Synapse Counseling is proud to be a qualified practice offering Cogmed Working Memory Training (TM) for children, adolescents and adults. Cogmed working memory training is an evidence-based, computerized training program done in the convenience of your home or office designed by leading neuroscientists to improve attention and concentration by effectively increasing working memory capacity. This program is designed to help children, adolescents and adults sustainably improve attention and impulse control by training their working memory.
Why is working memory important?
Working memory is the ability to briefly remember and manipulate information to perform necessary tasks such as language comprehension, learning, and reasoning. Working memory is tied to your ability to concentrate; if you are distracted you are not able to hold or manipulate information to perform daily living tasks. Constraints in working memory can cause difficulties in attention, academic, social, and emotional functioning. You use your working memory in tasks such as:
- Remembering instructions about what to do next
- Keeping all the parts of a number in your memory while you calculate it
- Reading and remembering what you read
- Sequencing a task in a certain order
- Reading comprehension and mathematics difficulties
- Focusing on the task at hand without being distracted by irrelevant stimuli
- Poor judgment in social situations
- Planning, organizing and structuring your daily life
Conditions Linked to Working Memory Deficit:
- Learning Difficulties
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Asperger’s Disorder and High Functioning Autism
- Normal Decline due to Ageing
Cogmed training grew from the concept of neuroplasticity– the idea that your brain can reorganize itself and change. In some ways, cognitive training is similar to physical therapy. Only through physical exercise can you fully heal from an injury or push the boundaries of prior abilities. A similar principle applies in Cogmed training as the brain responds to the training. Evidence-based research has shown improvements in:
- working memory- remembering directions, routines, and instructions
- executive functioning
- attention and concentration
- impulse control
- reading comprehension
- mathematical problem solving
- attentional stamina
- frustration tolerance
Rigorous clinical studies have shown that 80% of participants significantly improve their ability to concentrate and use complex problem solving skills after training.
Improvement ranges from moderately good to excellent, in terms of “real world” functioning. In some cases, results are apparent as early as the third or fourth week of training. In other cases, however, results emerge slowly and begin to become apparent only after training is completed.
How does Cogmed Working Memory Training (TM) work?
Cogmed Working Memory Training is an intensive software program that is done in your home. The program involves completing 25 training sessions over the course of five weeks. Each training session involves 45 to 60 minutes of active training time during which the user completes different exercises that are designed to improve working memory.
In order to achieve the desired training effect, it is crucial that each training session is completed with optimum effort. The exercises adapt to each individual and are designed to become more challenging and rewarding over time. It is very common that the individual who is training becomes frustrated. Therefore, the program is designed to maintain optimum effort by the use of a reward system and with frequent contact by a Cogmed Coach who will provide feedback and motivate the user.
The complete program includes:
- Initial interview – The Cogmed Qualified Practice schedules a talk with the person interested in going through the program (or the parent if it is regarding a child). The likelihood of him/her benefiting from the training is evaluated.
- Start-up session – The Cogmed Coach plans and structures the training together with the user/family.
- Five weeks of training with weekly coach calls – The user is training at home and talks with the Cogmed Coach on a weekly basis to get advice on how to get the most out of the training, hear feedback, and increase motivation.
- Access to the Cogmed Training Web – Both the user and the Cogmed Coach review and monitor the results of each day’s training, using our online system.
- Wrap-up session – About one month after the training is completed, the Cogmed Coach summarizes the training together with the user and provides feedback data from rating scales and the Cogmed Training Web.
- Six month follow-up interview – The Cogmed Coach documents training effects again, with more time elapsed and the effects fully emerged.
- Cogmed Extension Training (12 months) – When the intensive five week training is completed and the training has been wrapped-up, the user can get access to 100 sessions of training with the software, to use over a 12 month period without a coach. Cogmed Extension Training is optional.
During the five weeks of training, the user must complete 25 training sessions of 30-45 minutes each. It is not recommended to train more than one session per day. The user is supported by a Cogmed Coach who leads the training, tracks results and gives support and motivation. The Cogmed Training Web gives users online access to their own training results and progress status.
Cogmed Working Memory Training (TM) Programs
Younger children use their working memory for a number of things, such as focusing on and following instructions, and remaining seated to complete independent activities. The training sessions are shorter; about 15 min to be completed for five days over the course of five weeks. Children are then given a ‘reward’ activity to place fish on an aquarium at the end of each training session.
Working memory is crucial for children and adolescents in school and socially. Reading, solving math problems, planning and following a conversation all rely on working memory. Training sessions are about 30-45 minutes. It includes a “reward” video game (Robonemo) to be played at the end of each training session. This version can also be used for young adults and college students.
Working memory in adult and professional life is critical for challenges such as planning, focusing, resisting distraction and meeting deadlines. Similar format that Cogmed RM without the video game option.
What is the cost for the program?
The fee for the initial interview is $250.00 payable at the time of service (usually between 90 mins and 2 hrs). The total cost of the program for RM, QM and JM is $1600.00 and includes: start-up session, five weekly telephone-based coaching sessions, daily analysis of training data, an in-person wrap up session, with a 6 month follow up, and the optional extension training (good for 1 year). This is due at your start-up session.
If you compare this fee to programs that are similar in intent you will see the fees are generally less because the duration of treatment is shorter and more intensive. Insurance reimbursement (privately) may be available for your initial interview, but it’s not likely to reimburse you for the rest of the program. Some health spending accounts (HSAs) may consider this a reimbursable expense, check your benefits.
An important thing to consider is that results are long-lasting; research suggests that over 80% of those who complete the program either maintain their gains or actually continue to improve over time at one-year follow-up. Newer research has been able to demonstrate this change in biochemistry and brain plasticity in actual imaging studies of the brain.
I strongly encourage you to review the research, the Cogmed story, and user testimonials at www.cogmed.com
You may like to read about how Cogmed has helped others by reading about experiences of others: www.cogmed.com/user-stories
Here is a video testimonial:
If you have any questions or are ready to schedule your initial interview contact us.