What is the authors’ rationale for choosing to explore life balance for TBI survivors from the perspective of emotional regulation? 

According to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd ed., (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014) emotional regulation is described as an individual’s ability to control his/her emotions appropriately in an assumed circumstance. As stated in the literature, a traumatic brain injury and stroke are identified as acquired brain injuries (ABI) that may cause emotional regulation and emotional processing deficits (Abreu et al., 2009). Abreu et. al. (2009) stated difficulties with emotional regulation may interfere with an individual’s ability to cope and adapt to given situations and experiences. Consequently, individuals who have survived an ABI may experience difficulty regulating positive and negative emotions when developing, identifying, and engaging in meaningful daily routines, habits, roles, and occupations. The authors suggest that an individual’s reduced emotional regulation influences their ability to cope and adapt to life experiences and events resulting in difficulty meeting goals that enhance his/her well-being and life balance. Therefore, understanding the emotional perspective of an individual who has survived a traumatic brain injury allows the authors to consider how emotions contribute to the clients understanding of life balance (Abreu et al., 2009).

Additionally, the literature states that life balance may be assessed through identifying and exploring an individual’s emotional regulation process during negative or positive experiences. Exploring life balance for TBI survivors from the perspective of emotional regulation is critical in order to identify an individual’s judgements of life balance to better assess his/her personal needs. As a result, clinicians are exploring emotional regulations skills due to its significant impact on life balance and engagement in functional daily occupations (Abreu et al., 2009).

What is the benefit of exploring life balance from the perspective of positive emotional regulation and also from the perspective of negative emotional regulation?

An individual utilizes emotional regulation in order to control feelings and thoughts brought on through his/her experiences (Abreu et al., 2009). Negative or positive experiences may be influenced by an individual’s emotional regulation regardless of absence or presence of illness or disability. The uses of positive emotional regulation assist individuals in being able to endure the tragedy they have survived. Additionally, exploring life balance from the perspective of positive emotional regulation allows practitioners to understand and promote adaptive processes such as optimism and post-traumatic growth, to facilitate positive outcomes of interventions with ABI survivors. Nevertheless, it is mutually important to identify negative emotional regulations that tend to take precedence over positive emotions during immediate problems and objective dangers. These factors may increase stress or depression that may affect an individual’s life balance and well-being (Abreu et al., 2009).

How can this exploration inform the practice of occupational therapy for survivors of TBI? Mention at least three ways in which OT practice can be informed by this exploration, along with the ramifications of each. Provide justifications from your readings and/or information from other relevant sources with appropriate in-text citations and accompanying references.

According to the literature, utilizing the perspective of positive phycology can assist practitioners in the expansion of theory, clinical practice, and social policy to promote a client’s strengths rather than an individual’s weaknesses. Individuals experiencing emotional dysregulation would benefit from developing a balance between positive and negative emotions to facilitate subjective well-being. According to a recent study performed by Feeney and Ylvisaker (2008), providing individuals who have survived a traumatic brain injury with support will promote the growth of emotional regulation through adapting and compensating for cognitive and emotional deficits. Researchers describe the effect of positive affect and negative affect on a client’s health outcome (Abreu et al., 2009). These personality dimensions provide practitioners with the ability to identify an individual’s satisfaction within an environment to facilitate functional performance and life balance. However, these personality dimensions are considered to be orthogonal constructs. Additionally, positive and negative emotions may be measured utilizing the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) to determine an individual’s quality of life, emotional well-being, and psychological health. Studies supported positive affect facilitating functional life balance outcomes (Abreu et al., 2009).

Describe at least three ways in which some of the quantitative and qualitative research outcomes reported by the authors can be used to complement one another to enable occupational therapists to address life balance issues for clients who are dealing with TBI. Provide examples from your readings and/or examples from other relevant sources with appropriate in-text citations and accompanying references.

  Qualitative studies have presented information implicating reduced quality of life and sense of belonging by those who have experienced an ABI (Abreu et al., 2009). Positive emotions support an individual’s optimal well-being and improved health outcomes. A client with ABI may face barriers to participating in meaningful occupations resulting in an imbalanced lifestyle. Both qualitative collected data supports and quantitative collected data supported the benefits of positive emotional regulation and positive affect for increase subjective well-being and quality of life appraisal (Abreu et al., 2009). For instance, positive emotional regulation has been identified to assist individuals after an ABI to reconstruct themselves demonstrating growth in character, shift roles, and increase self-perception. Conversely, the value of negative emotional regulation is stated to change an individual’s self-concept, however, may cause difficulty during the rehabilitation process (Abreu et al., 2009).

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