From Survivor to Thriver

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Sports-Related Injuries with Keagen Hadley

December 13, 2022 Erik DaRosa & Marc Fernandes Episode 90
From Survivor to Thriver
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Sports-Related Injuries with Keagen Hadley
Show Notes

For athletes, sports injuries can be devastating not only physically, but emotionally as well. 

In this episode of From Survivor to Thriver, we sat down with Keagen Hadley who experienced a career-altering injury that changed his life. Knowing what athletes in this position go through both mentally and physically, he found his passion in helping injured athletes work through their injuries with occupational therapy and psychological healing.  

Keagen Hadley is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy specializing in using psychological treatments such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with his patients. As a patient and therapist, he has a deep understanding of the interventions and knows how emotional stress can interfere with rehabilitation, daily activities, and overall quality of life. 

As an athlete, he tore both ACLs playing college and semi-professional football. This experience made him acutely aware of the struggles associated psychologically post-ACL injury and how to overcome them with positive results. In 2022, he achieved one of his lifelong dreams of becoming a published author with his first book, “Torn.” He wrote “Torn” specifically to help others get through these situations and ensure positive outcomes.  

In today’s episode we cover: 

  • Keagen’s ACL injuries
  • The link between physical and emotional injuries
  • Keagen’s experience with CBT
  • How he approaches working with his patients 
  • How ACT therapy works
  • The importance of not giving harmful thoughts power
  • Reaction vs. Response
  • What led Keagen to write his book
  • Mental health awareness among athletes
  • The first step to healing for injured athletes
  • Remembering your why

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Keagen. If you want to hear more from him, make sure to check out his book and visit his website. 

Thanks again for tuning in. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Please remember to leave a rating and review of our show. It helps us grow and reach those who need it. Also, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 


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“The more we try to control our thoughts, the worse these types of thoughts can get.” -Keagen

“You follow the pain and you’re going to find something you’re very passionate about.” -Keagen

“All too often, the door gets shut before someone has even figured out a way to try.” -Marc

“With ACT therapy, it’s a way of reframing where you actually separate yourself from the connection to those thoughts.” -Erik