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Cognitive Retraining

Cognitive Retraining

If a person has undergone brain surgery or suffered a stroke, you cannot expect him to be his usual self. Inevitably, there will be some changes in the way he speaks, thinks, moves, and acts. That is the natural result of his brain being affected by a wounding experience.

The Need for Cognitive Retraining

If a patient is to return to his usual self after his operation or stroke, he needs to undergo cognitive retraining.

This procedure is a therapeutic technique that is designed to restore or improve the patient’s ability to pay attention, organize, remember, understand and reason. It also helps in enhancing the person’s skills in decision-making, problem-solving and higher levels of cognitive abilities.

Since all these skills are interrelated, cognitive testing is considered as a vital tool in a person’s recovery. This type of retraining is just one element of cognitive rehabilitation. It is a vital part of a comprehensive approach to restoring important mental skills after a debilitating stroke or a brain injury.

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” – E. O. Wilson

Why is it Important?

Every person needs to be able to use his mental functions fully. However, due to brain injury, stroke, long term drug or alcohol abuse or brain surgery, the patient’s brain functions are adversely affected. His cognitive abilities are diminished.

This is where cognitive retraining comes in. It is designed to mitigate cognitive problems related to mental disorders, brain injury, and aging. The overall objective of cognitive therapy or training is to reduce the cognitive problems experienced by the patient every day and thus improve his quality of life.

“There are a variety of techniques to help people change the kind of thinking that leads them to become depressed. These techniques are called cognitive behavioral therapy.” – Irving Kirsch

Types of Cognitive Retraining

There are seven types of cognitive retraining:

  • Memory retraining: This therapy includes teaching the patient a number of strategies which he can use to remember specific types of information.  Sometimes, rhymes are used as an aid to memory.  Or he is asked to go through the all the letters in the alphabet until he recalls a friend’s name.  Memory problems are common after head injuries.  That is why memory training is important.
  • Reasoning retraining: A patient may lose his ability to connect and organize information in a rational and logical way.  Reasoning retraining will restore this ability to the patient.  The techniques include listing the facts, discouraging irrational thinking, and excluding irrelevant details.  Practices to avoid are focusing on negative aspects of the situation and jumping to conclusions.
  • Concentration and attention retraining: This training will improve the patient’s abilities to maintain, focus and divide his attention.  It will also help him to resist distractions and fight boredom.
  • Decision-making retraining: The patient will be trained in choosing among several options.  Its objective is to help the patient think about his decisions thoroughly before he takes any action.  He will be asked to make decisions regarding people, rules and regulations, money, personality issues and much more.
  • Problem-solving retraining: The goal of this training is to help the patient define a problem, devise probable solutions, discuss these solutions with his peers, listen to their input, review the possible solutions from several perspectives and check if the problem was solved after undergoing these steps.
  • Organizational skills retraining: To restore the patient’s ability to organize, he will be asked to keep track of things or find certain items and doing his task in a prescribed order.  He is also asked to do his tasks according to a schedule.
  • Executive skills retraining: This part of the retraining teaches the patient to monitor himself and control his thinking and his actions.  He will also be encouraged to think in advance, make objectives and manage his time, use his skills in new situations and act responsibly and civilly in social situations.

Call Today

His House rehab for men can employ Cognitive Retraining methods in our treatment programs for patients who desire or need it. Call us today to discuss your options.


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