Treating mental health and cognitive difficulties: a group skills-based intervention

Many mental disorders are associated with disrupted cognitive function including difficulties in attention, concentration and memory. These issues can impact the ability to live independently, engage in day-to-day tasks and to manage social interactions.

However, Felisa Golingi, a Clinical Neuropsychologist at Pine Rivers Private Hospital, says an array of treatment options are available.

Firstly, Dr Golingi says combining standard treatments targeting mental health issues, for example psychopharmacological treatments, with cognitive behavioural interventions for addressing cognitive difficulties is an important avenue for clinical treatment.

“Growing empirical evidence demonstrates group skills-based psychosocial interventions are valuable components of treatment which alleviate cognitive difficulties and the associated psychosocial impacts,” Dr Golingi said.

“A review of psychosocial interventions have identified common elements across treatment packages with positive outcomes.”

Dr Golingi said these treatments include psychoeducation & training in concrete skills – such as organisation and planning strategies, time management and goal setting.

“An emphasis on implementing these strategies in one’s own daily life, and benefits of mindfulness and emotion regulation skills training can address emotional and behavioural factors, influencing cognitive functions.

These key components of this type of therapy have been incorporated into the Optimising your Potential Program which is available at Pine Rivers Private Hospital and focuses on developing:

  • Concrete skills around organisation, planning, goal setting, time management, task management, and memory strategies
  • Psychological tools around managing unhelpful thoughts and regulating emotion
  • How to implement this learning in interpersonal contexts and vocational contexts

For more information please contact our Allied Health Manager Julie Huntington at Pine Rivers Private Hospital.


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