2nd Edition

Headaches and Mild Brain Trauma A Practical Therapy Guide

By Birgit Gurr Copyright 2021
    316 Pages 76 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 76 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This important book describes the biopsychosocial nature of persisting and complex headache presentations following a mild brain trauma and offers a predominantly cognitive behavioural therapy programme to guide patients toward better health and less pain.

    The book provides both a robust theoretical underpinning and practical therapeutic guidance for helping those who suffer from posttraumatic headaches. Placing physical symptoms of trauma in context with personal and social issues, it discusses the broader psychological implications at work after brain injury, including the idea that headaches play a functional role for the patient. Updated with the latest research findings, the book features clinical guidelines, practitioner worksheets and relaxation scripts, offering an all-inclusive manual for therapists setting up their own programmes.

    Written with the busy clinician in mind, it is essential reading for anyone working with brain trauma survivors.


    1. Theory

    2. Implementation of a Practical Biopsychosocial Approach

    2. Implementation of a practical biopsychosocial approach

    3. Cognitive behavioural therapy for posttraumatic headaches

    Appendix I: Therapy worksheets

    Appendix II: Relaxation scripts

    Appendix III: Recovering from mild head trauma – a guide for patients

    Appendix IV: Supplementary material


    Birgit Gurr is a consultant clinical neuropsychologist and works as the clinical lead for the Acquired Brain Injury and Adult Neuropsychology Services in Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, UK. She is also a visiting lecturer at Bournemouth University, where she teaches neuropsychology, and a clinical supervisor for the clinical psychology doctorate courses at Southampton and Exeter Universities. She is a full member of the Division of Neuropsychology and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, UK.

    "[Birgit Gurr] writes for the busy clinician and bridges the gap between medical and psychosocial understandings of chronic headaches following mild brain injury. Indeed, anyone working with survivors of mild brain injury who are suffering from headaches will find this volume a valuable therapeutic tool." – Professor Barbara A. Wilson OBE, PhD, DSc, CPsychol, FBPsS, FmedSC, AcSS, Founder of the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely, Founder and editor of the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Academy of Social Sciences and the British Psychological Society, Past president of the British Neuropsychological Society and the International Neuropsychological Society

    "The second edition of this very helpful handbook provides an updated and expanded overview of posttraumatic headache management, focusing on psychotherapeutic interventions after a mild traumatic brain injury/concussion. There is really no other resource like this for practitioners and, due to its scope, it should be an invaluable resource for those dealing with this often-perplexing disorder." – Nathan D. Zasler, MD, DABPM&R, FAAPM&R, FACRM, BIM-C, CBIST, Founder, CEO & CMO, Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd., Founder, CEO & CMO, Tree of Life Services, Inc., Professor, affiliate, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, Associate Professor, adjunct, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, Chairperson, Emeritus, IBIA, Vice-Chairperson, IBIA

    "The second edition is an invaluable guide to psychological treatment for patients with persistent headaches after a concussion. It incorporates evidence-based practices, and where the evidence trail ends, it offers practical recommendations based on the author’s deep clinical expertise. Chapter 1 provides a comprehensive review of theories underlying persist posttraumatic headache and relevant biopsychosocial predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors. Chapter 2 explores the experiences, desires, concerns, questions and motivations that posttraumatic headache sufferers often bring to their initial clinic appointments. There is also a nice overview of various psychological treatment modalities as applied to posttraumatic headaches, with case examples for each, enough to give a flavor for how therapy 'looks.' Chapter 3 provides more detailed guidance on assessment and the specific 'how to’s' of delivering CBT, complete with homework sheets, session outlines, suggested scripts and other useful tools. The book is filled with clinical pearls, such as how to use the CBT model to guide interviewing and case formulation. Readers with a background in CBT will be able to use this manual right off the shelf." – Noah D. Silverberg PhD, RPsych, ABPP-CN, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus & GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Traditional Territory