The efficacy of a self-generation encoding procedure in facilitating the encoding and retrieval of verbal memories was compared with the didactic presentation of information in individuals with seizure disorders. Through a within-subject design, 87 patients (25 left temporal seizure onset, 29 right temporal, 8 frontal, and 25 psychogenic nonepileptic seizures) received a self-generation learning condition and a didactic learning condition and were subsequently tested for verbal paired associate free recall, cued recall, and recognition memory. All patient groups benefited from the use of the self-generation condition relative to the didactic condition. Better performance occurred with the self-generation procedure for cued recall and recognition memory test performance, but not free recall. Individuals with a left temporal seizure onset (patients with the poorest memory performance on the didactic condition) benefited the most from the self-generation condition. A memory encoding strategy that actively involves patient participation enhances memory performance. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.