The Impact of Psychological Intervention on Athlete Psychological Health and Recovery

Fulk, Brandi, Carol Dr. Weisfled, and Michael Miller

There are nearly 450,000 college athletes competing every year, with an average of 12,500 sport related injuries reported among the athletes (Covassin et al., 2014). It has been well established by the research community that psychological factors have an important role in the recovery frrm injury and return to play. Research has demonstrated that injured athletes experience negative psychological reactions such as loss, denial, frustration, anger, depression, and anxiety (Podlong, Heil, & Schulte, 2014; Monsma, Mensch, & Farrel, 2009). Recently, the implementation of psychological intervention following injury has gained attention. Common techniques used include relaxation, mindfulness, imagery, goal setting, and stress management. However, few controlled outcome studies have been published (Reese, Pittsinger, & Yang, 2012). Of those studies published, social support, Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management (CBSM), guided imagery, and stress inoculation training has shown positive effects on athlete mental health, pain management, and return to play (Covassin et al.; Perna, Antonia, Baum, & Schneiderman, 2003; Cupal & Brewer, 2001; Ross& Berger, 1996).