Welcome! CogSMART stands for Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy, a form of cognitive training to help people improve their skills in prospective memory (remembering to do things), attention, learning/memory, and executive functioning (problem-solving, planning, organization, and cognitive flexibility). Our hope is that improving these abilities will help people with cognitive symptoms or impairments perform better in their everyday activities and reach their goals pertaining to school, work, social functioning, and independent living. We ask clients to keep these goals in mind as they learn and apply their new skills, so they remain motivated to practice their skills and make progress toward their goals.
The CogSMART approach to cognitive training has been successful for people with psychiatric symptoms, brain injuries, and other brain-related conditions resulting in cognitive challenges. CogSMART uses compensatory cognitive training, rather than extensive drills and practice. In other words, we teach people how to improve their cognitive skills by using strategies, have them practice their strategy use in the real world, and then troubleshoot any difficulties that come up. Our goal is to help make these strategies become habits, so they can be used automatically when they are needed in the real world.
For the past decade, the CogSMART intervention has been used by therapists with individual clients and groups or classes. We are now developing a web-based and mobile CogSMART app that can be used with or without the guidance of a clinician. Clinicians are welcome to sign up for updates regarding the app and the opportunity to help clients beta-test the new app.
Dr. Twamley earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University and completed her clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). She joined the faculty of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry in 2003, where she does research, teaching, and clinical work. She is also Chief of the Neuropsychology Unit of the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH) at the VASDHS.
Dr. Twamley's research focuses on bridging neuropsychology and interventions for individuals with cognitive impairments. Pursuing a longstanding interest in the links between cognition and everyday functioning, she has developed compensatory cognitive training interventions for people with psychiatric illness, traumatic brain injury, and mild cognitive impairment, and these manuals have been adapted for other populations (e.g., autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, and hoarding). Current intervention studies focus on compensatory cognitive training and supported employment for individuals with cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Dr. Twamley’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the VA, the Department of Defense, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
Dr. Twamley is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, and supported employment. She is particularly interested in community- based interventions that help people reach their highest potential social and occupational functioning, and directs the UCSD Supported Employment Program, which has helped hundreds of people with psychiatric illness return to the workforce. She supervises psychology interns, doctoral students, and undergraduate students at UCSD and VASDHS. She also conducts a neuropsychological assessment clinic at the St. Vincent De Paul Medical Clinic.
Elizabeth W. Twamley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego
140 Arbor Drive (0851)
San Diego, CA 92103