After Car Accident
Counselling Covered by ICBC
ICBC Counselling Coverage
If you've been in a Motor Vehicle accident (MVA)Even if you are fully responsible for a collision, you may be eligible for some ICBC accident benefits, called “Part-7 benefits” These benefits include medical and rehabilitation benefits, which includes counselling services.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, fear of driving, flashbacks, sleep problems, trouble with concentration, feelings of sadness, depression or anger, or if you were involved in an MVA and have reported the incident to ICBC, you qualify for counselling sessions as part of Part-7 benefits Even if you weren't harmed physically, the body still reacts to pain which shows up as symptoms of psychological distress and fears. This is a normal response of the body to a traumatic event and you just need some time to recover, however, with the right strategies and support, a period of your recovery can be shortened greatly. Addressing psychological and emotional issues along with physical traumas helps the body to heal faster, answer the questions 'why me' and deal with such emotions as guilt, shame or anger.
How To Get ICBC Counselling CoverageIf you have any symptoms of distress (stress, anxiety, depression, fear of driving) as a result of the accident covered by Part-7 benefits, you have to talk to your family doctor and get a referral letter for counselling services
Therapies to reduce symptoms of PTSD
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)Motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors may suffer from both acute and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). From research findings, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is considered as one of the effective treatment of PTSD. Special EMDR protocol is used to quickly stops the fight, flight freeze response that is being activated when you think of the incident.
You may experience anxiety, depression, fear of driving or fear of being a passenger, strong feelings such as anger when you see a car approaching or you just have an urge to run away. You might notice you have shallow breathing, tension in the body or upset stomach. EMDR therapy calms the amygdala in the brain that is our alarm center causing survival response of fight, flight and freeze. It's fast and effective. Clients can get relief quickly and their symptoms can often be treated in fewer than 10 sessions.
Study on EMDR therapy for PTSD after motor vehicle accidents>>>
Observed Experiential Integration (OEI)OEI therapy is also an effective method to work with those symptoms, however, it has a more 'gentle' approach. This method is used with people who have a very strong response to EMDR therapy to the point of re-traumatizing. So, we would use OEI instead to calm the nervous system first. Trauma therapy shouldn't cause harm. Most of the time we don't need details because they might bring unnecessary suffering. OEI works more with bodily sensations, so, it would be perfect for those who are attuned to their body.
We can not change the past events but we can change a reaction towards them and store them in our memory and remember them without intense emotions. The OEI process entails covering the eyes alternatively with the goal to integrate both parts to level and to calm down disturbing throughs, emotions and feelings. Many of my clients report significant changes in their anxiety level after OEI treatment and feel noticeable relief from negative feelings due to a traumatic event.
Life Span Integration on PTSD symptompsThis therapy works on reducing symptoms of PTSD after recent trauma. PTSD is a condition when your body believes that a traumatic danger is still imminent. Your body is still guarding against the past trauma, not realizing that it's over. You survived the trauma but your nervous system will protect you. Your nervous system activates fight or flight response to protect you but also prevents you from moving forward. Your body is still trapped at that moment. This is why you have flashbacks. The therapy helps to process those memories and helps the nervous system realize that the danger is over and it can relax not.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and get a referral for counselling. No matter who's at fault, most people qualify for this service. Make sure to contact ICBC as this activates your claim and creates the opportunity to proceed with treatment. Book free consultation if you have any questions.
Success story: A pedestrian hit by a vehicle...The client was hit by a car and developed anxiety whenever she was around the vehicles and also was hesitating to take driving lessons that she was planning to do before the accident. She was questioning her ability to drive since she was afraid to hit someone. She had flashbacks of the accident and was avoiding going to a spot where it happened. Treatment: The goals for the therapy were to reduce anxiety symptoms (racing heart, tensed body, cold sweat, sadness), eliminate nightmares and to help her to overcome thoughts that something bad could happen. OEI, mindfulness and coaching techniques were used to reduce symptoms of anxiety and introduce self-care into the daily routine.Results: The client reported staying more in the present, reduced anxiety, 'feeling happy'. She mentioned that her mind doesn't take her to the past and she finally found relief from worries.
Success story: Anxiety due to a car accident...The client was recommended by her family doctor to see a counsellor because of her extreme anxiety. She had a fear of driving as well as being a passenger. She would exaggerate of what could happen and be scared 'unexpected', so her anxiety would escalate and she would get a panic attack. Treatment: OEI technique helped the client to retrain her body to feel more relaxed and recover from anxiety more quickly. Mindfulness techniques were also introduced to feel more grounded and more present. Results: After four sessions the client reported living in a calmer state. She said 'she is not worried anymore about what could happen and doesn't think 'what if'.
Success story: Nervous about driving after a car accident...The client came to therapy after a car accident, she was really nervous about driving and had frequent panic attacks while driving on highways and when she had to cross a bridge. She also had extreme anxiety whenever a car would get too close to her. She also had stomach problems and her leg was shaking sometimes when she was too nervous. Treatment: OEI therapy was used to help the client to find relief from anxiety. She was also supported in changing her driving habits to feel more present through mindfulness techniques. Results: After eight sessions the client reported that she has no panic attacks anymore and has no worries when she is driving. She said she feels calmer and more in control.