People recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, long COVID-19, and certain mental health conditions may experience cognitive and emotional challenges that may impair their functioning to some degree. The changes caused by a brain injury can impact a person’s memory, attention, ability to process information, and other aspects of cognition.

Living with a brain injury or mental health condition can make it hard to complete everyday tasks. People may struggle with seemingly simple tasks, such as getting dressed, preparing meals, or doing other chores. These challenges can make everyday life feel frustrating and prevent people from living fulfilling, independent lives.

Cognitive remediation therapy is a valuable tool that can help people regain and maintain functioning. This specialized therapy uses specific exercises and techniques to help improve cognition and manage other symptoms related to a brain injury, stroke, or other mental health condition.

This article will detail some of the techniques and exercises utilized in cognitive remediation therapy sessions. Reach out to the team at The Hartman Center now to learn more about cognitive remediation therapy or to schedule an intake assessment.

Cognitive Remediation Therapy: Understanding the Basics

Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) is a specific type of therapy designed to help improve cognitive function in people with traumatic brain injury (TBI), ADHD, certain mental health conditions, and after a stroke. Cognitive remediation therapy can be used in an in-person setting, or treatment sessions may be offered in a convenient online format.

Cognitive remediation therapy is not a one-size-fits-all process. People who participate in CRT sessions follow a specialized treatment plan that can help them meet their unique goals. Before beginning a CRT program, people will undergo an assessment to determine which therapies would be most beneficial to them.

During CRT sessions, people perform exercises that can improve a range of cognitive abilities. At the Hartman Center, we offer convenient, online cognitive remediation therapy sessions.

The exercises implemented during CRT sessions target specific areas of cognition, including:

  • Memory
  • Problem-solving
  • Executive Functioning
  • Attention

Cognitive remediation therapy exercises can also give people new tools to manage cognitive symptoms that occur after a stroke, TBI, or as a result of a mental health condition. For example, people with memory impairments may learn to use a notebook to record important information so that they can refer to it as needed.

The exercises and tools used during CRT sessions can help people improve areas of cognition that directly impact their functioning and quality of life. People who participate in cognitive remediation therapy often have noticeable improvement in their ability to function and overall well-being.

What Exercises Are Involved in CRT Sessions?

Cognitive remediation therapy can help restore and maintain cognitive and emotional functioning in people in recovery from a brain injury or other mental health condition. This type of therapy focuses on many areas of cognition and functioning that can have a significant impact on people’s quality of life.

Here are some areas CRT aims to improve and some exercises involved in online therapy sessions.


Attention training is a core aspect of CRT sessions. People work through exercises designed to improve attention. Attention training exercises may include:

  • Following a moving object with your eyes
  • Completing a task while blocking out distractions
  • Identifying a specific stimulus in a larger group of stimuli

These exercises help increase the ability to maintain attention and focus on a task, even when other external stimuli are present.

Working memory

People with TBI, stroke, or other conditions causing cognitive deficits may have difficulties holding information in their minds or using it to perform tasks. Some CRT exercises that can improve working memory include:

  • Following a set of instructions to complete a task
  • Hearing and remembering a list of numbers
  • Completing tasks involving matching

These tasks can help to improve working memory, which may result in improved functioning and more confidence.

Executive functioning

Executive functioning impairments can keep people from effectively planning or organizing. Cognitive remediation therapy sessions often focus on improving executive functioning through exercises like:

  • Identifying the steps of a task
  • Setting goals
  • Practicing time-management

When executive functioning is improved, people are better able to accomplish tasks and work toward larger goals.


The problem-solving challenges people with TBI, long COVID-19, stroke, and other mental health conditions face can make it difficult to complete tasks, navigate the environment, or complete novel tasks. Some of the tasks used in CRT sessions to boost problem-solving skills include:

  • Determining how to navigate from one place to another
  • Working out how to put together a puzzle
  • Determining the shortest route in a maze

Improved problem-solving can help people feel more confident when approaching a new task or adapting to changes in routines and processes.


Language deficits can be common after stroke or TBI and can have a dramatic impact on a person’s quality of life. During CRT sessions, people work on exercises to improve their ability to use and understand language, including:

  • Grammar drills
  • Sentence completion games

Improvements in language skills allow people to be more independent, express their needs and thoughts, and communicate more effectively in all areas.

This list is not exhaustive. There are many different areas of focus during cognitive remediation to help people improve functioning and overall well-being. Reach out to the specialists at The Hartman Center for more information about how cognitive remediation therapy works and how it can help you or someone you love.

Learn More About Cognitive Remediation Therapy

If you or someone you love is living with the effects of a brain injury, stroke, long COVID-19, or other mental health conditions, cognitive remediation therapy can help you restore functioning and well-being. Contact the specialists at The Hartman Center to learn about how CRT can help you live a more independent and fulfilling life.