Minds in Motion

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

 Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Alzheimers Otago offers “Minds in Motion” –  a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for people with mild to moderate dementia mate wareware.

Our Minds in Motion is a group program designed for people living with mild to moderate dementia. The program runs twice a week for seven weeks and includes a range of activities tailored to the interests of the group.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is an internationally renowned program that has been shown to have benefits for people with dementia including:

– Positive effect on mood

– Improved memory

– Improved quality of life

It also provides valuable connection with others in the same situation.

Our ‘Minds in Motion’ Programmes also provide valuable connection with others in the same situation.

‘Minds in Motions’ programmes are currently available in Queenstown and Dunedin.


If you are interested in attending a ‘Minds in Motion’ program in your region please contact 03 471 6154 or morgan@alzheimersotago.org.nz


A new programme of Minds in Motion will be starting in September/October 2023. We are taking enrollments now. If you are interested in attending a ‘Minds in Motion’ program please contact contact Gayle on 03 441 4955 or queenstown@alzheimersotago.org.nz

What is CST?

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is a brief treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia. The stimulation is provided by engagement in a range of activities and discussions in a group. The aim is to improve cognitive and social functioning. It is a non-pharmacological intervention to improve memory and quality of life for people with dementia.

How does it work?

The CST treatment programme is structured and outlined in a manual.
The basic treatment programme is 14 sessions, run twice weekly over 7 weeks. The sessions aim to actively stimulate and engage people with dementia, while providing a optimal learning environment and the social benefits of a group. Consistency is created between sessions through using a structure with the same warm-up activities, an orientation board (containing information about the group) and having a ‘theme song’. There is also a maintenance programme available with a manual.

How was CST developed?

CST is an evidence-based treatment. It was designed following extensive evaluation of research evidence for non-pharmacological treatments. CST has been found to improve cognition. The size of the effect is similar to currently available anti- dementia drugs. (World Alzheimer’s Report, 2011). It can also improve well-being.

It is the only non-pharmacological treatment recommended in the internationally recognized UK NICE guidelines.

Who can deliver training for CST?

CST treatment can be administered by anyone working with people with dementia.

The skills and experience of CST facilitators are central to the experience and effectiveness of CST. There are 18 ‘Key Principles” for facilitators: person-centred, involvement, choice, opinions rather than facts, using the senses, maximizing potential, respect, inclusion, fun, using reminiscence, always having something to touch, and building and strengthening behaviours. These are explained in the manual.

What countries are running CST?

CST was developed in the UK, and it has been adopted in 23 countries.

In New Zealand CST was first used in the Hawkes Bay. In 2013-2014 Gary Cheung and Kathy Peri conducted a feasibility study funded by Te Pou and they have now established New Zealand CST training workshops.

Skip to content