How Counseling Can Help Clients Involved In Personal Injury Lawsuit

Taking any legal action to pursue justice can be extremely time- and energy-consuming. Being involved in a lawsuit can also be psychologically and emotionally taxing. This is especially true for personal injury lawsuits. If your suit goes to court, you will constantly have to revisit moments involving and leading up to your complaint. Your private life will also be up for scrutiny. The opposing party is likely to do everything in their power to discredit your claims and not be held responsible for your injury. 

Suffering from a personal injury is already burdensome on its own. The added stress of going through legal processes to seek reparations will surely take a toll on anyone’s mental health. If you filed a personal injury lawsuit and are waiting for its outcome, you might want to consider getting counseling. Read on to know more about how counseling can help you.

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What Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Before knowing how counseling can help personal injury clients, let us first define what ‘personal injury lawsuit’ refers to. Personal injury cases arise when an individual is harmed, and another party is legally responsible for that injury. Common examples of personal injuries include:

  • Automobiles or car accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Injury through a defective product
  • Medical malpractice
  • Accidents involving wrongful death

When the court finds the opposing party guilty, they will be ordered to pay for your medical bills and expenses. They may even be required to reparation. Usually, the insurance company of the convicted party will pay for any incurred damage. 

Personal injury lawsuits can play out one of two ways: a formal lawsuit or an informal settlement. In a formal lawsuit, a private individual will file a complaint against another party. This other party can be another person, a corporation, a business, or a government agency. The case is then taken up to court. Depending on the complications of your case, court deadlines, and other factors, the procedure might take anywhere from six months to a year. You have to be wary of these deadlines and other time constraints because of the statute of limitations. This is the maximum amount of time you can take to resolve your case. Once this expires, the courts are no longer held responsible for your case.

The more practical procedure is an informal settlement, where the case does not go to court. Your lawyer and the lawyer of the other party will talk between themselves regarding your respective demands and the possibilities of settling. This way, the case is directly resolved through a financial settlement between you and the other party. 

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Why You Should Seek Counseling For Personal Injury Lawsuits

Either possibility of a personal injury lawsuit can be stressful. If you go to court, you have to gather all the relevant papers in time, and you might need to talk about your experiences in court. If you have an informal settlement, you worry about getting fairly compensated for your injuries. There is no shame in seeking professional help when facing intense stress like this. If you are filing for a personal injury lawsuit, chances are you already suffered physical, mental, or emotional damage. You are already more vulnerable to developing mental illnesses because of the trauma you have suffered. 

Personal injury clients often have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a common side effect of experiencing an accident. Common symptoms of PTSD which personal injury clients may experience include:

  • Reliving the traumatic experience or having flashbacks
  • Recurring unwanted memories of the event
  • Experiencing nightmares of the traumatic event
  • Having significant emotional and physical distress whenever reminded of the event

To manage PTSD, counselors will often suggest, if not indirectly try, a range of treatments. Your counselor might recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, or Prolonged Exposure Therapy. These techniques are designed to disrupt your belief that the unfortunate event is likely to happen again anytime soon. Counseling will help with your symptoms, teach you healthy coping mechanisms, and increase your self-esteem.

Even if you do not have PTSD, it is still a good option to talk to your counselor about your personal injury. They can help you process your emotions. Think of counseling as a protection against any more harm that you may sustain while filing a lawsuit and getting the compensation you deserve for your trauma and injuries. 

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Counselors Can Refer You to Other Types of Therapy

Counseling is helpful to get you through the trauma and the stress of the legal procedure. Meanwhile, your physical health is affected by the injury. Although a counselor cannot provide physical and occupational therapy, they can refer you to professionals who can provide these. The main goal of going to counselors and other experts is to wholly rehabilitate yourself.

A physical therapist will focus on restoring your body’s flexibility and strength during a physical therapy session. Meanwhile, an occupational therapist will focus on restoring or improving your ability to engage in social life. They can help you address the physical aspect of your injuries so you can go back to your normal routine.

Suffering from a personal injury can be a traumatic experience in many different ways. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be just as, if not more, harrowing. Aside from the initial physical damage caused by the personal injury, you will also have to deal with the stress involved while working through the lawsuit.

Counseling can help you address emotional and psychological distress from these events. If you have PTSD, a counselor can help you manage your symptoms and reintegrate back into society. They can even refer you to different therapy options to improve your condition. Getting additional counseling during or even after filing the lawsuit can help you be in a better mental condition while waiting for the results.

While in the middle of a lawsuit for personal injury, you will need to be in a strong emotional and mental state. If you are experiencing physical and emotional distress caused by personal injury, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Life-Changing Effects Of Motivational Interviewing

Note: The content below contains some disturbing topics about violence and death.

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I had a childhood best friend named Angela. Her family moved next to ours in the suburbs when we were both in first grade. Although we had never met each other before, we instantly bonded over our love for swings in the local park. Almost every afternoon, Angela and I would play there with the other neighbors’ kids and would not come home until our parents had to fetch us. By the time the school year ended, we were already closer than any siblings could be.

Our closeness continued even in middle school. While other elementary friendships dissolved, ours strengthened to the point that we even snuck out to go to parties together. We planned to take turns telling our parents that we would have a sleepover for school projects. They always bought our alibi, considering we were inseparable.

However, on March 13, 2002, I asked her if we should go to Marsha’s party that night, and Angela said that she was feeling under the weather. It was cool for me, so we bid each other bye when we reached our houses. I did not know that it would be the last time I would see my best friend. Ever.

Troubles

The next morning, my father woke me up by knocking frantically on my door. I looked at my bedside clock and saw that it was not even 5 a.m. Hence, I was scowling when I opened my door, ready to snap at him. But then I froze when Mom and Dad heaved a sigh of relief and hugged me tightly at the same time.

“What’s this? Was I in a coma or just woke up?” I asked, trying to joke.

“No, baby, we were so worried that you snuck out with Angela. We couldn’t take it if you did,” my father said when they let go of me.

My scowl returned. “What are you talking about?” That’s when the flashing lights outside caught my eye, and I peered through my Dad’s side to get a better look. “What’s going on out there?”

My parents looked at each other, seemingly uncomfortable. When neither spoke for five minutes, I pushed past them to find out what’s happening. Mom stopped me by the arm then.

“Baby, Angela’s gone,” my mother uttered slowly. “Her parents came out around 3 a.m. when their dogs started barking like crazy, and they found her barely breathing on the lawn, her clothes ripped to pieces. They called 911, but Angela’s pronounced dead when the ambulance reached the hospital.”

I could do nothing but blink my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. My best friend could not be gone. We both decided not to go to the party because she didn’t feel well. Unless—

“It turned out that Angela left their home to meet her new boyfriend at a party,” Dad supplied. “The autopsy’s still not done, but based on Angela’s state when she was found, it’s highly possible that she was…gang-raped. The authorities were already looking for possible suspects, including her new boyfriend. I’m so sorry, baby.”

My parents hugged me again and told me to go back to bed, but how could I? My best friend was dead. Worse, she was violated and left to die by those monsters. When I heard the sound of a car pulling up at Angela’s house mid-morning, I asked Mom if we could go there to see her parents. As soon as Mrs. Davidson saw me, no words transpired between us – we just sobbed in each other’s arms.

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Post-Mortem

After Angela’s death, I moved to a different school and isolated myself from everyone but my family. The police investigation progressed quickly because many of our schoolmates testified against Angela’s boyfriend and his two friends, who apparently did their heinous crime at Marsha’s garage. Some tried to extend their condolences to me, but I just snapped at them. I was angry at them for not intervening or saving my best friend. Angela might still be alive if any of those kids thought of calling 911.

My parents understood what I was going through and let me be for the most part. However, when we were at the grocery store one time, and I snapped at the elderly cashier for not scanning our purchases fast enough, my parents took the liberty of signing me up for motivational interviewing, saying that my anger started to bleed through other aspects of my life – even the ones unrelated to my best friend’s death.

What is motivational interviewing good for? 

Motivational interviewing is ideal for individuals who need to get motivated to alter their thinking to overcome their conditions. This technique is used to help people overcome addictions and deal with grief or chronic physical illnesses.

What are the 5 principles of motivational interviewing? 

  • Use reflective listening to show empathy.
  • Emphasize how the individual’s behavior makes it challenging for them to achieve their goals.
  • Talk to the person without sounding aggressive or argumentative.
  • Avoid contradicting the person’s words directly.
  • Encourage everyone to be optimistic.

What are the stages of change in motivational interviewing? 

  • Precontemplation Stage: During the first stage, the individual is either unaware or in denial about their issue’s severity. Thus, they most likely have no idea that their behavior needs to change.
  • Contemplation Stage: The person may already realize that something is wrong with their behavior. Still, they have not made a move to alter it and feel better.
  • Preparation Stage: At the third stage, the individual may start weighing the pros and cons of changing their behavior. But they are yet to decide on what to do or where to begin.
  • Action Stage: Once the individual makes any effort – small or big – to improve their lives, it entails that they have reached this stage. They take responsibility for their actions, although they may still need external help.
  • Maintenance Stage: During the fifth stage, the person’s behavior may have improved enough that the mental health professional trusts them to continue their actions without intense supervision. It typically happens after six months at the least.
  • Termination Stage: When the individual reaches the last stage, their problems have been resolved and ready to face other life challenges. After this, some people sign up for various programs to continue improving themselves.

Is motivational interviewing manipulative? 

The idea that motivational interviewing is manipulative is a common concern of many people over the years. In reality, this technique is not meant to be that way. The manipulation only appears if the mental health professional conducts intervention when the person is still not mentally ready to change. However, if they follow the Stages of Change model religiously, it will not be like that.

What is change talk in motivational interviewing? 

Change talk in motivational interviewing refers to a portion of the process in which the mental health professional encourages the individual to disclose why they want to change and what they wish to achieve afterward. Eliciting change talk may motivate the individual further to alter their thoughts and behaviors.

What is the spirit of motivational interviewing? 

The “spirit” of motivational interviewing refers to the core techniques employed to improve interpersonal relationships. It is based on three elements, namely: collaboration (vs. confrontation), evocation (vs. imposition), and autonomy (vs. authority).

What type of therapy is motivational interviewing? 

Motivational interviewing is a client-focused type of therapy that clinical psychologists Stephen Rollnick and William Miller developed. It is used to help individuals alter their behavior and resolve their issues.

What is absolute worth? 

Absolute worth refers to the idea that everyone has the same level of dignity, regardless of their social status, and that we are all trying to figure out our place on Earth.

How do you do absolute value?

You simply need to accept that your dignity and worth are the same as that of even the wealthiest people in the world. The more a person realizes their absolute value, the faster they can achieve their full potential.

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Final Thoughts

It still hurts to remember what happened to Angela even almost two decades since her death. However, I eventually learned to accept it as a way of dealing with my anger issues. I found peace because the perpetrators got life sentences with no chances of receiving parole and that my best friend’s in a much better place now.

Dealing With Sibling Rivalry Within The Family

Nadia and Rey have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, Regina and Rhea. There is only a two-year age gap between the siblings, which the couple has taken as a positive sign. They said, “Our daughters will be each other’s best friend. We are claiming it now.”

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Regina became known for her brains and organizational skills, and everyone praised her for being on top of the class every year. Rhea, on the other hand, turned out to a prom-queen-material and joined beauty contests and cheerleading competitions. The fact that both girls excelled in different fields would have been excellent, but the people around them started comparing the two, thus making them develop sibling rivalry.

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At first, the sisters merely competed to see who could get ready faster in the morning (a task that Regina bulldozed with ease). Since she lost that one, Rhea changed course and decided to figure out qualify for the Spelling Bee competition at school, which they were both reasonably good at. The younger sibling had a slight edge on that and won, to Regina’s dismay.

The two continued to challenge each other like that for years. To the outside world, it seemed incredibly healthy. Some even uttered that it was an ideal way for siblings to stay grounded. However, only their parents knew that this seemingly harmless rivalry had grown deep and transformed into repulsion. The girls still did family activities together (partly due to Nadia and Rey’s coaxing), but you would never see them hang out with one another as other sisters would.

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When Regina and Rhea went to college, they grew further apart. The former got accepted to NYU, while the latter entered USC. Although they were thousands of miles away from each other, the siblings continued to find ways to alienate one another whenever they were both at home. They bickered about details as small as the utensils’ angle on the dining table or how far the mat should be from the door.

The parents finally had enough when they noticed that one refused to go where the other was, and neither even bothered to come up with a proper excuse. Nevertheless, the sisters were already adults and could never be ordered to make up and forget their indifferences. Upon consulting some friends, they tried a few things that might resolve an ongoing sibling rivalry within the family.

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Have An Open Dialogue At Home

The first thing you should do is have a sit-down meeting with the family and express your disappointment towards your children’s behavior. Try not to mince words so that they know how serious you are, but it is best to prevent yourself from showing anger, too. Nobody ever listens to angry people, after all. If you want to know how to address this mental behavior, check out BetterHelp.com for reference.

Once your feelings are out in the open, you must encourage the kids to open up about theirs. You may start with the question, “What don’t you like about your sibling?” That may take a while, depending on how long their reasons may be. If they spill the bean, though, follow it up by asking what they like about each other.

While forgiveness may not come immediately that day, you may see your children soften up a bit.

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Avoid Siding With Anyone

The reality in any sibling rivalry is that one person has more valid reasons to despise the other. For instance, the older daughter may love to keep her stuff tidy, but the younger one borrows or breaks them often. Similarly, the latter may be bratty and want everything that the former has, even if they don’t need it. There is a need to put a red-flag on that behavior.

No matter how much you want to side with one kid, you should never do that, especially when your goal is to have peace. Listen to whatever they must say; empathize with both if you must or remain poker-faced. In case you side with anyone (albeit slightly), the other’s hatred can flare up, to the extent that you won’t be able to make them come home.

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Plan More Family Trips Together

As mentioned above, forgiveness does not happen overnight. The longer the sibling rivalry has been going on, the longer it may take for the siblings to enjoy each other’s company.

Despite that, since you are the parent, you can force them to go on a family trip even if they are not into it. It would be helpful in addressing stress. The key is to pick a destination that they can never pass up, such as an island in Greece, a southeast Asian country, or the deserts in the Middle East. By taking them away from friends and other relatives, your kids have no choice but to rely on one another in a foreign location. Hence, their bond may begin to strengthen.

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Final Thoughts

Sibling rivalry must end as soon as you notice it. Nadia and Rey had had a tough time with their children because they decided to act on it when the sisters were already in college. If you notice your kids competing earlier than that, you must remind them why sibling rivalry is unhealthy and how they should treat each other instead.

Good luck!