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Self-Awareness Tip Sheet for Professionals

The ability a person has to assess their own abilities and limitations. Individuals with brain injury may not recognize changes in behavior personality. Up to 97% of individuals with a brain injury have difficulties in self-awareness.

Look for These Difficulties

  • Underestimating problem areas related to brain injury
  • Not following or understanding recommendations of providers
  • Inaccurate self-perception or self-image
  • Difficulties with recognizing a problem in the moment (lacking insight)
  • Difficulties with putting goals into action/monitoring progress
  • Difficulties with generalizing knowledge/abstract reasoning


  • Avoid directly confronting or challenging the individual's ideas about their abilities
  • Provide opportunities for self-discovery of errors
  • Introduce new ideas or options gradually
  • Use “supported risk-taking” techniques
  • Provide straight-forward, realistic and supportive feedback (For example,"Because your reaction times are very slow...this means you are not able to drive now.")
  • Suggest the use of a memory notebook, video reviews, or device, like a cellphone, to track progress
  • Set goals WITH the individual
  • Encourage the individual to get feedback from multiple people (family, peers, and friends) so they have more than one source of information