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Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury

What do motor vehicle crashes, falls, and assault incidents all have in common? According to the Brain Trauma Foundation, these are some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury, which is “the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults ages 1 to 44.” Approximately 2.5 million people suffer from accidents that result in traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, and although most people are able to have successful recoveries, there are many who suffer from permanent brain damage as a result.

What is Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy?

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) is one of the processes and practices used to help those suffering from TBIs. Brainline describes it as “a broad term used to describe treatments that address the cognitive problems that can arise after a brain injury.” Specifically, CRT can help patient’s suffering from problems with attention, concentration, and memory after a TBI.

The Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report differentiates Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is utilized to treat mental disorders. CRT instead focuses on restorative treatments that work toward improving memory. CRT also utilizes compensatory treatments, which can help patients to zero-in on and improve more specific problem areas by establishing self-cuing strategies.

The Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation notes that the CRT process of relearning cognitive skills is comprised of four components, which include:

  1. Education: this develops awareness of where the problems lie, and pinpoints any cognitive weaknesses and strengths.
  2. Process Training (also considered Problem Solving): this helps develop skills through either direct retraining, or through practicing underlying skills.
  3. Strategy Training (also considered Compensation): this utilizes environmental, internal, and external strategies to compensate for any weaknesses or deficits.
  4. Functional Activities Training: this is the application of the other three components into everyday life.

These components can be implemented after the patient receives a neurocognitive evaluation with psychometric testing. Once the patient completes their evaluation, the psychologist gains insights into which areas of memory functioning are problematic. These areas then become the focus of Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy is so successful because it is centered around the individuality of each case and patient, and because it helps those who are recovering from TBIs to heal in ways that allow them to be self-sufficient and unafraid of living their best, and happiest lives.

Through the Psychology Department at Healthpointe, our trained staff of psychological and medical professionals will utilize Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy to help you reestablish a sense of normalcy in your life during or after recovering from a TBI. For more information on whether or not CRT may be right for you, call us at (888) 824-5580, or make an appointment at any one of our offices by clicking here.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Roman Shulze and Dr. Camilla Seippel.

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