Cognitive Training Guidelines

Joseph A. Sandford, Ph.D., President, BrainTrain, Inc.

I am often asked how best to apply the challenging brain training exercises provided by the Captain’s Log MindPower Builder to help individuals become successful in their lives. A primary purpose of including brain training is to help activate an individual’s general information processing system in order to, in turn, enhance their ability to actively think and engage in the challenges of their life. One of the main issues facing clinicians and educators is the length of time required for the training to be beneficial and to have a synergistic effect with other efforts that they are making to improve functioning.

The amount of training necessary for cognitive skills to potentially reach a higher level of functioning and demonstrate lasting benefit varies for different individuals; we recommend a minimum of two hours of cognitive training per week (e.g., one half hour per day, four days per week). Based on this recommendation, depending on the individual’s degree of impairment and overall training goals, a comprehensive plan would typically include a minimum of 20 to 40 hours of cognitive training. This training would be supervised and/or reviewed by the “brain coach.” The individual can work both in the professional’s office and at home and, thus, the training would be expected to last about three to six months.

While cognitive training by itself is typically provided as an educational service, it may be possible for a health care provider to incorporate the use of challenging brain training exercises as a component of the overall intervention and have the services covered by the client’s insurance company. The Captain’s Log MindPower Builder can provide a means to help enhance emotional self-control and problem solving abilities, improve frustration tolerance, develop coping skills, and contribute to self-esteem. Insurance coverage and requirements for including cognitive training as an aspect of the overall plan will vary for each individual’s insurance plan.

The latest research documenting the clinical efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation is available in the research section of this website.