People who suffer from cognitive difficulties may become overwhelmed, disorganized, frustrated and/or anxious with daily living tasks, school, or work. CNS offers a comprehensive, integrative and individualised approach to help people rebuild cognitive skills, and restore physical and emotional strength to help them reach their true potential.
CNS offer an individualised, tailored approach to intervention. We will start by conducting an assessment to help us understand the person, what issues with cognitive function and/or emotional adjustment they are facing, and what their goals are for treatment. We will then design a program targeted to helping them work towards their goals.
Rehabilitation This is sometimes also referred to cognitive rehabilitation, cognitive training, cognitive remediation, neurorehabilitation or neuropsychotherapy. Rehabilitation can assist with memory difficulties, cognitive difficulties (e.g., attention, organisation, problem solving), or provide support with depression, anxiety and/or emotional adjustment.
Rehabilitation usually involves utilisation of intact skills to compensate for weaknesses and also restoring lost functions, usually by undertaking repetitive exercises. Environmental adjustments and strategies may also be utilised.
Psychoeducation Psychoeducation is education about a certain situation or condition that causes cognitive difficulties and/or psychological stress. It is generally known that those who have a thorough understanding of the challenges they are facing as well as knowledge of personal coping ability, internal and external resources, and their own areas of strength are often better able to address difficulties, feel more in control of the condition(s), and have a greater internal capacity to work toward their goals and general wellbeing.
Offered in both individual and group formats, psychoeducation can benefit the person diagnosed, their family, and other important support people. It is not an approach to treatment in itself but represents an important early step in treatment, as it offers those individuals involved in a person’s care information on both how to offer support and how to maintain their own emotional health and overall well-being and provides them with the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of the cognitive and/or psychological concerns affecting their loved one.
Positive Behaviour Support Positive Behaviour Support is a comprehensive approach to assessment, planning and intervention that focuses on addressing the person’s needs, their home environment and overall quality of life. Positive Behaviour Support is about working with families and carers to develop a shared understanding about why the person has a need to engage in challenging behaviour.
Positive Behaviour Support uses assessments that look beyond the behaviour itself and more towards the social, emotional, cognitive and/or environmental factors influencing the behaviour. A functional assessment offers a better understanding of the function or purpose behind behaviour. It contributes to a behaviour support plan by providing an understanding of why a person may engage in a particular behaviour and identifying what support is required to address the person’s unmet needs.
Following a comprehensive assessment of the person’s needs and their environment, a behaviour support plan may be developed. The plan aims to summarise the supports the person and their carers, staff and family need to make positive changes to address unmet needs. The plan may include strategies for improving quality of life through systems change, skills acquisition and environmental redesign. The plan may also provide information to family members and staff working with the person on what they need to do to help the person to address the challenging behaviour.
Safety planning Safety plans are proactive strategies, typically developed in collaboration with the person and neuropsychologist, which will serve to articulate what the person will do and who they will contact when faced with a crisis. By explicitly anticipating the possibility that they may face overwhelming feelings, safety plans provide an excellent opportunity to rehearse problem-solving and proactive coping strategies.
Relaxation training Long periods of high stress has consequences to our health and well-being and can place us at greater risk of developing chronic ill-health conditions. Relaxation training refers to a diverse group of strategies designed to help people voluntarily release tension and relax the mind and body. There is growing evidence that supports the benefits of regular relaxation training and exercise, such as improving mood, reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Relaxation exercises and techniques may also be of particular benefit when behavioural problems such as aggression are the focus of intervention, particularly because relaxation promotes physiological arousal reduction. A similar physiological arousal response can also be seen with anxiety and stress, and so learning how to reduce physiological arousal through increased self-regulation is a key factor in the prevention of aggressive, anxious or stress responses.
Examples of relaxation and exercise techniques that have been shown to be useful in physiological arousal reduction are:
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
Creative/ guided visualization
Scheduled pleasant activities
Other benefits of regular relaxation training and exercise include:
Improved cognitive performance (eg. concentration and focus, thinking more clearly)
Improved sleep quality
Improved energy levels
Improved cardiovascular health
Improved ability to manage stress and recognize signs of stress
Regulate nervous system and hormones (eg. cortisol, adrenaline)