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An Overview of Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy

Heal your brain after any neurological injury—call our neurology team today to learn more!

An astonishing ten million people sustain a traumatic brain injury every year worldwide, according to the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. This serious head injury impacts your ability to recall memories, problem-solve, or engage in meaningful interpersonal communication. However, many people are finding that cognitive rehabilitation therapy helps, with these techniques reinstating or strengthening the functions a person needs for everyday life.

Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C. specializes in TBI research and recovery through cognitive rehab therapy in NYC. Below, learn more about this treatment plan’s neurological benefits after a traumatic brain injury.

Typical Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms and Recovery Statistics

Before we dive into the topic of cognitive rehabilitation therapy, let’s go over the severity of traumatic brain injuries. Any brain-related injuries can be difficult to treat if they don’t immediately present with symptoms. Still, around 15-30% of people will suffer neurocognitive changes permanently, so it’s important to recognize the common symptoms of TBIs, such as:

  • Mental confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Children and adults can suffer from TBIs due to falls, sports injuries, automobile collisions, and other types of blunt-force trauma. However, men and adults over the age of 65 have a greater risk of experiencing severe TBIs. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke finds that adults aged 65 and older have a greater risk of hospitalization and death due to a TBI, with men three times more likely to die from a TBI compared to women.

What Is Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy?

Someone who endures a traumatic brain injury may need to begin a cognitive rehabilitation program to reduce the potential mental impairments, such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Word retrieval delays
  • Problems with executive functioning (organization and problem-solving)

Neurologists and speech language pathologists typically conduct this form of therapy, focusing on helping you recover your cognitive abilities after a TBI. Physical therapists and occupational therapists focus on other aspects of TBI recovery, such as mobility and motor function. However, it’s also important not to confuse cognitive rehab therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on how your thoughts and actions influence your mood. In that way, it doesn’t directly treat a TBI. However, it has a long-term success rate of 75% for treating depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues, according to the American Psychological Association.

What Does a Cognitive Rehabilitation Program Involve?

An Overview Of Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy For Traumatic Brain Injury

The primary goal of your cognitive rehabilitation therapy will be to improve your common cognitive functions, such as:

  • Recalling memories
  • Finding the right words for certain scenarios or descriptions
  • Organizing thoughts
  • Solving problems

Working on all of these issues will help TBI patients reclaim their independence. It also helps them relearn how to effectively communicate with others during their recovery period. 

Memory Exercises

Following a traumatic brain injury, many patients lose their long-term recall abilities and short-term memories. A cognitive rehab program focuses on improving a person’s ability to process, store, and remember information via a series of memory exercises. For example, they may hear the therapist say a few words and have to correctly repeat those words by the end of the day’s session. 

Other types of exercises include reading a list and answering questions about it after a few minutes. Therapists also work on your long-term memory by bringing up that same piece of information in future sessions to track your progress. 

Working on memory exercises can help TBI survivors return to their normal lives. Plus, with an improved memory, patients can do all of the following without issue:

  • Remember a short grocery list
  • Dial a phone number after looking it up
  • Remember key details in conversations

Word Retrieval

TBI survivors may be able to communicate about an animal that barks and wags its tail. However, they aren’t often able to use the word “dog” in this scenario. 

Cognitive rehabilitation therapy focuses on improving these word-finding skills so you can easily communicate. For instance, the therapist may have you create lists of objects in a certain category, such as animals. 


Reasoning and problem-solving skills can suffer after a TBI. Cognitive therapists use logic puzzles to help, encouraging you to explore different ways to finish the puzzle and expand your thinking. 

Attention Building

TBI patients may struggle with inattentiveness. Cognitive rehabilitation programs build skills in the following areas:

  • Selective attention: Focus on one thing and ignore outside distractions like noise. 
  • Divided attention: Do two things at once and give equal attention to both tasks.
  • Sustained attention: Focus on one task for a long period of time, like a long movie.

Stop the Search for Cognitive Rehab Therapy Near Me and Call Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C.

Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can be a long and tumultuous journey but cognitive rehabilitation therapy can help. Do you need “cognitive rehab therapy near me” in New York? Reach out to Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C. for some of the most trusted neurologists in the area. 

Call (347) 602-9530 or schedule an appointment online. Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection), and same-day appointments may be available.

If you exhibit symptoms of a brain injury after a car accident, cognitive rehabilitation therapy could reduce the potential neurological impairments and help you recover faster.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cognitive Rehab Therapy

If you’re curious about TBI treatment plans, check out the common questions below. 

Who Benefits From Cognitive Rehab Therapy?

Cognitive rehabilitation therapy benefits patients who suffer from a traumatic injury, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. It reduces the cognitive impairments related to these conditions.

What Is the Difference Between Cognitive Rehabilitation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

The difference between cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive behavioral therapy surrounds the focus. Cognitive rehabilitation improves impaired memory and attention due to a medical condition. Behavioral therapy is psychotherapy, addressing negative thought patterns, mental health, and more.

How Long Does Cognitive Rehab Therapy Take?

Cognitive rehabilitation therapy for traumatic brain injury can take several weeks or many months, depending on the severity of the brain injury.

About The Author

Picture of Ashwin Malhotra, M.D.

Ashwin Malhotra, M.D.

Ashwin Malhotra, M.D. is a highly respected neurologist based in New York City. With over 20 years of experience in the field of neurology, he has earned a reputation as a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Malhotra is also a dedicated educator and researcher. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and has presented his research at national and international conferences.