Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) and iCST

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Please call (314) 286-1669 Opt. #1 to schedule an appointment.

Therapist providing treatment:

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is an evidence-based program for people with mild to moderate dementia. The program involves group or individual sessions of themed activities that exercise various cognitive skills. Studies show that engaging in CST can lead to improvements in cognitive function and quality of life.

CST was designed following extensive evaluation of research evidence, hence is an evidence-based treatment (1). UK Government NICE guidance (10) on the management of dementia recommends the use of group Cognitive Stimulation for people with mild to moderate dementia, irrespective of drug treatments received. CST was developed and is a common method of treatment in the UK, learn about the INTERNATIONAL CST CENTRE.

While group CST sessions are often led by a trained facilitator, individual cognitive stimulation therapy (iCST) can be conducted at home between a person with dementia and a care partner.

Through this collaborative virtual program, you and your loved one will work one-on-one with an occupational therapist to learn practical skills of leading iCST sessions at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a typical individual cognitive stimulation therapy session look like?

The first 5 sessions are conducted along with the skilled occupational therapist.  The sessions are based on activities found in our binder which was adapted from this UK book: https://hawkerpublications.co.uk/product/making-a-difference-3

Sessions are based on different themes like art, food or culture.  They are designed to get the person with memory problems thinking about different topics and generate discussion between the people participating. The sessions are fun and tailored towards the person’s interests. The OT provides guidance on how to facilitate discussion without pointing out memory issues.

After these first 5 sessions with the OT, you should then feel comfortable to follow the same format on your own using the binder as a guide.  There are enough activities included to last over 25 weeks.

My loved one often can’t recall what I told him/her earlier in the same day.  Can cognitive stimulation therapy even help us?

Yes. We use long term memory and reminiscing as tools to help cue short term memory.  The OT will help you learn to build conversations around thoughts and feelings vs facts in order to decrease frustration that can often occur for the person with memory issues.

If vision and hearing are an issue, would we benefit from this program?

In order to benefit from the 5 virtual sessions with the OT, the person needs to be able to hear/decipher conversation coming through your computer speaker or mobile device.

Visually, you will need to be able to read size 13 font or have a way to enlarge/magnify it.

Can other members of our family participate in these sessions with us?

Yes.  Since we do our sessions via Zoom, you can even involve other family members who are out of town.

As a participant in this program you will receive:

  • 5 coaching sessions with an occupational therapist trained in CST
  • A resource binder with over 40 suggested activities
  • Continued support as you learn the process of doing CST at home

Schedule An Appointment:

Please call (314) 286-1669 Opt. #1 to schedule an appointment.

Register for our Cognitive Stimulation Program:

Access MyChart: