Members in Scotland with experience of working with clients with dementia or cognitive impairment are invited to take part in a University of Edinburgh research project.

The online focus groups will take place in early November and will last approximately 90 minutes. They will explore participants’ experience and invite reflection on critical aspects of working with clients with dementia or cognitive impairment.

The group interviews are part of a research study led by Professor Heather Wilkinson and the university’s Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia (ECRED). The study will also include a literature review and interviews with people living with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that there are more than 90,000 people in Scotland living with dementia. Earlier diagnosis is now more common increasing the potential for engagement in talking therapies.

The research responds to needs expressed in Scotland’s Dementia Strategy, which stresses the need to “offer timely, person-centred, coordinated and flexible support for people living with dementia and their carers”.

Jeremy Bacon, our Older People Lead, said: “We know that emotional wellbeing is essential to our quality of life, yet practice and research on this critical aspect of human experience receives a lot less attention than pharmacological therapy in dementia treatment.

“This study is an important step towards the improvement of counselling services for people with dementia.

“The ECRED researchers are keen to hear what counsellors and psychotherapists think about counselling in this context and to gain their views on what type of services might work best.”

For further details of the study, email the project researcher Dr Gill Mathews with expressions of interest and a short summary of your experience at

And we’ve brought together a range of resources for members working with clients with dementia, including a policy briefing, articles and Good Practice in Action resource.