Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

What is CST/iCST?
The UK Government’s Department of Health Guidelines officially recommend CST as a treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia of all types, and it is now widely used in NHS practice.
CST is a program that brings together a range of techniques which encourage mental stimulation, including multi-sensory learning and building new connections through activity.
Research into the effects of individual CST has shown significant benefits in the relationship between people with dementia and those caring for them following sessions.

Individual CST (iCST) at SweetTree
We are now offering packages specifically designed around iCST for existing and new SweetTree clients. It is essential that people remain mentally engaged and challenged at all stages of dementia. iCST provides a flexible programme within which sessions can be tailored towards the interests and cognitive abilities of each client.
There will be people who do not require formal care, but for whom engaging in activity will be hugely valuable in improving their wellbeing and functioning. We can send highly skilled support workers, many being Psychology graduates, to offer tailored iCST in people’s homes.

The work will be supervised by the Clinical Nurse Specialist for Dementia, Rikki Lorenti, and Dementia Service Manager, Alexis Cibrano. SweetTree’s Clinical Dementia Nurse Specialist, Rikki Lorenti, has over 30 years’ experience in mental health care, including 5 years’ in Admiral Nursing, and has worked extensively with both older person and early-onset dementia clients. As well as leading community mental health teams and in-patient wards, he has also managed independent nursing homes.

iCST Sessions
Sessions follow the iCST manual (‘Making a Difference 3’). They adhere to its Key Principles, which include: ‘mental stimulation’; ‘focus on opinions rather than facts’; ‘new thoughts, ideas and associations’ and ‘person-centred care’.

Some examples of topics included in sessions are:

• Physical games/sound
• Childhood/food
• Current affairs/faces and scenes
• Word association/being creative
• Categorising objects/Orientation
• Using money/number games
• Word games

There will be the option of integrating external activities within the iCST sessions (e.g. museum visits) and a ‘buddying system’, involving sessions for two people jointly.

To speak in more detail about SweetTree’s iCST programme, please get in touch with the Dementia Team:
Call 020 7624 9944 or email

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