About the Institute

A group of friends dancing during a sunset

The CFD Institute developed Cognitive Function Development Therapy (CFDT). We are committed to this promising therapeutic modality that provides tangible improvements in cognitive function and emotional regulation.

Our mission is to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to implement CFDT in their practice, offering this innovative, applied neurobehavioral intervention and effective care to their clients. Through our comprehensive training programs, ongoing education and support, and commitment to consultation, we aim to raise the CFDT practice standard and improve client outcomes.

How Our Training Program Works

The Cognitive Function Development Therapy (CFDT) certification program offered by the CFD Institute is a comprehensive training program that can provide individual therapists with the skills and knowledge needed to implement CFDT in their practice. Becoming a certified CFDT practitioner can help therapists offer evidence-based and effective care to their clients, leading to measurable improvements in cognitive functioning and emotional regulation.

The certification program consists of four levels: Initial Candidacy, Associate Level Training, Certified Level Training, and Master Level Training. Each requires progressive education, clinical experience, and contributions to CFDT theory and practice. Individuals can access ongoing education and support by subscribing to the CFD Institute, which covers the cost of annual credential renewal fees, provides access to courses designed to deepen knowledge and skills in CFDT, and allows subscribers to take certification exams at no additional cost.

Consultation is a crucial part of the CFDT certification process, ensuring candidates practice CFDT safely and effectively, receive feedback and guidance from experienced practitioners and experts, and identify areas for improvement and growth. It also deepens their knowledge and understanding of CFDT theory and practice, ensuring they can provide their clients with the highest level of care.

Achievable for Therapists, Transformative for Clients

CFDT is a clinically applied neuroscientific approach that aims to improve cognitive function in individuals with nervous system dysregulation and functional weaknesses. Therapists can customize CFDT based on the objective assessment which guides clinical practice and allows the therapist to meet each client’s unique needs.

The modality is also transformative for clients, as it can significantly improve their cognitive function and quality of life. Clients can regain their independence and improve their ability to perform everyday tasks by targeting specific cognitive functions, such as attention and memory. CFDT can also enhance problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills, which are essential for maintaining social and occupational functioning.

Overall, CFDT is a unique therapeutic modality that can profoundly impact the lives of individuals. It is feasible for therapists to implement and can be life-changing for clients.


What is Cognitive Function Development Therapy (CFDT)?

Cognitive Function Development Therapy (CFDT) is a form of therapy that aims to improve cognitive function and bring regulation to the ANS (autonomic nervous system) through exercises and activities targeting the attention networks and memory systems.

Who can benefit from CFDT?

CFDT benefits individuals experiencing neurologic dysregulation. Dysregulation can manifest in a variety of ways: the squirminess of a child with ADHD; the out-of-proportion response to a perceived threat by someone with PTSD; even the superficial compliance of someone who is desperately anxious or afraid. Where behaviors are “excessive” or “subdued” compared to others’ “normal” behaviors, or simply “out of place” for the observed context, the individual is likely experiencing neurological dysregulation. We also see dysregulation frequently in individuals who are “resistant” to other forms of treatment or intervention. In such cases, CFDT has often proven an effective modality, with most clients making significant progress (what one mental health CEO described as “changed trajectories”) in as little as 4–6 months.

What are the goals of CFDT?

The primary goal of CFDT is to improve cognitive function in areas such as attention, memory, and problem-solving. Additionally, CFDT aims to enhance functional independence and quality of life for individuals with cognitive function weaknesses and nervous system dysregulation.

How long does CFDT last?

The duration of CFDT varies depending on individual needs and goals. CFDT starts with an objective assessment of cognitive functions, which informs the prescribed number of sessions. A progress assessment occurs after 8-12 weeks and further defines the duration, based on measurable results.

Does insurance cover CFDT?

Insurance may cover CFDT, depending on the individual's insurance plan and diagnosis.

What are the benefits of CFDT?

The benefits of CFDT include improved regulation and cognitive function which leads to better focus. memory, reasoning and quality of life. CFDT can also help individuals maintain and enhance their cognitive abilities and prevent decline.

Is CFDT a substitute for medical treatment?

No, CFDT is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is a complementary therapy used in conjunction with medical treatment to improve cognitive function and quality of life.

About the Founders

Brian Beyst

Brian Beyst

Executive Director

Brian Beyst is co-founder of the Cognitive Function Development Institute, an operative division of Transformational Opportunities, Inc., a 501(C)3 charity he and his wife, Jen, started. He is also the Director of the CFDI. He is a Master Cognitive Function Development Therapist, physicist, published researcher, author, speaker, and architect of CFDT. He is passionate about integrative health care and is working on developing a systems dynamic formulation of the CFD modality. He earned a B.S. in Physics, minor in Psychology, and a Masters in Accounting and Finance Management. When not working, he enjoys hiking, reading, studying and spending time with his family.

Jen Beyst

Jen Beyst


Jen Beyst is co-founder of the Cognitive Function Development Institute, an operative division of Transformational Opportunities, Inc. which is a 501(C)3 charity she and her husband, Brian, started. She is also the Director of Cognitive Function Development at Polara Health. She’s a Master Cognitive Function Development Therapist, educational therapist, licensed educator, innovator, author, and certified parenting coach. Her past positions include president of SJ Brain Training and master teacher for a dyslexia institute. She’s an ardent speaker who has taught and developed therapists, educators, employees, and students of all ages. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading research, walking, and paper crafting.

Our Story

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 8 individuals are living with what may be deemed “a mental disorder.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, defines a mental disorder as “a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation or behavior…” usually accompanied by difficulty functioning and significant levels of distress.

Chances are, you or someone you know is living with or has lived with a mental health concern or “mental disorder.” This was certainly true for us. In particular, what had initially presented in elementary school as “learning difficulties” in our now adult children, evolved into a variety of diagnosable conditions.

The best hope that could be offered to us at the time was that, after years of intervention, our children may be able to live with / cope with their “chronic” conditions.

That prognosis was unacceptable.

To find a better answer – and hope for our children – we initiated a decade-long deep dive into a broad spectrum of published research literature in neuroscience and related fields. We consulted with a diverse array of professionals and interventions including cognitive psychology, occupational and physical therapy, speech language therapy, medical doctors, and neuroscientists. In time, we synthesized enough research evidence to formulate a dynamic, activity-based intervention to help our children.

For our children’s presented needs, the applied approach worked.

It became evident, though, that the activity-based approach that was successful for our children’s learning difficulties could further developed to address a wide spectrum of mental health needs. Working in conjunction with a community mental health clinic, we noted that as individuals became more proficient and better integrated within their primary cognitive functions, they often realized beneficial transfer effects. Including improved and healthier relationships, greater confidence, lowered frustration, improved impulse control, and so forth. Some individuals were even able to reduce or discontinue use of medications.

Having established clinical efficacy, the activity-based modality further developed to yield targeted, clinically significant, long-lasting, far-reaching transference effects for individuals impaired by the impact of emotional or physical trauma, those struggling to overcome chronic or severe emotional or behavioral health issues, those challenged by substance and alcohol abuse, and others whose conditions are associated with or result in cognitive impairment.

Through the CFD Institute, we are dedicated to training, supporting, and providing quality assurance for cognitive function development therapists; and we are developing, promoting and supporting CFDT as an effectual, integrative modality.

CFDI utilizing one of their techniques