Cognitive Remediation

Cognitive deficits can involve one or more areas of brain function, such as attention, perception, thought, memory, reasoning and problem-solving. Certain behavioral problems may reflect underlying cognitive deficits. Before behavioral problems can be effectively treated, clinicians need an accurate way to measure the type and degree of cognitive deficits. That is why Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego conducts numerous assessments.

Cognitive Assessment

Comprehensive cognitive assessment does not measure how smart a person is. Everyone has strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others. At Sovereign Health, the purpose of our comprehensive cognitive assessment is to determine the current level of functioning in a number of different areas:

  • Attention and concentration relates to the ability to mentally and physically focus
  • Memory is the ability to accurately recall information from the recent or distant past
  • Organizational skills pertain to physical and mental management and prioritization
  • Reasoning relates to logic and understanding
  • Problem-solving requires creativity and the ability to find solutions
  • Decision-making involves insight into projected outcomes
  • Executive skills relate to self-discipline, self-control and self-monitoring

Accurate assessment allows clinicians to design targeted cognitive rehabilitation exercises for individual patients. These exercises stimulate the growth of new neurons (brain cells) in the areas where there are deficits. For example, teens who have used excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol often demonstrate high levels of impulsivity. Cognitive rehabilitation exercises designed to reduce impulsivity would focus on the areas of the brain responsible for executive skills.

Contributing Factors

Many different factors affect cognitive function, including genetics, nutrition, environment, lifestyle and more. Even individuals with normal cognitive development can suffer cognitive deficits due to certain circumstances, such as:

  • Head injury
  • Emotional abuse or trauma
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Toxin exposure
  • Certain disease states
  • Serious mental illness

Fortunately, the brain has a remarkable capacity to recover from illness or injury. At Sovereign Health, we specialize in cognitive assessment and cognitive remediation therapy for adolescents and adults.

Cognitive Remediation Therapy at Sovereign Health

After a thorough needs assessment, our counselors work with patients to strengthen their skills in required areas. Each time a patient masters a new skill, he or she progresses to learn more complicated tasks. With each accomplishment, the patient’s brain grows stronger. Below are some other important aspects of cognitive remediation that we focus on at Sovereign Health.

  • Nutrition: Many adolescents in the United States are actually suffering from malnutrition due to high intake of processed food and low intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and other elements of a well-balanced diet. Those with eating disorders or substance use disorders are particularly At Sovereign Health, nutrition is a cornerstone of brain health.
  • Sleep: Sleep is essential for brain tissue recovery and brain cell growth. During sleep, new information is processed and memories are formed. Each stage of sleep serves an important purpose for brain wellness, so we use a variety of interventions to treat insomnia and help restore normal sleep patterns and habits.
  • Exercise: Exercise is a well-known way to increase cognitive function in patients with mental illness or brain injury. Exercise provides much-needed oxygen to the brain and promotes the excretion of body chemicals that initiate brain cell growth. Exercise also improves overall circulation, blood flow, delivery of oxygen and nutrients to brain cells, and excretion of toxic substances from cells.
  • Neurobics: Neurobics is a computer-based program that exercises different parts of the brain to improve cognitive function in those areas.
  • Neurofeedback: We offer neurofeedback at our adolescent facility in Rancho Santa Diego as an adjunct therapy. Neurofeedback re-trains the brain to self-regulate stress responses and develop new, healthy neuropathways. After treatment is completed, most patients find it easier to develop new healthy habits and avoid old patterns of behavior.
  • Experiential therapy: The experiential therapies at Sovereign Health facilitate cognitive development by encouraging self-expression and creativity. These programs also provide opportunities to try new things and learn new skills.
  • On-site academics: At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego, we recognize that adolescence is an important time for academics. For this reason, we have developed ways for teens to continue their education while in treatment. Our EDGE program provides a classroom setting with top-of-the-line technology, gender-specific learning environments, an academic facilitator and an accommodating staff of tutors. Sovereign Health has teamed up with Advantages School International, an academic program accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). In addition, we have partnered with school districts in the local area to offer single courses and online learning opportunities. We also offer SAT, GED and CHSPE preparation materials for patients preparing for higher education.

About Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is a leader in the treatment of adolescents with behavioral health disorders, mental illness, substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Our specialized professional staff work together to meet the goals and needs of our young patients and their families using evidence-based practices. To learn more about our cognitive rehabilitation programs or any of our specialized services, please call our 24/7 helpline.

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