Date of Award


Degree Name

Communication Disorders


College of Health Professions

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Karen McComas

Second Advisor

Carrie Childers

Third Advisor

Susan Frank


Following brain injury, people can demonstrate cognitive-linguistic deficits as well as a shift in their identities. Clinicians use assessment and treatment methods that focus on cognitive-linguistic deficits with this population; however, they rarely (if ever) consider identity as a viable and necessary target for intervention efforts. For individuals with brain injury, life narratives can be used to assess and treat the cognitive-linguistic skills and discourse at a macro-systemic level, build relationships through the use of a client-centered approach, develop a strong sense of self-identity that aids in goal setting, establish life purpose that motivates greater participation and effort in rehabilitation, and facilitate reintegration into society. The development of therapeutic protocols that use life narratives as a diagnostic tool and treatment strategy with a focus on identity is important for the future as the field of speech-language pathology continues to shift toward using client-centered approaches to therapy.


Brain damage -- Patients -- Rehabilitation.

Brain damage -- Treatment.