The impairments in cognitive, emotional, and social functioning often caused by
traumatic brain injury
(TBI) can negatively impact an individual’s ability to return to
work successfully. Return to work rates after TBI are remarkably low,
leaving in question the effectiveness of existing vocational rehabilitation
A recent study proposes that positive psychology, a process of actively
fostering a positive mindset, may be an effective approach towards improving
existing vocational rehabilitation methods. Rather than a focus on the
pathology-based evaluation found in a typical psychological approach,
positive psychology seeks to develop the individual’s well-being
and happiness by providing the tools necessary to forge a more positive outlook.
Increased happiness and well-being as a result of positive psychology
is associated with greater job satisfaction, higher income, and increased
productivity. Using strengths-based assessments and positively-focused
job evaluations, vocational rehabilitation techniques using a positive
psychology approach may provide individuals with a greater chance of success
during the difficult transition back into the workplace after TBI.
Mills AL & Kreutzer JS. Theoretical applications of positive psychology
to vocational rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury. Journal of
Occupational Rehabilitation. (March 2016).