Executive Functioning

Executive function skills are a set of processes that have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. Executive function skills are the most advanced of cognitive functions and housed primarily in the frontal lobes of the brain.  If there are EF deficits or an EF disorder, often a client may also be experiencing motivation, depression, anxiety, or some other disabling force such as a learning problem or attention deficit. 

Executive Function allows for an individual to do the following functions:

    1. Inhibition - The ability to stop one's own behavior at the appropriate time, including stopping actions and thoughts. The flip side of inhibition is impulsivity.
    2. Shift - The ability to move freely from one situation to another and to think flexibly in order to respond appropriately to the situation. 
    3. Emotional Control and Self-Regulation - The ability to modulate emotional responses by bringing rational thought to bear on feelings.
    4. Initiation - The ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas, responses, or problem-solving strategies, and to take Responsibilities.
    5. Working memory - The capacity to hold information in mind for the purpose of completing a task. 
    6. Planning/Organization - The ability to manage current and future- oriented task demands. 
    7. Organization of Materials - The ability to impose order on work, play, and storage spaces.
    8. Self-Monitoring - The ability to monitor one's own performance and to measure it against some standard of what is needed or expected. 
    9. Communication - The ability to communicate needs and manage expectations in personal and professional communications.
    10. Accountability - The ability to take ownership over responsibilities. Taking risks and responsibilities.