Goal Management Training (GMT) is a cognitive rehabilitation program developed to help people with executive functions. Executive functions are a set of skills that allows people to manage daily life. Examples of skills include working memory, impulse control, flexible thinking and planning and prioritizing.
GMT benefits people with a variety of conditions associated with executive function impairments. These conditions include stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, age-related cognitive decline, and many others. People with executive function challenges struggle with planning, problem-solving and managing daily activities. For example, they may have issues organizing or keeping track of their items, regulating emotions, managing time, and trouble recalling or following multistep instructions.
The original nine-session GMT program can be administered individually or in groups. A modified six-session GMT program is also available. GMT is based on the theory of sustained attention (autopilot mode), which states that a malfunctioning sustained attention system can negatively impact a person's ability to achieve their goals. Being unable to track and complete goals is a common complaint for people with cognitive impairments.
The primary objective of GMT is typically a multistep process:
Train individuals to periodically "STOP" what they are doing and bring their mind to the present moment.
Attend to their goals and break down those goals into smaller steps.
Monitor their progress and check for outcomes.
The overall purpose of "STOP" is to turn off the autopilot mode and bring attention back to achieving a goal. Training and regular practice of these steps can improve a person's ability to achieve their goals and withstand interference from distractions.
Reference: Stamenova, V., & Levine, B. (2018). Effectiveness of goal management training® in improving executive functions: A meta-analysis. Neuropsychological rehabilitation.