Cognitive Remediation (CR)

Cognitive Remediation is specialized rehabilitation for a person’s cognition (link to cognition section). This rehabilitation begins with cognitive assessment by a qualified professional such as a psychologist. The assessment will clarify what aspects of cognition are impaired and will guide the interventions. Improved cognition will result in better day-to-day functioning including enhanced social and work/school life. 

Important factors about CR

  • It complements the effects of medical treatments or certain types of psychotherapy, but not meant to replace them. 
  • CR works and is especially useful for persons who have fewer years of education and who had high levels of psychotic symptoms when they entered EPI.
  • Most successful when integrated (utilized) with daily functional goals, such as work, school, socializing and recreation.
  • CR works best when it is done with a trained active therapist who uses well-established structured methods.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation can involve compensatory and/or remediation strategies.

Compensation Strategies

Teaching strategies to manage and cope better with the difficulties associated with a specific cognitive challenge.  

For example: For Memory, learning to use Internal Memory Techniques such as chunking information when learning a new phone number, or putting grocery items into mental categories and using External Memory Aids such as calendars, alarms, post-it notes, etc.

Remediation Strategies

Specific rehabilitation treatment to improve the cognitive challenge (memory, language, attention, processing speed, etc).

The following series of five short videos were created by Cognitive Remediation British Columbia (CRBC). Although cognition is the most important contributor to how well a person functions in the world, there has not been enough education and treatment options offered to persons with psychosis, families and even professionals. The video creators from CRBC support CR training for clinicians and advocate for further use of this evidence-based treatment.

It is recommended to watch these videos in order. 

Introduction – Dr. Regina Casey

Part 1 – What is Cognition?Dr. Tom Ehmann

Part 2 – Cognitive Challenges and PsychosisDr. Mahesh Menon

Part 3 – What Does Cognitive Remediation Look Like? – Dr. Amy Burns

Experiences of a Person Who Engaged in Cognitive Remediation

Some EPI services in BC are now offering CR and it is hoped that over the next few years it will become available to all clients with cognitive challenges. Some services in BC who work with older clients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, offer Cognitive Remediation. 

To learn more about cognition and a self-help resource click here.