Cognitive Remediation

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Drug and alcohol use impairs brain function during acute intoxication and can have long-term consequences that persist long after substance use is discontinued. Even the most subtle changes in cognition can affect school or work performance and have a direct impact on relationships. One or more areas of brain function can be affected, including memory, attention, problem-solving, organization and emotional regulation.

Mental illness can also impact cognitive function. Persons with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar and other mental disorders sometimes experience cognitive dysfunction. In addition, long-term use of certain psychotropic medications can further alter cognitive processes.

Fortunately, the human brain has the remarkable capacity to heal itself and develop new circuits through a process called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis occurs naturally and spontaneously throughout the lifespan, but can be aided with cognitive remediation therapy which includes good nutrition, sleep, exercise, neurofeedback and cognitive training.


The brain requires adequate nutrition to function properly and develop new brain cells. In fact, mental function can be dramatically improved by manipulating dietary intake. Patients learn about what vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and micronutrients they must consume in educational classes and consultation with a dietician.


The brain repairs itself during sleep, so getting adequate amounts of high quality sleep is an important part of recovery. Drugs and alcohol disrupt normal sleep cycles and it sometimes takes several weeks before sleep becomes normal again. Medications that induce sleep are sometimes used to regulate the circadian rhythm, but should not be taken long-term.


Daily exercise is essential for physical and mental health and it also stimulates neurogenesis. Aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging, cycling, dancing and swimming, improves cognitive function and memory. In addition, patients feel less anxious and sleep better when their exercise every day. Patients can choose from a wide variety of exercise opportunities during treatment.


Neurofeedback one of several forms of biofeedback programs that interfaces brain wave recording with visual and auditory stimuli. In other words, the brain responds to stimuli automatically without having to consciously think about what it is hearing and seeing. A special computer program analyzes the brain waves and adjusts or “feeds back” the stimuli accordingly. This feedback process trains the brain to utilize more positive and rewarding thought patterns. Neurofeedback stimulates neurogenesis, so it is particularly helpful with behavioral modification and impulse control.

Cognitive Training

Cognitive training generally involves a series of cognitive rehabilitation exercises or brain games scientifically developed to improve brain function. Initial assessments test attention, processing speed, memory, multi-tasking skills and identify areas that most need strengthening. Computer-based programs, such as Neurobic, customize each patient’s remediation program according to her individual needs.

The brain is like a muscle in the sense that it needs regular exercise to stay fit. Cognitive rehabilitation exercises at Sovereign Health help patients regain deficit caused by addiction, mental illness or head trauma. People with improved cognition perform better at work, school and daily life, making cognitive rehabilitation programs an essential part of the recovery process.

Sovereign Health of Arizona

Sovereign Health of Arizona provides treatment for women who have survived trauma and abuse, and for those with drug and alcohol use disorders and co-occurring conditions.  We specialize in restoring physical and mental health, resolving underlying disorders and initiating healthy lifestyle habits that support lasting recovery. Sovereign Health’s Chandler center accepts most major health insurance plans, and financing options are available through MyTreatmentLender.

To learn more about our unparalleled cognitive remediation therapy program or any of our specialized programs for women, please call our 24/7 helpline to speak with a member of our admissions team.

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