CogTrain: compensatory cognitive training program


Compensatory cognitive training program

Click for more information or free download of the program

Cognitive remediation is a therapeutic method that seeks to improve people’s performance in different cognitive domains, such as, attention, memory and learning, executive functions, language, social cognition and meta-cognition. The final goal is that the recipient acquires efficient strategies for an adequate, general and lasting life functioning (Cognitive Remediation Experts Workshop, 2010). This treatment method is based on restauration (repeated stimulation), optimisation (the use of preserved cognitive systems) and compensation (learning of alternative strategies or external aids to replace the lost function) theoretical models (Tate, 1997).

Based on this last theoretical approach,  PhD. Elizabeth W. Twamley developed the Compensatory Cognitive training program (2006).  The research team directed by Dr. Natalia Ojeda, Neuropsychology of Severe Medical Disorders, has now translated and adapted this program, so Spanish speaking patients and therapists can benefit form it.


The program tries to approach and rehabilitate cognitive deficits by helping the person face the limitations they cause in alternative ways. Its use is specially intended to those cases where the recovery of deteriorated cognitive capacity seems unlikely to happen. The program specifically focuses on four cognitive domains: (1) attention and concentration, (2) learning and memory, (3) prospective memory (remembering to remember) and (4) problem resolution and cognitive flexibility. Domains which, according to the principal author, are basic and essential for a correct social and working functioning and a good quality of life.


The cognitive training is carried out through the learning of wide range of mental strategies and external aids. The main objective will be to get the person to assume these strategies as his or her own, and to include them in his/her daily habits. The acquisition of habits has been proved to be resistant to oblivion (Bayley, y cols., 2005; Keri, y cols. 2005), which would help increase the durability of learned material and maintain the benefits of the long-term. Table 1 shows a schema of the compensatory strategies taught during training in each module.


  • PhD. Elizabeth W. Twamley, University of California, San Diego
  • PhD. Eneritz Bengoetxea, Universidad de Deusto
  • Dr. Alejandra Mondragón, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía
  • PhD. Natalia Ojeda, Universidad de Deusto