and the gaining of knowledge and understanding. These findings consolidate a growing literature, which points to the importance of Reconstruction of a place in the world and Reconstruction of personhood in ABI recovery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809 - 832
Number of pages24
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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