How are you feeling today?

A little off but ready to tackle the day.

Let’s work on problem solving. We need to exercise the mind.

Whatever you say.

Do you balance a checkbook at home? Take care of family finances?

Yes, I’ve done it for my entire married life and more.

I have a simulated checkbook balancing task.

Alright. Hand it over.

Does that look similar to what you might have at home…purchases and deposits?

Sure does. Piece of cake.


What do you want me to do?

Where do you think you could start?

Where do you want me to put the amount?

Take a look and see what you can come up with.

Where was this purchased?

Let’s find the original receipt.

Deposit. Does that go here?

How would you tell if it’s in the right place?


Just stop it. I won’t do this.

Okay. Can you tell me why?

You do your checkbook one way and I do it another but you think I’m wrong.

We all have different ways of doing our finances. Can you show me your way?

I just did but you keep correcting me. 

You did say earlier that this was similar to what you would use at home.

You think I can’t do this but I can.

I know you are capable but does this seem harder than it should be?

I’m doing calculus and you’re doing basic math.



*This poem is an account based on a real life therapy session with patient who had sustained a traumatic brain injury with resultant cognitive impairments. A name has not been provided and details altered to protect patient confidentiality. If details seem confusing it is on purpose and in order to reflect the frustration of cognitive impairments. It is my hope that it provide insight into the struggles and anguish of an individual with a brain injury.


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