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What is the role sport psychology plays in dealing with concussions?

One of sports most unspoken about and misunderstood problems

Over the coming weeks I will be taking an in depth look at concussions, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and the role of a sport psychology counselor in dealing with this hot topic in the world of sports.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a growing concern in the world of sports. While the amount of information known about CTE is relatively sparse, one thing for sure is known, that concussions are the leading cause of an athlete developing this degenerative brain disease. In the world of sport psychology consulting, working with athletes, who put themselves into positions on a daily basis to sustain a concussion can lead to many psychological issues, such as anxiety, worry and a constant focus on the next game, there are things that can be done to help, such as relaxation, goal setting and arousal control. However, once CTE sets in the qualifications needed to deal with these individuals goes beyond the simple role of a sport psychology consultant. Through the following weeks it will be shown what steps a sports psychology consultant can do, the qualifications needed to help athletes with concussions and the diversity of the issue at hand.

What is CTE?

CTE is a degenerative disease that can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem in individuals with a history of multiple concussions or other brain injuries. CTE is a growing concern in many sports where concussions are on the rise. Hockey has been one of the last sports to really look at the long term effects on the players who play the role of enforcer and who are continuously hit in the head often receiving concussions. Out of four former NHL enforcers whose brains have been studied all had CTE. CTE can cause depression, mood swings, addictions, and impulsivity.

In the next part I will go over the role a sport psychology counselor has in dealing with this growing issue. It is important that if you or someone you know is struggling with the fear of their role in sports or has sustained a concussion and is showing changes in their personality that you seek a professional right away to help ease the process of this injury.


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