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Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is an evidence-based group treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia. It involves 14 or more sessions of stimulating, themed activities, based around more complex principles including learning theory and person-centred care. CST can be extended into a longer-term treatment and can be offered to a range of clients including outpatients and people in residential or day care.

The course is suitable for healthcare professionals including psychologists, occupational therapists and nurses as well as community-based organisations running meeting centres and day opportunities, health care assistants and managers within health and social care.

What does the training involve?

Training is led by a Clinical Psychologists with extensive experience in offering CST. Training is interactive, involving group exercises, role-play and video observation as well as some ‘teaching’.

Course Aim:

To give learners an overview of how to deliver CST. CST is a brief evidence-based group treatment for people with dementia. This interactive course will include a background about CST and how it can be used, research overview and detailed presentation of the treatment, including video footage and role-play.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognise various explanatory models for dementia and the main therapeutic approaches used in dementia care.

  • Understand how Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) was designed and evaluated.

  • Be able to deliver CST to groups of people with dementia, and critically evaluate this process.

  • Reflect on issues such as the selection of suitable participants, motivating people to participate and managing group dynamics.


‘Helen was excellent at explaining fully about CST and the benefits to people struggling with dementia. The pace of the training was perfect and interactive which helped build confidences and generate really good discussions and questions’.

Training Manuals:

‘Making a Difference’ Volume 1, 2 and 3 are comprehensive training manuals on how to offer CST.  The manuals include the key principles of CST, a session-by-session plan, details of the equipment needed and ways of monitoring progress. To purchase the manuals please visit our Marketplace. 

We currently offer CST training online via Zoom and in person. The cost of the online training is £120 per delegate and £145 for the in-person training. To check CST course dates currently available and book online click on the link below: Open Course Programme.


We offer discount for family carers, to take advantage of this special offer, please contact or call 0845 257 2250.

If you would like to book and pay via an invoice, please contact us using the contact details above.

Further CST training dates are also available to book via the University College London website and can be booked by following the link below:


CST Training with Aimee Spector


Professor Aimee Spector, University College London, UK

Professor Spector developed CST as her PhD and has since been involved in several ongoing research trials. She has authored four CST training manuals, developed this course and has delivered it to over 2000 people worldwide. Aimee also has extensive clinical experience working with people with dementia and in facilitating CST groups. Dr Spector leads the CST training and is Director of the International CST Centre.

Dr Helen Donovan

Dr Helen Donovan qualified in 1994 in Australia as a clinical psychologist, and has  worked in older people’s mental health in both Australia and the UK for  more than fifteen years. She has been the psychology lead for older  people in Bedfordshire mental health services since 2003. She became  involved with Cognitive Stimulation Therapy in 2006 after Aimee Spector  joined the Trust, and has been involved in CST groups, supervision,  training and research since that time. She was part of the SHIELD  research team, with Bedfordshire as one of the sites in the randomised  controlled trial of Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy. She has  provided many CST training workshops and conference presentations in the  UK and Australia.

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Dr Gemma Ridel

Gemma is a clinical psychologist currently working with people with dementia in Norfolk. She also lectures on the University of East Anglia Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programme. She has extensive experience of teaching, supervising and running CST groups. She was involved with the Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy trial, as Norfolk was one of the sites in the randomised controlled trial. She has provided many CST training workshops and conference presentations in the UK and Ireland.

Dr Joshua Stott

Dr Joshua Stott is a clinical psychologist with 13 years post qualification experience working with people with dementia. He currently works as a principle clinical psychologist in a memory clinic in central London. He also works as a senior clinical tutor on the UCL Clinical Psychology doctorate and has extensive experience in training health professionals in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and other psychosocial interventions for people with dementia. He has published number of papers on psychosocial issues and interventions in dementia and edited a book on systemic psychotherapy for older people.


To commission CST training for your service or for more information about open training days, please contact or phone 0845 257 2250.

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