Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) is a broad term used to describe specific rehabilitation interventions designed to address problems in mental processing that are associated with chronic illness, brain injury, or trauma, such as stroke. Given the wide range of symptoms and severity of cognitive problems in individuals with brain injury, CRT does not refer to a specific approach to treatment. It may include relearning specific mental abilities, strengthening unaffected abilities, or substituting new abilities to compensate for lost ones. It comprises of interventions that aim to lessen impairments, or lessen the disabling impact of those impairments. Interventions are applied through technology and other compensatory strategies that may allow the individual with cognitive impairment to accomplish important life activities and more fully participate in society. The interventions can be provided on a one-on-one basis or in a small group setting.
The process of CRT comprises 4 components:
- Education about cognitive weaknesses and strengths. The focus here is on developing awareness of the problem.
- Process Training. This refers to the development of skills through direct retraining or practicing the underlying cognitive skills. The focus here is on resolving the problem.
- Strategy Training. This involves the use of environmental, internal and external strategies. The focus here is on compensating rather than resolving the problem.
- Functional Activities Training. This involves the application of the other three components in everyday life. The focus here is on real life improvements.