There cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ rehabilitation package because the scale and impact of brain injuries are so diverse, and there is a huge variation in the delivery of rehabilitation services available from different health trusts around the country.

A rehabilitation programme must of course be tailored to each individual’s needs and will usually involve a multi-disciplinary team. Treatments designed to assist people to live with complex disabilities range from the physical to the psychological. The therapies that people are most familiar with include:

Physiotherapy for those affected by a brain injury

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability and has a role in the immediate aftermath of an injury right through to long term care. Specialist neuromuscular (brain, nervous systems and musculoskeletal system) physiotherapists are likely to play an essential role in the team supporting a brain injured person.

Occupational therapy (OT) for brain injuries

The ‘occupation’ in OT refers to practical activities that allow people to achieve a degree of independence. Therapists provide practical support to enable both children and adults to undertake the activities that are important to them, and to help them reach their potential. Occupational therapists provide “made to measure” specialist care for someone affected by brain injury. They may have to help the injured person to relearn skills and reconnect with their pre-injury life.

Speech and language therapy (SLT)

SLT can address the speech, language and communication needs of children and adults, as well as eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. The ability to communicate has a positive impact on general health and wellbeing. It enables a brain injured person to be actively involved in their own care and rehabilitation and is critical in promoting independence and participation in family, social and professional situations.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of talking therapy that helps people to change how they think (‘cognitive’) about themselves, the world and other people and how what they do (‘behaviour’) affects thoughts and feelings and to improve their sense of wellbeing and ability to cope with challenging situations. It has been shown to be effective in treating emotional and physical disorders and can be used to help brain injured people to deal with anxiety, depression and other behavioural problems that often result from injury.


Clinical neuropsychology is concerned with understanding how a brain injury can affect a person’s thinking, cognitive skills, behaviour and psychological and emotional functioning. The neuropsychologist provides an objective opinion on cognitive impairment following a brain injury and is trained in the treatment and management of related problems such as memory impairment, behaviour management and the treatment of emotional and psychiatric disorders.

See the document below to get an idea of the type of drug treatments commonly used when someone has suffered a brain injury:

TBI & Drug Treatment (278.1 KiB)