An acute spinal cord injury, subsequent hospitalization, and the rehabilitative process are stressful to the patient, his or her family, and the therapeutic team. These stresses may create misunderstandings, anger, and other emotions that affect the therapeutic process. These emotions are commonly experienced but are not often addressed in the rehabilitative literature. A better understanding of these emotions may assist the staff in supporting patients and their families in the coping and adjustment process, thereby building a durable therapeutic relationship and avoiding interactional catastrophe during the treatment course.

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