Cognition and First Episode

CAFE for Young Adults with Psychosis and Cognition Challenges

We’re not a “one size fits all” program. Each adult client is assigned to one of four specialized recovery communities and a “core group” within that community. Each core group is a primary support system of 10 to 15 clients with similar diagnoses and is led by a specialized counselor. Each client also receives individualized, one-on-one support from a primary counselor and psychiatrist who focus specifically on clients in that recovery community. Clients may transition from one recovery community to another based on goals, clinical presentation, and achievement. Cognition and first episode, or CAFE, is one of our recovery communities.

How CAFE Helps Address First Episode Psychosis

The CAFE recovery community specializes in treatment of young adults ages 18 to 25, who have experienced a psychotic episode, either related to a thought disorder, such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, or a mood disorder such a bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. Having an episode of psychosis can be a confusing and frightening experience. The goal of CAFE is to help clients make sense of their symptoms, understand their diagnosis and medications, implement effective coping strategies,  develop a recovery plan.

Components of CAFE

Individual and group work in CAFE focuses on:

  • Building insight and defining what psychosis is and what psychosis is not
  • Developing effective strategies like reality testing to manage symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, mania, depression, and anxiety
  • Identifying triggers and vulnerability that contribute to the development of symptoms
  • Adopting healthy living habits including healthy eating, exercise, and sleep hygiene
  • Improving medication adherence and coping with side effects
  • Utilizing family and social support and improving communication
  • Confronting the stigma of psychosis in society/school/work
  • Increasing fun or pleasurable activities and community engagement

Cognitive Therapy

CAFE clients also participate in Cognitive Therapy (CT). CT is a computer-based therapeutic training program designed to improve the cognitive abilities of individuals who experience cognitive deficits as a result of untreated psychosis, mania, and other symptoms of mental illness. The program engages individuals in a variety of computer-based exercises designed to improve memory, intelligence, brain speed, attention, navigation skills and people skills. The exercises change daily based on one’s progress and can be altered to meet the needs of each individual.