Rediscovering who you were before a brain injury is one of the challenges and joys of rehabilitation. Reconnecting with hobbies after brain injury can be therapeutic physically and emotionally.
Imagine how it feels for an old talent to nudge its way to the surface. You might fall in love all over again with music or working on cars or basketball. For many patients, the reconnection process can be profound.
One of our patients is making the connection to his hobbies after brain injury by getting back into woodworking again. His therapists encouraged him to create a project as part of his therapy. The first project was a hanging planter and next he’s going to lead a patient workshop to pass on his knowledge to his friends.
Part of a rehabilitation therapist’s job is to find out what talents, hobbies, or interests a patient has and encourage them to experience them again. It may be a while until full skills are recovered, or the competency level may never return – but the simple pleasure of finding something loved again after an absence is healing in the deepest sense. Therapists at Pate try to incorporate enjoyable hobbies wherever possible in treatment. Patients have played guitar, written stories, created paintings, relearned to crochet – whatever came before the injury is a good place to begin the road back.
“(He) was so incredibly proud of his handiwork; apparently he was quite an accomplished woodworker prior to his stroke,” says Pate’s Anne Marconi, a speech-language pathologist at Pate’s Brinlee Creek ranch location near McKinney, Texas. “I’m quite sure that until now he doubted his ability to ever do this type of work again – that is, until my student encouraged him to give it a try. The result was a new-found confidence and outlook – we’ve seen a new man…and his wife has reported seeing good things at home as well.”
It’s possible to recover beloved hobbies after brain injury. The workshop is starting shortly!