Dr Norma Clark, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership discusses CRT with former FEAT Occupational Therapist, Inga Davidson.
If you have a mental health problem it can often affect your memory. It may also affect your ability to think clearly, especially when it comes to performing everyday tasks.
Cognitive Remediation Therapy is designed to improve memory and boost thinking skills which can give you back your confidence and help you to work towards your goals.
CRT is a behavioural treatment which focuses on developing strategies to help improve the thinking skills which you might be having difficulty with and to be able to transfer these strategies to real life situations. This can help you to overcome challenges that you might be experiencing in all areas of your life.
You will meet with a Learning Coach who will discuss with you what sorts of things you are having difficulty with at the moment e.g. remembering appointments, organising your day, following instructions clearly. Together you will then set goals for what you want to achieve. This will help to identify the thinking skills that you would like to improve and how this will help you in your everyday life.
CRT can be delivered one-to-one or in groups. CRT involves completing computerised, paper and pencil or group exercises and games with the aim of developing strategies to help improve the thinking skills that you are using. These strategies can then be transferred to help you in real life situations.
No. Although it does involve the repeated use of games and exercises which help you to practice different thinking skills, the important difference is the focus on developing strategies and linking these skills to real life situations.
You would ideally aim to complete CRT exercises 3 times per week. Normally, at least one of these weekly sessions will be supported by your Learning Coach. This is likely to take place in a group setting with the option to complete some exercises at home, depending on what best suits your needs. Your Learning Coach would aim to see you for at least one or two assessment sessions initially, to help you identify which thinking skills you might want to improve on and to set goals that you wish to achieve. Each session will generally last between 45 minutes and one hour, which will allow you time to practice the exercises you are given and to discuss them with your Learning Coach and other members of the group.
CRT will sit alongside any treatment that you are currently receiving, or courses that you are attending. If you are already attending CRT sessions as part of an NHS treatment plan, then your Learning Coach can work with your NHS team to ensure there is a consistent approach.
CRT is offered as an integral part of our Employ Your Mind course. These courses are delivered throughout Fife.
It is also available through Fife IPS as our In the Mind for Work course. If you are a client with Fife IPS, and would be interested in attending CRT sessions, please speak to your Employment Specialist who can arrange for you to be referred.
CRT is also available to other FEAT clients through weekly group sessions and monthly information sessions. These weekly sessions are held on a Thursday from 10am – 12pm and the information sessions are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 10am – 11am. All of these sessions are held at our Glenrothes offices. Please speak to your FEAT worker who will be able to provide you with more information and pass your details on to a Learning Coach.
FEAT partnered with NHS Fife to deliver this exciting CRT conference on 11th March 2016 in Methil. The theme for the conference was "Using Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) to maximise employability in mental health."
The conference was designed to present information on the understanding and treatment of the cognitive deficits that commonly occur in many psychiatric conditions. We explored the different approaches to treating cognitive deficits; how cognitive deficits can impact everyday functioning, and the factors that influence a positive response to cognitive remediation, as well as how cognitive remediation therapy can help gain and sustain employability. Participants from across the UK were able to attend all presentations including the address by our keynote speaker Dr Clare Reeder, Kings College, London and to choose among a variety of workshops. Each workshop focused on a specific topic in greater depth and allowed for questions and discussion.
Dr Reeder led her presentation with this quote:
"FEAT have the most innovative, forward thinking and well developed CRT programmes I've seen, certainly in the UK, but actually across the world."
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