Richard  Cheston Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Richard Cheston

I spent twenty-five years working as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS, and am now Professor of Dementia research at the University of the West of England. At the heart of my work is a belief that dementia represents a profound existential threat, that people who are living with the condition respond to in different ways. This means that dementia can be a very difficult thing for people to talk about. The aim of the Living Well with Dementia Course is to encourage these conversations.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Dementia Care and Psychological Interventions



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Living Well with Dementia Course Workbook - 1st Edition book cover


Aging and Mental Health

Living Well with Dementia Groups: changes in participant and therapist verbal behaviour

Published: May 02, 2018 by Aging and Mental Health
Authors: Cheston R, Marshall A, Jones A, Spreadbury J and Coleman P

This paper reports two related analyses of interactions within Living Well with Dementia groups. Important changes occurred in the way that dementia was talked about: this includes both reductions in the avoidance of direct references to dementia after the first two sessions, as well as an increase in ‘insight’ statements. Directive facilitator behaviour may be associated with poorer outcomes

Aging and Mental Health

A Pilot Randomised Control trial to compare changes in quality of life for participants with early diagnosis dementia who attend a "Living Well with Dementia" group compared to waiting list control

Published: May 02, 2015 by Aging and Mental Health
Authors: Marshall A, Spreadbury J, Cheston R, Coleman P, Ballinger C, Mullee M, Pritchard J, Russell C and Bartlett E

Participants who had recently received a diagnosis of dementia were randomised to either a 10-week group intervention or a waiting-list control. There was some evidence of improvement in the intervention group compared to the control group.

Aging and Mental Health

A small-scale study comparing the impact of psycho-education and exploratory psychotherapy groups on newcomers to a group for people with dementia,

Published: May 02, 2009 by Aging and Mental Health
Authors: Cheston R and Jones R

This study compared the effectiveness of exploratory psychotherapy and psycho-educational group interventions for new group members. There was a significant interaction between mode of therapy and levels of depression and a borderline significant interaction between therapy type and levels of anxiety. However, once the low affect level of participants in the psycho-educational groups was controlled for, differences between the interventions were non-significant.

Aging and Mental Health

“Coming out with Alzheimer’s disease”: changes in insight during a psychotherapy group for people with dementia,

Published: May 02, 2006 by Aging and Mental Health
Authors: Watkins B, Cheston R, Jones K and Gilliard J

The accounts of one participant (Robert) in a psychotherapy group for people living with dementia were analyzed across the course of the group. Robert moves from warding off awareness that he has dementia to being able to joke about having brain changes that are symptomatic of the illness. Key to these changes was Robert resolving his fears that he was going mad

Aging and Mental Health

Using simulated presence therapy with people with dementia

Published: May 02, 2006 by Aging and Mental Health
Authors: Peak J and Cheston R

Simulated Presence Therapy (SPT) involves playing a tape of their carer's voice to a person with dementia. The study provides details of the effectiveness of SPT with four in-patients on an assessment ward. The four showed differing levels of response to the SPT tapes. Possible reasons for this are explored

Aging and Mental Health

Group Psychotherapy and People with Dementia

Published: May 02, 2003 by Aging and Mental Health
Authors: Cheston, R, Jones K and Gilliard J

This research reports findings from the evaluation of six psychotherapy groups for people with dementia. Forty-two participants showed a significant treatment effect for depression which was maintained at follow-up and a borderline reduction in anxiety. This research provided some of the first clear evidence that group psychotherapy may have a role to play in reducing levels of depression and anxiety of people with mild and moderate levels of dementia.