RAI: Resilience and Adjustment Intervention

The Resilience and Adjustment Intervention (RAI) was designed by Dr. Emilie Godwin, Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer, and Ms. Jennifer Marwitz to assist adults in positively adapting to the challenges of a brain injury. A curriculum-based intervention, the RAI incorporates the tenets of resilience theory and draws upon more than 20 years of clinical experience. This manualized intervention addresses fifteen topics that are relevant to people recovering from the effects of a brain injury and will help them better manage their most common needs, concerns, and challenges. The curriculum-based nature of the intervention allows clinicians the flexibility to individualize sessions in order to remain responsive to each person’s unique injury characteristics and course of recovery.

The RAI was constructed with sensitivity to the fact that many survivors of TBI must cope with unexpected and unfamiliar problems as the result of their injury in both the near-term and possibly for the rest of their lives. Five guiding assumptions drove the development of the RAI and guide the program’s delivery. These assumptions are:

  1. Survivors who embody, or who learn to adopt traits identified as key to resilient living will find increasing success in their recovery, and growing life satisfaction;
  2. Achieving emotional wellness after TBI requires a clear understanding of injury-related symptoms, commonly encountered challenges, and the recovery process;
  3. Survivors who are more aware of their strengths and limitations are more likely to lead productive and meaningful lives;
  4. Developing resilience enhancing skills for problem-solving, goal setting, communication, and managing stress and intense emotions enhances survivor’s abilities to be productive and maintain quality relationships;
  5. Survivors are more likely to improve when they actively engage in recovery, and are able to maintain a positive outlook.

To promote resilience, the RAI is implemented in a seven-session format with two or three topics covered during each 60-minute session. Sessions focus on skill-building to help clients enhance existing skills and develop new skills; psychological support through offering empathy, encouragement, and hope; and education via instruction and discussion. The sessions are designed to be implemented by a clinician with one individual at a time and are most effectively delivered in a hierarchical format; lessons from earlier topics provide a foundation for later topics. To learn more about RAI topics or see the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the FAQs tab to the left. Further information can be obtained by joining our mailing list by emailing Laura Albert at Laura.Albert@vcuhealth.org. The RAI Intervention Kit and Manual are available for purchase through the university at our store.


The contents of this website were developed over time under a series of grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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