Cognitive Connections

Cognitive Connections, a dignity-promoting arts training initiative for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease  and other forms of cognitive impairment, was developed in collaboration with Cognitive Dynamics advisory board member and Executive Arts Director, Angel Duncan, MA-MFT, ATR.

Angel has extensive experience as both an art therapist and marriage and family therapist, and has been an instructor, trainer, and lecturer across the United States on the use of expressive arts therapies in the cognitively-impaired.  Angel has worked with the Alzheimer’s Association and has been a consultant with some of the country’s leading providers of senior care and home health.  She has lectured extensively on successful aging and the role of art therapy in the promotion of human dignity and quality of life.  She recently co-authored “Expressive Arts Therapies in Geriatric Neurology“, the first-ever medical textbook chapter on the expressive arts therapies (in Geriatric Neurology, John Wiley and Sons, publishers, 2011) with Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN.

The goal of Cognitive Connections is to offer the benefits of art therapy (which include fostering of dignity, preservation of a sense of self-worth, and improvement in quality of life) to individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment.  Realizing that not every community has access to board-certified art therapists, Cognitive Connections seeks to train professional and lay caregivers in proven techniques of art therapy, so that its benefits may be more widely experienced.  At the completion of training, a Cognitive Connections certificate will be awarded.

For more information, or to schedule Cognitive Connections Training, please contact

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    Angel Duncan

    Angel C. Duncan, PhDc, MA, MFT, ATR, has an extensive background in counseling psychology in marriage and family therapy, art therapy and Alzheimer’s disease clinical research trials. She is the Executive Arts Director of the Cognitive Dynamics Foundation. Angel works with various organizations across the country and abroad in brain health and research initiatives. She serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampa and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Albertus Magnus College, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and thesis advising. She has been involved in global, clinical research trials for Alzheimer’s disease with her research and work from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute and the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California- San Francisco. In addition, Angel was the Programs Director and Supervisor for the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern CA-Northern NV chapter, later serving at the Director of Education and Research Associate at the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida.


    Angel trains and develops museum and arts in wellness programs for persons living with early onset and early stage dementia, as well as for children and adolescents with mood and behavioral challenges. She founded and co-facilitates the Arts in Mind program at the Yale University Art Gallery. Angel served on the Research Committee for the American Art Therapy Association, and was a journal peer reviewer for the American Art Therapy Association Journal for eight years. She currently is a journal peer reviewer for Frontiers in Psychology. She founded and hosts the podcast N2Creative Aging on Spotify, RadioPublic, Breaker and other platforms- highlighting the importance of creativity on brain health, aging empowerment, research efforts and lifestyle factors in health and wellness. Angel is a widely published author and is featured in diverse media for her work in mental health and dementia forms.