Welcome to Cognitive Stimulation Therapy of Southern Illinois!!
My name is Amy Stevens, PA-C. I have been working as a Physician Assistant, (PA-C) in family practice for over 17 years. I am from Nashville, Illinois and returned home after college. I am a member of Lighthouse Community Church. My initial education started at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois in Radiologic Technology. I then went on to continue training in Radiation Therapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After working as a radiation therapist for 3 years, I continued my education by completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. Following that, I went on to complete Physician Assistant training at St. Louis University, graduating in 2002.
Over the years, I have encountered numerous patients that struggle with treatment options to help improve their memory. I’m often asked, “what can I do?” to help my spouse, mother, father, grandparents or even themselves. I have also personally experienced how dementia impacts families while caring for several members of my own family, including my step-father who had Lewy-body dementia.
Although some medications may delay disease progression, there is another important aspect of treatment that has been missing for most dementia patients in the United States. Thankfully, Janet Knupp (CEO of Fit Minds, USA) brought this life changing therapy to the United States in 2017. I had read the benefits of cognitive therapy previously, but had no resources to recommend or provide this for my patients. In August of 2019, while accompanying my grandmother to her medical appointment in St. Petersburg, Florida, I was handed a brochure and given information about Fit Minds and their offerings of cognitive stimulation therapy. Around this time, such therapy was only offered in the Tampa and surrounding areas; for more information about Janet Knupp and Fit Minds, please visit https://fitminds.net/
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy has been offered in Canada and the UK for several years and has shown amazing success. After much research and observation, I was determined to bring this therapy to my patients “back home”. Although no form of treatment is curative, the addition of cognitive stimulation therapy has been instrumental in improving patient’s level of functioning and quality of life. Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) can be used in the treatment of memory loss or MCI (mild cognitive impairment), and dementia; but also for prevention and wellness. CST is used for any form of dementia including, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s, Vascular, Lewy Body, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) whether from mechanical injury (MVA, previous head trauma), previous CVA or TIA (Cerebrovascular Accident aka "stroke" or Transient Ischemic Attack aka “mini-stroke”), prior chemotherapy, etc. The research and literature demonstrate the brains ability to regenerate brain cells, increase synaptic connections through mechanisms which improve brain plasticity and cognitive resilience. Although I would encourage anyone to proceed with their own review of the research and literature, the real evidence is revealed in the client’s response to therapy.
“Fit Minds” Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) focuses on 5 areas:
- Language and Music
- Visual/Spatial Orientation
- Critical Thinking
Therapy sessions offered by CST of Southern Illinois include both one-on-one (individual sessions) as well as Group Sessions. Our CST trained staff travel to the patient, as we know they learn best in their own environment. One-on-one therapy is done at a minimum of 2 times weekly (ideally 3 times a week) and generally lasts approximately 1 hour per session. Although not all individuals are able to utilize individual therapy, we also offer sessions in a group format. Group sessions are traditionally offered in senior living centers (e.g. assisted living, nursing homes, memory care facilities), and are also given by CST certified staff. We look forward to bringing this exciting therapy to the Southern Illinois and surrounding regions. Thank you for your time and interest in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy!