FAQ

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What exactly do you do?

In the most general sense, I am an adolescent life coach and trainer. First, let’s define coaching:

Coaching is a vehicle for helping people to achieve a higher level of well-being and performance in life and work, particularly when change is hard. Coaching is a growth-promoting relationship that elicits autonomous motivation, increases the capacity to change, and facilitates a change process through visioning, goal setting, and accountability, which at its best leads to sustainable change for the good (Moore, Jackson, & Tschannen-Moran, 2016).

Second, let’s define “trainer.” According to the English Cambridge Dictionary, a trainer:

a person who teaches skills to people or animals to prepare them for a job, activity, or sport

As an adolescent life coach/trainer, I apply a brain-centric point-of-view to the pursuit of “wellbeing and performance in life, [school], and work, particularly when change is hard.” However, I am a particular type of adolescent life coach/trainer. In particular, I am a specialist - a specialist in Executive Functions and Self-Regulation. I offer a uniquely integrated, empirically supported program that targets learners of all ages who are interested in improving their executive function, regulating their emotions, increasing their working memory capacity, their understanding of their brain, and their individual learning style.

Let’s stop for a moment and reflect. The brain is amazing! The brain helps define who we are and sets us apart from other living creatures. Brain function is associated with all of life’s achievements. Yet, we know so little about it, nevermind how to harness the amazing power that it possesses. Furthermore, there are a myriad of factors associated with daily living that interfere with its function. How familiar are you with that body of knowledge? If you are like me and believe that knowledge is power, learning about one’s brain is critical for behavioral change.

what is unique about ef trainer?

On one hand, nothing. On the other hand, everything. EF Trainer is a unique, integrated, approach to EF coaching for students 10 years of age and older. The integration of components is theoretically based. It is an original integration of components. This is the hand on which the uniqueness of EF Trainer can be found. In no other systems will you find an intelligent, theoretically driven integration of brain training, physical training, and emotional regulation skills. However, each component is an empirically validated approach to EF training/coaching. There are a handful to hundreds of studies supporting the individual components of EF Trainer (depending on the component). This is the hand that holds EF Trainer’s similarity with other approaches.

Does ef trainer offer tutoring? What is the difference?

No. EF Trainer is all about helping students of all ages to become lifelong learners in all of life’s domains. EF Trainer is the proverbial gift that “keeps on giving.” Clients will learn the mindsets and the skill sets for optimal achievement that will serve them for the balance of their lives. The role of “student” will assume appetitive functions, thus creating an ascending loop of wellness and achievement.

Tutors usually target the survival and development in a particular course/subject. Coaching targets transformation of the student. Given that tutors are usually sought out due to academic struggles that are often associated with inadequate executive function and/or working memory, there is a big pull for the tutor to take over the frontal lobes of the student. While there may be short-term benefits to this approach (the student successfully passes an exam) In essence, many tutors represent the executive functions that the client is lacking. This only benefits the student in the short run - she passes the exam. However, her executive functions were not exercised due to the presence of a tutor. This scenario is repeated time and time again. However, this approach does not result in transformation of the student. Down the road, without support, she is likely to fall.

Unlike tutoring, EF Trainer’s focus is on the basic building blocks of executive functions that are slow to mature. With proper training and coaching, clients will work on the development of their executive functions to create a solid and secure system for goal directed behavior.

That being said, the EF Trainer program can be easily adapted to assist students in reading comprehension and writing. Of course, if there are any students struggling with a psychology course, help can be found at EF Trainer.

What are executive functions?

I define executive function as “the ability to get things done - and not punch someone in the nose while doing it.” Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you get things done. It’s located in the frontal lobe of the brain, and can help you manage time, pay attention, multitask, and more. It’s also involved in a teen’s mental health, which we know is critically important to understand.

https://www.parenttoolkit.com/topics/health-and-wellness

Recent neuroscientific research on children and adults implicate failed executive functions, or their lack of engagement, not only in school-related performance issues, but in dysregulated emotional states experienced by those without executive function deficits. Such states are characterized by limited capacity for thought and reflection and automatic, reflexive reactions (Ford, 2010), similar to children with executive function deficits.
 https://psychcentral.com/lib/executive-function-problem-or-just-a-lazy-kid-part-1/

In short, EFs are the elementary cognitive abilities needed for goal directed behavior. These general definitions aside, there is not any widely accepted specific definition. However, evidence points to, at a minimum, four (4 from EF Trainer’s point of view) cognitive abilities - updating working memory, response inhibition, switching set, and planning.

what is the cost?

Assuming it is a good match, EF Trainer is an incredible value with two packages available. Dr. Cohen charges $50/hr per home visit for the technology package. His fee includes Neurotracker cognitive training with remote monitoring. It is rare to find a professional with Dr. Cohen’s education and experience, offering services at this price point. It is important to Dr. Cohen that his services be affordable by the vast majority of families. Therefore, the cost of the program with Neurotracker is $200/month assuming weekly meetings.

Although families often choose the latest in technology (e.g. Neurotracker), Dr. Cohen recommends instead a formal practice of mindfulness meditation. Should a student be inclined and disciplined to develop a formal practice of mindfulness meditation instead of training with Neurotracker, Dr. Cohen’s fee drops to $25/hour or $100/months.

The first month of the program requires an increase in program intensity in order to accomodate a successful launch and workable training plan. For the first month only, it is necessary that Dr. Cohen meet individually on 6 separate occasions with the client at the client’s home for (for the price of 4 sessions). However, there will be a one-time charge of $75 to cover materials. Therefore, upon signing up for the program, all clients receive two additional visits during the month for free.

In summary, the total cost of the technology package for the first month including 6 visits and Neurotracker is $275. Similarly, the cost of the low tech package is $175 for the first month. The goal of the first 6 visits (the 1st month’s minimum level of intensity) is to introduce the program, begin training, and develop the Learner’s Baseline Performance Profile to measure future gains and to make adjustments to the learning plan to maximize achievement.

As previously mentioned, Dr. Cohen’s program is empirical in nature. Essentially, this means that the experimental method is utilized. This implies measurement of the variables being manipulated and their effect. Therefore, EF Trainer and client spend a considerable portion of the first month collecting measurements of current functions associated with optimal performance in various life domains. It is only by measuring important variables that, down the road, changes in the Learner’s Profile will allow us to know that the training plan was indeed successful.

It should be noted that The Learner’s Profile is for self educational purposes only. Its intended use is limited to the personalized training of each individual client’s executive functions, working memory, and the behaviors associated with these functions. It is only by measuring variables of interest can we know if our interventions are effective. There should never be any question whether the program is working. We measure, adjust, and adapt. In addition, the Learner’s Profile also functions as a screen for psychopathology and/or learning disabilities. Should such be present but not treated, a referral will be made to a licensed psychologist for a thorough assessment. Regardless, the overriding mindset is that with work, change is possible.

Are there any additional cost

Possibly but not definitely and not necessarily. You may eventually want to purchase a kettlebell (approximately $20) for your student if she/he take to that form of physical activity.

what does the EF Trainer PROCESS look like?

How to Modify Brain Function

  1. Develop Learner’s Profile (refer if necessary)

  2. Assess motivation

  3. Identify your goal/values

  4. Develop training plan creating satisfying challenge.

  5. Psycho-education (brain; physical activity; goal-directed, valued living, emotional regulation)

  6. Technology

    Neuo-Lurian ACT Matrix

    Kettlebells

    HRV Biofeedback

    Neurotracker with remote monitoring

7. Cognitive and physical training

8. Track Important Metrics

9, Accountability to self

10. Reinforcement (CM)

11. Make It Enjoyable

are there any Other considerations?

Dr. Cohen recommends that all his clients be formally evaluated by a licensed professional. That aside, Dr. Cohen’s lifetime achievements as a highly trained healthcare professional are a positive factor. Of that, there is no doubt. It is not unusual for clients and families to use Dr. Cohen as an educational resources on all matter pertaining to mental health.

In addition, the EF Trainer methodology is not limited to one aspect of a complex system. EF Trainer is designed to target the system as a whole. Not only is there training for EF and WM, there is training for the facilitators and inhibitors, of these important factors. EF Trainer literally offers a set of easily transportable tools that will grow and assist the client now and into the future.

There is more. The first month of services comes with an additional 2 visits for the first month. There are a couple of reasons that this is a particularly welcome offer. First, with the first month’s payment, you will receive a total of 6 visits for the cost of four. Not only is it a bit of a savings, it will allow me to promptly complete the Learner’s Profile as well as increase the intensity of contact early on in the process when it is most needed.

Last, learning is how I exercise my aging brain, particularly in retirement. I do not anticipate that I will every stop learning. A significant driving force behind EF Trainer is my desire to help a young person in preparation for making his/her mark on the world. This desire is of sufficient weight for me to take this job very seriously (with a splash of fun).

Does dr. cohen have any free advice

Yes, if fact he does. Regardless of whether you use the services of EF Trainer, if your child is not thriving, have him or her assessed by a Licensed Psychologist. If your child is underperforming academically, have him or her assessed by a neuropsychologist. A good assessment is worth, what can be, particularly if it involves neuropsychological testing, the expense (up to several thousand dollars). It can help set your child on a life changing course for the balance of his/her life. It will allow your child to face life challenges with all of his/her resources. Given the cost of a quality education over a lifetime, today’s investment in your child will pay dividends long into the future thus allowing you to, ultimately, enhance the value of future education savings.