What is Cognitive Remediation Therapy?
Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) involves the use of behavioural strategies to improve various cognitive processes and be better equipped to overcome cognitively challenging tasks. CRT aims to improve neurocognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and executive functioning. It is commonly used to treat people with a variety of mental illness diagnoses to improve their level of cognitive functioning. Core features include cognitive training techniques, therapist-guided development, and refinement of problem-solving strategies that can be used during cognitive training and in daily life. CRT interventions can be conducted individually or in groups. Some involve the use of computers while others primarily focus on paper-and-pencil tasks. CRT is especially effective when combined with other forms of psychosocial rehabilitation or skills training.
Cognitive Remediation for Psychotic Disorders
Those with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders often develop disabling cognitive deficits. Cognitive deficits can impair daily functioning and are a major factor in chronic disability. Some of these cognitive impairments can result in hallucinations, inappropriate behaviour, depression, disorganized speech, and lack of emotion. In recent years, a number of CRT techniques have been developed and adopted in multimodal treatment approaches for psychotic disorders.
Several reviews have established that CRT is effective at reducing cognitive deficits and improving functional outcomes for those living with psychotic disorders, including those living with more chronic or severe cases. Studies have also supported the usefulness of CRT when applied in the early course of psychotic disorders, and when applied with subjects who have been deemed at-risk of developing a psychotic disorder.
CRT is offered as an adjunct to medication and is not intended to be viewed as a suitable replacement.