What is cognitive rehabilitation?
Cognitive Rehabilitation is a complex collection of techniques that is designed to enhance perception, attention, comprehension, learning, remembering, problem solving, reasoning, and other cognitive functions in individuals that are impaired in these areas. For example, people who have suffered a brain injury typically lose rapid mental processing and other abilities. People with learning disabilities may not have developed these cognitive abilities in their formative years. Cognitive rehabilitation therapy is the art and science of restoring these mental processes and teaching compensatory strategies.
Recovery from cognitive impairment can be facilitated with cognitive rehabilitation therapy. Individuals often experience changes in memory, attention and concentration. The ability to plan and initiate activities may have been disrupted. Carrying out the task of daily living may require concentrated effort. Former work functions may be difficult to perform. Changes in cognitive functioning may range from mild to severe.
The goal of cognitive rehabilitation is to achieve the most independent or highest level of functioning. Treatment is based on individualized goals that take into consideration the patient's current pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Cognitive rehabilitation goals include:
Recent research in neurosciences has revealed which techniques are essential in stimulating the brain to develop new neural connections and thus improve functioning. This training program is based on the most current scientific research available. Marin Neuropsychology Center utilizes the most comprehensive and sophisticated cognitive skills training programs available which incorporates these essential components. The neurosciences are rapidly advancing our understanding of how the brain functions. Our programs are continuously evaluated and modified on the most current research available. The cognitive rehabilitation training at Marin Neuropsychology Center aims to produce long lasting physiological changes in the brain. Once the brain develops new neural connections, they tend to be permanent and do not change. In fact, research studies have shown no loss in cognitive skills one year after training. Such a training should have the following characteristics:
- Relearning targeted mental abilities
- Strengthening of intact functions
- Relearning social interaction skills
- Substitution of new skills for lost functions
- Optimizing control over the emotional aspect of individual's functioning, including management of impulsivity and anger
The training is based on objective test data that determines the skills that will be worked on. The treatment is directed by our highly trained neuropsychologists which assures the most sophisticated treatment possible.
- Training must be 6-7 days per week.
- Training must be provided on a one-on-one basis at least twice a week.
- Training tasks must always remain difficult
- Training techniques must drive the skills to become automatic
- Training must be comprehensive and target all skills that are important for learning
What is the cognitive rehabilitation treatment process?
Treatment is highly individualized for each person. After an initial diagnostic assessment and discussion of patient goals, a cognitive rehabilitation plan is developed as a collaborative effort. The achievement of goals may include a variety of techniques and tools:
- Stimulation training
- Visual-spatial rehabilitation (e.g., scanning training)
- Cognitive linguistic therapies(e.g., language skills training)
- Formal problem-solving strategies for everyday living skills
- Memory strategy training
- Attention and concentration process training
- Visual-spatial and organizational training
- Awareness and Metacognition skills
- Verbal self-instructions
- Use of adaptive devices to compensate for deficit abilities and adaptive approaches to targeted tasks
- EEG Biofeedback
- Psychotherapy and behavior management
A primary goal of cognitive rehabilitation is achieving significant and measurable improvements that enable individuals to enjoy a more productive and satisfying life after injury or disease. Treatment is targeted, practical and geared to developing greater independence, improving everyday functioning and achieving academic and vocational goals, as well as daily living activities. Tasks from a person's daily living are incorporated into the process of rehabilitation. Coordination and collaboration with other providers is incorporated into the treatment process.
For further information regarding any of our services, please contact us at 415-457-3451.