More about CAT

CAT is an integrative model of human development and of psychotherapy drawing on ideas as mentioned below. It is a fundamentally relational model, both in its view of human development and in its practice of psychotherapy. At its heart is an empathic, respectful and collaborative, meaning-making relationship between the client and therapist within the therapeutic boundaries.

What are the origins of CAT?

CAT was developed in the early 1980’s by Dr Anthony Ryle at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. CAT developed as a public health response to the mental health needs of a busy inner London area, and this concern with access and equity remains at the heart of the model. He felt it important to offer a short-term focussed therapy for use in the health service; a therapy that integrated the best of different approaches to people’s problems and that could be researched and refined with the growing experience of clients and therapists.

Theoretically, CAT draws on:

  • Psychoanalytic concepts of conflict, defence, object relations and counter transference (particularly from Donald Winnicott). 
  • Ideas from activity theory and dialogism introduced by Lev Vygotsky and Mikhail Bakhtin.  (Dialogism is a particularly kind of dialogue, not limited to two people speaking to each other, but to the whole way in which we act towards each other and expect each other to act towards us.)
  • George Kelly's Personal Construct Theory and work with repertory grids; a focus on how people make sense of their world ("man as scientist") and on common sense, co-operative work with patients. 
  • From cognitive approaches involving step by step planning and measurement of change; teaching patients self-observation of moods, thoughts and symptoms.

What sort of problems can CAT help with?

CAT tries to focus on what a person brings to the therapy (‘target problems’) and the deeper patterns of relating that underlie them. It is less concerned with traditional psychiatric symptoms, syndromes or labels.

CAT has been widely used to help people who have experienced childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect and trauma, including people who self-harm. CAT is also used with people with eating disorders, addiction problems (like drugs and alcohol), obsessional problems, anxiety, depression, phobias, psychosis and bipolar illness. CAT therapists also work with adolescents, older people and people with learning difficulties, and in forensic settings.

CAT is mostly offered to individuals, but it can also be used effectively with couples, in groups and to help teams understand the ‘system’ in which they work – an approach called ‘contextual reformulation’.

What Qualifications Can I Expect the Therapist to Have?

ACAT can confirm that all the therapists listed on the ACAT Register are accredited CAT Practitioners or Psychotherapists.

CAT Practitioners usually have either core training as a mental health professional (e.g. as a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nurse, Social Worker or Occupational Therapist,) with a minimum of two years post-qualification experience, or previous training in counselling to an accredited level followed by a two year training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy with accreditation following successful completion.

CAT Psychotherapists have qualified as CAT Practitioners and have undertaken an additional in-depth two year training leading to this qualification.

To search the register for an Accredited CAT Therapist click here.

To find an Accredited Private CAT Therapist click here.

Both CAT Practitioners and CAT Psychotherapists count as Psychological Therapists in the Centre for Workforce Intelligence Review

CfWI ReportThe Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) recently completed a Department of Health commissioned review of adult psychological therapies to improve workforce planning. It has recommended a consensus definition of what a psychological therapist is across all therapy modalities and provides data on what is currently known about this workforce - the focus is on non-IAPT services. The report is intended for policymakers and decision-makers across the NHS. ACAT took part in the consultations and we believe this is an important review from ACAT's perspective.

We are pleased that in April 2013, ACAT was accepted as one of the professional bodies currently providing training for psychological therapists. Importantly, the CfWI definition of a psychological therapist includes CAT Practitioners as well as CAT Psychotherapists, and CAT Practitioners are included within existing workforce numbers in the CfWI report.

The report can be found through this link   http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/improving-workforce-planning-for-the-psychological-therapies-workforce/

ACAT Calendar for May
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88th May 2017
CAT Introductory Event: Two Day Intro to CAT for People with ID - Bespoke
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1212th May 2017
CPD Event: Embodiment and Therapeutic Space - offered by CAT Scotland
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CPD Event: Use of CAT in Consultancy 5 Session CAT Approach - offered by Catalyse
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CPD Event: ACAT: What gets left behind when we become a therapist?
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3131st May 2017
Training Committee, London

Contact Details

ACAT Administration Manager:Susan Van Baars

Administrators:Maria Cross
Alison Marfell

Postal Address:ACAT
PO Box 6793
Dorchester
DT1 9DL
United Kingdom

Phone:+44(0) 1305 263 511

Email:admin@acat.me.uk

Office Hours:Monday to Thursday
9am to 5pm

Our Next 24 Events

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02-06-17 CAT and Trauma - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation TrustCognitive Analytic Therapy CPD Afternoon Friday 2nd June 2017 1.30 – 5.30pm Lecture Theatre, Sussex Education Centre, Millview Hospital Site, Nevill Avenue, Hove, BN3 7HY Guest Speaker: Steve Potter Steve Potter is a psychotherapist. He is wi...

08-06-17 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATintro617 Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) A two-day introduction to the skills and concepts in practice, led by Steve Potter and Annalee Curran This highly-rated short course is offered by ACAT for people new to the CAT way of wor...

08-06-17 CAT 2-Day Introductory Workshop - offered by Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation TrustCognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) 2-Day Introductory Workshop Thursday 8th & Friday 9th June 2017 9.30am – 4.00pm Provided by NTW Cognitive Analytic Therapy Service, Centre for Specialist Psychological Therapies, Northumberland, Tyne &...

09-06-17 Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation TrustAn Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy A two-day course for mental health professionals Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June 2017 Conference Room 2, East Brighton Community Mental Health Centre, Brighton General Hospital, Brighton 9.30am &ndas...

19-06-17 CAT as a Common Language in Services Working with 'Hard to Help' and Challenging PatientsCognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) as a Common Language in Services Working with 'Hard to Help' and Challenging Patients Offered by CAT Scotland Monday 19th June 2017: 10.00h-16.00h Stirling University Conference Centre Speakers Include: D...

22-06-17 ACAT, Neuroscience and the Self#ACATns17 Venue: IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm Jason will spend the morning looking at some ideas from modern neuroscience that consider psychotherapy as a means of reprocessing emotional trauma and see how thes...

27-06-17 ACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential.Relational Skills in CAT Supervision A residential, intensive skills training course lasting two and a half days Ladywell Retreat Centre, Ashstead Lane, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1ST 5.00 pm Tuesday, 27th June to 4.00 pm Thursday, 29th June 2017 C...

27-06-17 ACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision ResidentialACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential 27th June 2017 to 29th June 2017 For futher information please follow this link: http://www.acat.me.uk/course/908/ ...

30-06-17 ACAT: One Day Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy#ACAT1intro17 Time: 10.00 – 17.00 Venue: Friends Meeting House, 79 Eastcott Hill, Swindon, SN1 3JF Presenters: Philippa Coid and Marisol Cavieres This workshop is being re-run following very positive feedback. Previous delega...

07-07-17 ACAT: CAT, Neuroscience and the SelfVenue: St Thomas Centre, Manchester, M12 6FZ Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm Jason will spend the morning looking at some ideas from modern neuroscience that consider psychotherapy as a means of reprocessing emotional trauma and see how these relate to CAT....

14-07-17 Mapping Mortality in CAT - offered by CatalyseMapping Mortality in CAT To explore the ways in which we can work with the difficult conversations about mortality in therapeutic encounters A 1-day workshop led by Mandy Wildman Overview of workshop: As psychotherapists, practitioners and clinic...

26-07-17 CAT Skills Case Management - Munro CentreCognitive Analytic Therapy Skills Case Management Programme Southwark & Central IPTT- Munro Centre About Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) • Cognitive analytic therapy is a time-limited psychotherapy (normally 16 to 24 sessions) which inte...

15-09-17 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATintro917 ACAT Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy A two-day introduction to the skills and concepts in practice This highly-rated, short course is offered by ACAT for people new to the CAT way of working Friday, 15th and Saturday, 16t...

15-09-17 A CAT Approach to Organisational Dynamics - offered by CatalyseThe impact of context on relationships at work A 1-day workshop led by Robyn Vesey and Penny Wilson Event Hashtag: #CATorg17 Overview of workshop: This workshop introduces the use of cognitive analytic therapy in understanding organisational dyna...

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 ...

22-09-17 ACAT Annual General Meeting 2017ACAT Annual General Meeting To be held at the University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus Friday, 22nd September 2017 - 5pm to 6pm (time subject to change) Further information available July 2017 Any enquiries to: Susan Van Baars, ACAT Administratio...

01-10-17 Scotland CAT Practitioner TrainingPractitioner Level Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy October 2017 - June 2019 Course Directors: Dee Affleck and Jamie Kirkland Applications are invited for places on a 2 year Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Practitioner Level Training Course. ...

01-10-17 Brighton CAT Practitioner TrainingCognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Practitioner Training Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in association with ACAT Closing date for applications: 31st May 2017 CAT Practitioner Training Cognitive analytic therapy is a time limited psychother...

03-10-17 North London CAT Practitioner Training2017-2019 North London CAT Practitioner Training October 2017-August 2019 The course is run by the Haringey Complex Care Team at Halliwick, St Ann’s Hospital which is part of Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. The course i...

05-10-17 Catalyse CAT Practitioner TrainingPractitioner Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy organised by Catalyse (formerly known as CAT North) October 2017 to July 2019 https://catalyse.uk.com/training/2017-2019-practitioner-training/ The CAT Practitioner Training is a two year trainin...

14-10-17 Working Collaboratively with Medically Unexplained Symptoms - offered by CAT SouthThe objectives for this one day CPD event are ... to understand the application of CAT principles when working with people who present with disabling or distressing physical symptoms where medical explanation and intervention is inadequate to gain ...

03-11-17 ACAT: CAT & EmbodimentPresenter: Tim Sheard More details to follow....

17-11-17 Working with Self-Harm - A relational approach - offered by CatalyseWorking with self-harm: a relational approach A 1-day workshop led by Clive Turpin and Cheryl Delisser Event Hashtag: #CATshr17 Booking options now open Overview of workshop: People who self-harm can present in many health settings from general ...

15-12-17 CAT and the Neurosciences - offered by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation TrustCognitive Analytic Therapy CPD Afternoon 12.00 to 5.00 pm Our aim is to help us be more aware of how the neurosciences can inform our practice of psychotherapy and what we notice and reflect on during it, and how they can help us understand more ab...

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