Working Memory Cue and Review

The decrease in available working memory, or in the ability to hold something in one's mind and manipulate the information, leads to a diminished capacity to conduct and grasp CT tasks. The therapist working with an older adult often relies more heavily on written materials, diagrams, and concrete examples in teaching CT basic skills. In addition, the decrease in working memory may require patience on the part of therapist, because the older adult may require more repetition and review of important concepts. Hegel et al. (2005) use a strategy called "cue and review" to allow for better encoding of new information. In this strategy, a therapist starts by explaining the new skill, such as a thought record, then using a simple, less emotionally laden example to show the patient how to use the thought record. Once the therapist sees that the patient understands the process, he/she has the patient complete the thought record in the session using another simple example. By presenting the new information in this way, the patient has additional exposures and more time to incorporate the information. Then, the therapist can apply the same format as that used in the insession model to out-of-session homework to be completed, utilizing it to encourage the appropriate behaviors.

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