7th International CAT Conference
20th September 2017 to 23rd September 2017

7th International CAT Conference hosted by ACAT and ICATA

'New Frontiers in CAT Understanding and Practice'

Wednesday, 20th September to Saturday, 23rd September 2017

University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus

Conference Hashtag: #IntCAT17

'Early Bird' booking has now closed

Whole Event Residential - ACAT Member £480 | Non-member of ACAT £510

Whole Event Non-Residential - ACAT Member £370 | Non-member of ACAT £400

Please scroll further down this page to find:

*** Conference booking options ***

*** Provisional Programme, including workshops ***

*** Workshop booking - this will open shortly and will be available to those who have already booked to attend the Conference ***

Keynote Theme

'Reformulation and Memory: The stories we tell in reconstructing the past'

Workshop Theme

'Working creatively with complexity'

The conference marks a collaboration between the International CAT Association (ICATA) and ACAT to bring together the CAT community from around the world in Nottingham, UK, in the autumn of 2017, to celebrate the legacy of Tony Ryle and continue the development of CAT theory and practice.  The conference programme aims to strike a balance between exciting keynote speakers from the worlds of science, philosophy and psychotherapy and a skills-based focus for workshops aimed at developing clinical expertise in those practising CAT. 

The conference will run from the afternoon of Wednesday 20th September until lunchtime on Saturday 23rd and will include an imaginative entertainment and cultural programme interspersed throughout the three days, including international cabaret, book launches, a gala conference dinner and tango lessons for beginners!

International Conference 2017 Organising Group

Jason Hepple, Chair of ACAT, UK

Katri Kanninen, Chair of ICATA, Finland

Elizabeth McCormick, UK

Robert Watson, UK

Iannis Vlachos, Greece

For information please contact Maria Cross, Conference Administrator maria.cross@acat.me.uk  |  +44(0)1305 263511

Confirmed Keynote and Plenary Speakers (subject to change)

  • Prof. Nicola Clayton  and Clive Wilkins

'The Creative Navigator's Compass: Exploring the subjective nature of perception and memory' 

Prof. Nicola Clayton PhD, FRS, FSB, FAPS, is Professor of Comparative Cognition at the University of Cambridge, Scientist in Residence at Rambert Dance Company, a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where she is Director of Studies in Psychology, and a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2010. 

Clive Wilkins has worked as a fine art painter and has exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London on several occasions.  He is a performer and magician and is particularly interested in the nature of illusion and the psychology of perception and the chosen ways we adopt to make sense of a strange world.

  • Prof. Richard Lane

'Memory Reconsolidation, Emotional Arousal and the Process of Change in Psychotherapy: New Insights from Brain Science' 

Prof. Richard Lane is Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Arizona.  Prof. Lane's core academic interest is in understanding the psychology and neurobiology of emotional awareness and the mechanisms by which emotion contributes to physical and mental health.

  • Prof. Mikael Leiman 

'Reformulation and referential networks'

Prof. Leiman PhD, Professor (Emer) University of Eastern Finland, has been one of the leading contributors to the development of CAT theory and practice alongside Dr Tony Ryle.

  • Dr Paul Sullivan

'Response to Prof Leiman from a Bakhtinian perspective'

Dr Paul Sullivan BA, HDip (Education), PHD, is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Bradford.  He has a specialist interest in dialogical psychology and its applications to qualitative analysis and a wider interest in the interface between moral philosophy and psychology.

  • Dr Jason Hepple 

'A relational model of the psyche'

Dr Jason Hepple MA (Oxon), FRCPsych, is a CAT Psychotherapist and Trainer and Chair of ACAT.  He works in Somerset in the UK.  He has developed CAT as a model for working in groups and is interested in exploring the dialogic depths of CAT in theory and practice.

  • Dr Caroline Dower

'Moving Memories:  The use of movement interventions to facilitate the development of agency and procedural change' 

Dr Caroline Dower is Head of the Durham University Counselling Service and a former Consultant Psychotherapist in physical health. Caroline is an Integrative and CAT Psychotherapist, with further trainings in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy in New York.

  • Debby Pickvance, Annie Nehmad and Jessie Emilion

'CAT Supervision: new ideas, new practice'

Debby Pickvance is a CAT psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer, and the editor of 'Cognitive Analytic Supervision: A relational approach'.  She worked for many years in a range of NHS settings and now does therapy in the Catalyse Sheffield group practice, supervises, moderates some ACAT training courses, and is a trainer on the CAT North/Catalyse Practitioner course.

Annie Nehmad, a founder member of ACAT, was Clinical Lead for CAT in an inner London NHS secondary care psychotherapy department until 2013.  She now works in private practice as therapist, supervisor, and trainer.  Her special interests include the process of supervision, eliciting the healthy self to aid the work of therapy, and continuing the Rylian quest for the integration of the psychotherapies, within a scientific and intersubjective framework.

Jessie Emilion is a BACP accredited Counsellor and UKCP registered Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist and Supervisor and is currently employed by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust as a CAT Psychotherapy Lead at the Munro Centre, Guys Hospital.  She has a particular interest in bi-lingualism, culture, language and race, and the impact of these factors on mental health, development of self and therapeutic alliance.  She teaches on the CAT programmes in the UK, India and in Qatar.  She is central to the Introduction of CAT in India and has developed the model further by incorporating religious, cultural, and societal values, making it adaptive, appropriate, and relevant to the Indian Society and the Indian Psyche. 

  • ICATA Plenaries

'National histories, identities and colours of CAT'

'Reflections on Tony Ryle’s legacy and discussion of 'where next for CAT and relational mental health?''


The theme of the conference workshops this year is 'Working Creatively with Complexity: CAT theory and practice'. Workshops will focus on the application of CAT tools and skills to working with complexity, with an emphasis on theory practice links, skills learning, and therapist self-care, particularly when therapists find it hard to help.  They will be organised around three streams:

  • The therapeutic relationship: working with, and resolving, impasses and ruptures in the therapeutic relationship
  • Creative ways of working in CAT
  • Nurturing self-care as a therapist

Call for Papers has now closed.

Delegate booking for workshops will open shortly.

Please note, it will be possible to book into your chosen workshop(s) only if booked to attend the Conference.

Please refer to the Programme below for details - further information will be available once confirmed

Provisional Programme (updated as items are confirmed - subject to change)

Wednesday 20th September

(Delegate registration from 13:00)

14:00 - 16:00  Equality and Diversity Forum    |    14:00 - 16:00 ICATA Executive meeting   

14:00 - 16:00  Pre-Conference Workshop ~ Steve Potter (UK), Rabhya Dewshi (UK), Lee Crothers (Australia), Marie-Anne Bernardy (France), and Ivona Amleh (Palestine) - ‘Innovations in writing the reformulation letter:  Side by side, off the map, bit by bit, from a template’

16:00 - 16:30  Refreshments
16:30 - 16:45  Conference Welcome ~ Katri Kanninen (Chair of ICATA) and Jason Hepple (Chair of ACAT)
16:45 - 18:15  Opening plenary session ~ 'ICATA:  National histories, identities and colours of CAT'   
18:15 - 18:30  'Culture shot'

(Day one of Conference closes at 18:30)

19.30               Dinner

Thursday 21st September

(Registration from 08:30 for new delegates only)

09:15 - 09:30  Welcome to day and 'culture shot'
09:30 - 10:45  Plenary Speaker:  Dr Jason Hepple ~ 'A relational model of the psyche'

Abstract:  CAT has evolved into a relational psychotherapy where the dialogic self is an un-finalised work in progress that is co-created through its inter-psychic activity. ‘We interact and communicate therefore I become,’ as Tony Ryle said.  Jason will seek to address the following questions arising from this: How does a dialogic self relate to the topographical models of the psyche from psychoanalysis? What is CAT’s understanding of conscious and unconscious process? How does dialogism relate to advances in neurobiology and trauma? Where is mindfulness and ‘inner peace’ to be found relationally?

10:45 - 11:15  Refreshments
11:15 - 12:30  Keynote Speaker:  Prof. Mikael Leiman ~ 'Reformulation and referential networks' 

Abstract:  A long-standing theoretical problem in CAT is the relationship of sign-mediation to the concepts of reciprocal roles and procedural sequences.  My earlier (1996) attempt to reconcile roles and procedures by the idea of dialogical sequences did not solve the problem of signs as mediators of our mental activity. The problem can be located in the dialogic, or Bakhtinian, understanding of signs.  I will present my current understanding of signs as referential networks.  The implications of the new conception range from understanding very early development to issues of attention, memory, and the relationship between cognitive and emotional processes. 

12:30 - 13:30  Lunch - Posters on display and opportunity to meet the poster authors
13.30 - 15:00  Workshops (full details will be available shortly - subject to change)

  • Liz Fawkes & Dawn Bennett - 'A glimpse into 40 sessions: Use of self and challenges to the therapist’s sense of self in working with powerful enactments with clients who have had a raw deal in life’‘
  • Deirdre Haslam - ‘Working with, and resolving impasses and ruptures in the therapeutic relationship’
  • Esther Gimeno - ‘Threats of therapeutic rupture:  The “Ghosts” of the therapist’
  • Vikki Ryall - 'A pragmatic approach to including families in CAT therapy using the SSFC model’
  • Alison Jenaway & Carol Gregory - ‘Let’s get physical – getting physical symptoms on the CAT diagram’
  • Vicky Petratou - ‘Feeling stuck in a powerless, ‘victim’-like self-state, how can creative CAT help with embracing the pain and exploring more dialogically useful ways of interacting?’
  • Nicola Crook - ‘Landing in another country with CAT:  Use of the model in nurturing self-care’ || Matti Kurronen - 'TRE (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise) for Psychotherapists and Clients' (NB two workshops will be presented within this one session)
  • Paul Johanson & Sara Casado - ‘Loving the unlovable:  CAT, compassion and working with people who commit sexual crime’

15:00 - 15:30  Refreshments
15:30 - 16:30  Plenary Speaker:  Dr Paul Sullivan ~ Response to Prof Leiman from a Bakhtinian perspective 
16:30 - 17:10  Research Presentation:  Steve Kellett and Kate Freshwater ~ CAT consultancy - what works for whom
17:20 - 17:30  'Culture shot'

(Day two of Conference closes at 17:30)

18:30 - 19:30  Book launches:  'CAT Supervision and Change for the Better' (5th Ed.) 
19:30               Dinner ~ Entertainment: International cabaret   

Friday 22nd September

(Registration from 08:30 for new delegates only)

09:00 - 09:15  Welcome to day and 'culture shot'
09:15 - 10:30  Keynote speaker:  Prof. Richard Lane ~ 'Memory Reconsolidation, Emotional Arousal and the Process of Change in Psychotherapy:  New Insights from Brain Science' 

Abstract:  The thesis of this talk is that enduring change in all major psychotherapy modalities, including behavioural therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, emotion-focused and psychodynamic psychotherapy, results from the updating of prior emotional memories through a process of reconsolidation that incorporates new emotional experiences. An integrative memory model with three interactive components – autobiographical (event) memories, semantic structures, and emotional responses - will be presented supported by emerging evidence from cognitive neuroscience on implicit and explicit emotion, implicit and explicit memory, emotion-memory interactions, memory reconsolidation, and the relationship between autobiographical and semantic memory. The proposed essential ingredients of therapeutic change include: 1) reactivating old memories; 2) engaging in new emotional experiences that are incorporated into these reactivated memories via the process of reconsolidation; and 3) reinforcing the integrative memory structure by practicing a new way of behaving and experiencing the world in a variety of contexts. Implications of this new neurobiologically-grounded synthesis for research, clinical practice and teaching will be discussed.  

Objectives:  At the conclusion of this presentation audience members will be able to

1.    Describe the integrated memory model consisting of concurrent activation and interaction between emotional arousal, episodic memory and semantic structures.
2.    Discuss how behavioural, cognitive-behavioural, emotion-focused and psychodynamic psychotherapies access the integrated memory model from different entry points.
3.    Explain how emotional arousal and memory reconsolidation are necessary ingredients of change in all major forms of psychotherapy.
4.    Describe how the “working through” process consists of the conversion of episodic memories into semantic structures.

10:30 - 11:00  Refreshments
11:00 - 12:00  Keynote speakers:  Prof. Nicola Clayton FRS and Clive Wilkins ~ 'The Creative Navigator's Compass:  Exploring the subjective nature of perception and memory' 

Abstract:  If we could tell you where you were going and how you could get there, would you want to know?

Imagine a crystal ball that could anticipate the future:  Would you gaze into it, and if you did, what do you think you would see - your personal future, the futures of your loved ones, or other aspects of life and society?  How does the direction of thought affect perception and choices of where to go next?  In planning for the future, it is all too easy to make the assumption that what we imagine and remember will accurately reflect reality.  Many of our greatest deceptions evolve out of such a faulty supposition.

The chances are that if there were such a crystal ball, we would be unlikely to make sense of what it revealed.  Both perception and memory shimmer and change, and can be altered by our current point of view and state of mind. Alternative realities are constrained by our inability to perceive all that can be seen.  Memories are not an accurate repository of what has happened, and thoughts of the future are often inaccurate and ill conceived, due to the subjective nature of perception and memory.

Nicky and Clive, a scientist and artist respectively, explore the complex relationships between memory, perception and human experience.  Join them for a fascinating interactive presentation that incorporates science, literature, and the performing arts.

12:00 - 12:30  Panel discussion
12:30 - 13:30  Lunch - Posters on display and announcement of Poster Prize
13:30 - 15:00  Workshops (full details will be available shortly - subject to change)

  • Jay Dudley - ‘Bridging the relational space - towards a new beginning’
  • Christina Hardy - ‘Envy:  Green-eyed Monster or Desire for Equality'
  • Ann Treesa Rafi - ‘Cognitive Analytic Therapy for the wise old ‘Dadaji’* in India’ || Zampouridou - 'Cultural diversity and CAT:  the Greek experience'
  • Eeva Joki - ‘The power and dark shadows of leaders’ || Rita Toli - 'Applying CAT in a Greek primary school'
  • Louise Elwell - ’Working actively in CAT with detached states of mind containing the experience of emptiness, desolation and boredom’
  • Kerry Manson, Marisol Cavieres & Sunil Lad - ‘Developing a CAT understanding of ASPD’
  • Jennifer O’Brien & Fritha Melville - ‘Using experiential and creative approaches to contextualise workplace stress and support self-care practices for helping professions’
  • Tim Sheard - ‘How do we relate to our bodies in CAT:  Positively included, taken for granted or thrown to the dogs?’

15:00 - 15:30  Refreshments
15:30 - 16:45  Plenary Speaker:  Dr Caroline Dower ~ 'Moving Memories:  The use of movement interventions to facilitate the development of agency and procedural change' 

Abstract:  Caroline will explore the kinetic and kinaesthetic aspects of memory.  The relational dance of the bodies of the therapist and client reflect relational history as it is lived in the present moment. Bringing awareness to the movement patterns within a talking therapy contributes to reflective capacity and development of our self-agency.  Clinical vignettes will demonstrate the role for movement as a bridge from procedural to semantic memory, and as a playground for the emergence of new relational choices.

17:00 - 18:00  ACAT Annual General Meeting

(Day three of Conference closes at 18:00)

19:00 - 19:30  Pre-dinner drinks with 'culture shot'
19:30 - 21:00  Gala Dinner 
21:00 'til late  Introduction to the 8-step tango for beginners with demonstration (Nicola Clayton and Clive Wilkins); live music and dancing

Saturday 23rd September

(Registration from 08:30 for new delegates only)

09:00 - 09:15  Welcome to day and 'culture shot'
09:15 - 10:45  Plenary Speakers:  Debby Pickvance, Annie Nehmad and Jessie Emilion ~ ‘CAT Supervision: new ideas, new practice’

Abstract:  Though supervision has always firmly underpinned CAT therapy, it has not been widely discussed within the CAT community.  This session draws on new ideas contained in the multi-voiced book, 'Cognitive Analytic Supervision' (2017, Routledge).  It consists of three presentations followed by small group work.  Each will offer new perspectives on CAT supervision, useful and relevant for supervisors and supervisees alike.

Debby Pickvance:  'How relational is our supervision?' - This presentation will propose a relational model of CAT supervision, built on open, interactive, mutual, intersubjective relationships between supervisor, supervisee and supervision group.  It will advocate a proactive approach to building the supervisory alliance, establishing a relational supervision contract, addressing enactments within the supervisory relationship, and making use of the self by supervisor, supervisee, and supervision group members.

Annie Nehmad:  'The Healthy Supervisor' - The qualities, skills and activity of an effective (healthy) supervisor are considered in CAT terms, as well as drawing on Hawkins and Shohet’s Seven Eyed Model of Supervision, John Heron’s analysis of interventions, and Daniel Siegel’s Inter Personal Neurobiology (IPNB).  In addition to being competent and knowledgeable, the Healthy Supervisor needs to be well-integrated in the moment, so that s/he can offer real “presence”, i.e. awareness and receptivity.  Supervision offers ‘scaffolding’ not only for inexperienced therapists, but also for experienced ones who may have become temporarily poorly integrated (usually due to 'recruitment’ by the patient into a split-off state).

Jessie Emilion:  '“In our Culture”- a dialogic procedure in supervision' - Culture, Race, Language, and Religion play a key part in the development of self, personality, and identity.  Race and racism often create a sense of alienation and exclusion in individuals and in minority communities. Language, as central to communication plays a crucial part in the expression of distress, and but also in the integration, positioning and acculturation of the individual in society.  For many people not being able to speak the language of the host culture compounds the sense of alienation, loss, and displacement.  Religion in its varied roles, is another key element when working across cultures and communities.  Working across cultures, inter-culturally be it in therapy or supervision can be quite challenging even for most experienced clinicians and supervisors. What if I get it wrong?  Will I be labelled a racist, a troublemaker with attitude or just as an incompetent clinician?  These are some of the fears in every clinician’s mind.   

The presentation will highlight some of the key themes that have emerged from CAT training in India.  It will offer some pointers as to how the supervisees and supervisors could address difference and diversity in a sensitive, professional, and ethical manner in their clinical work.  CAT concepts will be used to discuss the power dynamics and intergenerational positioning, on an inter-personal, intra-personal, and societal level.

The presentation will be followed by a group exercise facilitated by Hilary Brown.  Through fun and play there will be an opportunity to recognise and name the power dynamics and positioning in the interactions.

10:45 - 11:15  Refreshments
11:15 - 12:45  ICATA Plenary:  'Reflections on Tony Ryle’s legacy and discussion of where next for CAT and relational mental health'
12:45 - 13:00  'Culture shot' and close of Conference

Conference ends at 13:00


ACAT is pleased to be able to offer a small number of bursaries again this year to assist those in financial need to attend the Conference. Bursaries are awarded towards the cost of the conference only and not towards additional costs such as travel.  If you would like to be considered please download and complete the bursary application form (at the end of this page) and email, in confidence, to maria.cross@acat.me.uk or post to Maria Cross, Conference Administrator, ACAT, PO Box 6793, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 9DL.  

Closing date for applications:  Thursday, 1st June 2017

Booking Information

We are offering three booking options:

  1. Whole event - residential
  2. Whole event - non-residential
  3. Individual items

Online booking and payment (with a personal credit/debit card) is quick and convenient - please scroll to the end of the page.

The event fees listed below apply to online booking.  If paying by cheque or requesting an invoice please note that there is an additional administration charge of £15 per delegate.

  • Whole Event Residential - ACAT Member £480 | Non-member £510 (Included: full conference programme from 14:00 Wednesday to 13:00 Saturday; 3 nights' B&B on campus; all meals and refreshments, including Gala Dinner and Drinks Reception on Friday)
  • Whole Event Non-Residential - ACAT Member £370 | Non-member £400 (Included: full conference programme - 14:00 to 18:30 Wednesday; 09:15 to 17:30 Thursday; 09:00 to 18:00 Friday; 09:00 to 13:00 Saturday.  Lunches and day-time refreshments are included but not evening meals or Friday's Gala Dinner and Drinks Reception)
  • Attendance on either Wednesday afternoon (14:00 - 18:30) only or Saturday morning (09:00 - 13:00) only - ACAT Member £95 | Non-member £110
  • Attendance on either Thursday (09:15 - 17:30) only or Friday (09:00 - 18:00) only - ACAT Member £170 | Non-member £185         
  • Dinner plus B&B on either Wednesday or Thursday - ACAT Member £65 | Non-member £80 
  • Wine Reception, Gala Dinner, entertainment and B&B on Friday - ACAT Member £100 | Non-member £115 
  • Gala Dinner and entertainment (no B&B) on Friday - ACAT Member £50 | Non-member £65 

A £15 administration fee is charged for each delegate when paying by cheque or requesting an invoice

Closing date for conference bookings:  Tuesday, 5th September 2017

Please note, if you wish to book after the closing date please contact ACAT in the first instance to check availability.

B&B accommodation on campus cannot be guaranteed.

Ways to Book

•    book and pay online instantly using a personal credit or debit card only via this page (please scroll to the end of the page)
•    use the booking form to pay by cheque and post to ACAT, PO Box 6793, Dorchester DT1 9DL (attracts an additional administration fee of £15)
•    provide full invoicing details on the booking form and email to alison.marfell@acat.me.uk or post to ACAT, PO Box 6793, Dorchester DT1 9DL (attracts an additional administration fee of £15)

Booking enquiries/assistance:  Alison Marfell alison.marfell@acat.me.uk | +44(0)1305 263511

Enquiries regarding the Conference to Maria Cross, Conference Administrator, maria.cross@acat.me.uk | +44(0)1305 263511

Dietary requirements

Please notify ACAT of any specific dietary requests at the time of booking. The venue will do their best to meet your requirements but, without sufficient notice, this cannot be guaranteed.

Terms and Conditions

Programme changes:  ACAT reserves the right to make changes to the advertised programme

Refund Policy:  A refund, less a £25 administration fee, will be made if cancellations are received in writing by 20th July 2017.  We regret that any cancellation received after this time cannot be refunded, and refunds for failure to attend the event cannot be made.

Data Protection:  For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller in respect of your personal data is the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.  Your data will be used to administer the event to which you have subscribed.


You can book this event online if you are registered or logged into this site. Click here to register or log in using the boxes at the top of this page.


Whole Event Residential (online booking) - ACAT Member £480 | Non-member of ACAT £510


Details and Booking Information

20th September 2017 to 23rd September 2017

Whole Event Residential (online booking) - ACAT Member £480 | Non-member of ACAT £510


You can book this event online if you are registered or logged into this site. Click here to register or log in using the boxes at the top of this page.

For information please contact Maria Cross, Conference Administrator maria.cross@acat.me.uk  |  +44(0)1305 263511

Our Next 1 ACAT International Conferences

View all courses

20-09-17 7th International CAT Conference7th International CAT Conference hosted by ACAT and ICATA 'New Frontiers in CAT Understanding and Practice' Wednesday, 20th September to Saturday, 23rd September 2017 University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus Conference Hashtag: #IntCAT17 ...

Please help us by completing our NEW visitor survey... it will only take 5 minutes. Thanks!