Paralysis and Spinal Cord Injury Medical Expert Interviews

Psychological Adjustments to a Spinal Cord Injury

Living with a spinal cord injury is both a physical and psychological journey. While damage to the spinal cord does not directly affect a person’s psychological makeup, the motor and sensory impairments that follow can create changes to mental health. A psychotherapist or psychologist can help guide thoughts, identify the root of problems, and suggest effective coping mechanisms. Psychotherapy focuses on helping understand behaviors and generally provides a more long-term solution for managing mental distress.



In this section, we asked prominent psychologists who deal with spinal cord injury patients about how to manage common feelings and emotions after SCI. Their  interviews include advice on how to develop an understanding of the injury for new patients (8 Q&A videos) and for families (6 Q&A videos). They talk about how to overcome resistance to rehabilitation (8 Q&A videos), or to using a wheelchair (6 Q&A videos), and how to answer the question: “Will I ever walk again?” (8 Q&A videos). Other videos explore coping strategies (8 Q&A videos), common psychological obstacles (7 Q&A videos), sex and dating (8 Q&A videos) and how to determine when it’s time to go back to school (3 Q&A videos) or return to work (6 Q&A videos). Family members who may also be struggling with the diagnosis of paralysis will find advice for spouses and partners after a spinal cord injury (7 Q&A videos).