Car Accident? Ways to Help You Recover.

Westwood Total Health


Clinical counselling isn’t what most people think of trying after being in a car accident, or MVA (motor vehicle accident). The focus is often on massage or physiotherapy or chiropractic care. All of which makes sense and is often very much needed. There are many reasons why counselling might be an important part of your care as well.

Imagine Bob. He was in an MVA a month ago. Since then he has been feeling anxious and uneasy about driving. He’s constantly checking his mirrors and worries about getting hit again. Sometimes he has nightmares about being in a car accident. Sometimes he avoids driving altogether. Bob is also worried about what others will think of him if they know he’s anxious about driving, especially because he used to love it.

Now imagine Sally. She was in an accident a year ago. She hasn’t been anxious about driving at all, but she did have a concussion and still experiences symptoms including low mood. She worries that she will never be the person she was before the accident! She also has a pain in her shoulder still and feels like she is much less resilient in coping with it than she used to be.

Both Bob and Sally’s reactions are normal and more common than you’d think following a car accident. Many people feel anxious about driving, experience changes in mood, and feel less resilient. Some people experience symptoms of trauma. Others have concussions or pain that is taking a long time to resolve, even with all the other healthcare they’re having. Our nervous systems get out of balance after car accidents. We can carry more tension in our bodies than we are aware of, which slows healing and makes it difficult for the massages and physio and chiro to take as quick of an effect as it would. These are all issues that counselling can help with.

Stigma. A lot of people still worry about “being crazy” and other stigma associated with seeing a counsellor. Though we’ve come a long way as a society, it makes sense if you’re still having these fears about it. A lot more people come to counselling than you might think, and for a huge variety of reasons. ICBC initially approves 12 counselling sessions following an MVA because so many people need some help with the above issues.

Fast forward and Bob and Sally have both been in counselling for a while. Bob finds he is able to drive more confidently each time he gets in the car. He no longer avoids driving and doesn’t have as many nightmares. Even when he does, he’s able to move on with his day and doesn’t dwell on them as much. Sally’s focus is slowly improving. Her concussion symptoms aren’t as bad. Her pain is much easier to deal with and she is finding herself more resilient. Her mood has improved a ton too! Though the process could be slow at times, both Bob and Sally were glad they went to counselling.

If you’ve been in an MVA, and have any of the following: anxiety, concussion, or persistent pain, counselling might be worth looking into adding to your treatment plan.

Bob and Sally are fictitious and any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental.