Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Marla Berg-Weger's picture
Submitted by Marla Berg-Weger on Mar 27, 2024 - 1:59pm CDT

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Designated as the North American Cognitive Stimulation Therapy Training Institute, the Gateway Geriatric Education Center at Saint Louis University provides training and support for Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). CST is an evidence-based, non-pharmacologic, structured group or individual intervention for persons experiencing mild to moderate memory impairment. CST provides those experiencing cognitive impairment with opportunities to interact with others by making social connections through the use of stimulating activities and discussions. With an emphasis on reminiscence, CST promotes social exchanges through group meetings with five-to-eight participants for one hour twice/week for seven weeks. Following the seven-week experience, participants have the option to continue in Maintenance CST. As a curriculum-based program, each session includes specific elements to encourage familiarity: introductory activity, a group theme song, discussion of a current event, a themed main activity and suggested activities to be completed at home.  Activities include physical games, childhood experiences, number games, word association and team quizzes, with themes including current affairs, faces/scenes and childhood experiences.
CST can be offered in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid format. CST is appropriate for older adults living in the community or in residential facilities. Our GWEP offers training and certification for those who would like to facilitate CST twice/year and provide training one time/year.  We have developed a software application to facilitate CST which is available through a licensed agreement with Saint Louis University. 

Max Zubatsky, PhD, LMFT
Age-Friendly Care and Education Collection