Treatments for Brain Injury


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical practices that are not part of standard medical care.

Woman getting hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

HBOT is a treatment involving breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment.

HBOT has definitely helped reduce the physical pain as well as the symptoms I suffered with specific TBI/PTS. — Nick Santoro, Veteran, U.S. Marines Corps

Woman meditating.


Meditation is a mental training and breathing practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body.

While I’m far from healed, meditation has helped me realize I am not my thoughts, nor am I my trauma. — Sian Ferguson

Man doing yoga warrior pose in a sunlit room.


Yoga is a mind and body practice. There are many styles of yoga that combine poses, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation.

[Yoga] has been so helpful and healing for me in the most amazing way. It has changed my life in a way that I could have never imagined. — Kevin Pearce, professional snowboarder who sustained a TBI


Cognitive therapy is a general term for treating mental health by talking with a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health provider.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help you to think differently about your experiences and your relationships, with the goal of making some positive changes in your life.

It was really just retraining my brain in the way that I was thinking. — Susan, Veteran, U.S. Navy

Hand moving small wooden cube blocks to put them in a pattern

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT)

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy improves issues with thinking or behavior due to traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Drawn profile of a head with sticky notes showing lightbulbs.

Memory Strategy Training

Memory strategy training is a kind of cognitive rehabilitation that can help you remember important things.

I just learned over the years various coping mechanisms. … I keep Post-its in business. — Retired NFL player George Visger

A group of people smiling and talking.

Social Skills Training

Social skills is a broad term that includes understanding what is expected of you in different social interactions.

Some people, even a lot of people, will not understand your injury ... I’ve learned that in the long run it pays to be honest and open with people. — John Byler, TBI survivor

Man wearing virtual reality goggles.

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET)

Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is a form of exposure therapy that uses technology.

In 13 weeks I’d completely changed who I had been for the previous ten years. — Jimmy Castellanos, Veteran, U.S. Marine Corps


Physical therapies are therapies that focus on the mechanical functions of the body.

Man running on a spring foot.

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive sports often run parallel to typical sports and are adapted for people with disabilities.

The recumbent [bike] is the one place where I don’t need any assistance...I’m completely independent and I’m successful. — Beth King, Veteran, U.S. Army

Pharmacy shelves of medication.


Medications are substances recommended by a doctor to help you deal with symptoms of PTSD or TBI or both.

With therapy I realized what my triggers are. Through that, and medication, I’m a lot better today. — James Dantzler, Veteran, U.S. Marine Corps

An elderly woman working on needle crafts.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Guidance from an OT, along with targeted practice, will build new neural pathways, helping you build skills until you become more adept again.

When patients can see tangible benefits in measurable improvements physically, they also gain pride in self-accomplishment & self-confidence. — Edward Vickers, Brain Injury Survivor

A leg in a brace is pushing against a blue ball that someone is holding.

Physical Therapy (PT)

Physical therapy involves working with a physical therapist to regain physical abilities you may have lost as a result of your injury.

I literally learned to walk all over again. My [therapy] taught me that the person in control of my physical recovery ... was me. — Robert L. Heriza, Veteran

Woman in white lab coat illustrating speech sounds to a boy.

Speech Therapy

Recover or learn to compensate for the communication challenges your brain injury may have caused.

[My husband] was still as brilliant as he was three months post-injury as he was before his injury. The problem was that his brain could not process language anymore. — Abby Maslin, caregiver