A therapist shares her patient’s feedback on receiving computerised Cognitive Remediation.
“I tried to use a PC many times, with no good results. When my doctor proposed a new computer-based therapy, I was excited and a bit scared at the same time. The doctor explained that I would be in a rehabilitation program using exercises like a video game. He also told me that the exercises were scheduled to train the cognitive areas that were difficult for me. Indeed, after the onset of the illness, I had problems reading a book or even a newspaper; sometimes, I even lost my attention during a movie.
I started the exercises in the morning in the computer room of the rehabilitation centre with my psychologist. She explained the exercises, and I did some tests to understand how to use the mouse and PC. I was very nervous and anxious, my hands were sweating, and sometimes I did not understand what to do. I think I disconnect when I have anxiety and do not focus on the monitor. The psychologist encouraged me to go on and helped me when I needed help.
Day after day, I felt better because I was passionate about the tasks, but I had performance anxiety because I felt that some were too complex. After some time, I was more comfortable with the exercises.
Nowadays, I think that CRT is enjoyable. It is like reading a newspaper article to stimulate the brain and support you in dealing with experiences better. It is like physical exercises in the gym that help you run after the bus... Then you feel much better. In my daily routine, I see an improvement in my mental performance, even though I’m often afraid it is not good enough. However, I notice that I feel more awake when I do things and more active overall.
When I go to the cinema, I get better and better. I can even watch a three-hour movie! I have not started reading books yet. Before the illness I read many of them but CRT helps me believe I will start again soon.”