Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy

View current training courses.

The Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy accredits and supports a variety of training offered by its members. They aim to be flexible and responsive to the needs of trainees and to the resources of training groups. There are four types of course at present, offering different levels of training in CAT theory and practice. All training is aimed at introducing CAT to people with qualifications in professions allied to mental health work and are provided in service but may offer places to individuals who work outside of the NHS in relevant non-statutory services such as Eating Disorder services or Addiction services.

CAT is a versatile approach to psychological help and currently there are three main areas of the application of CAT in practice.

  • As a broadly based psychological therapy focusing on a collaborative educational and therapeutic relationship
  • As a consultative or team training tool working with the context and systems around the client in difficulty
  • As a method of teaching relational thinking and relational skills to enhance general professional and psychological skills in working with people.

Training courses emphasise these elements to differing degrees.

View current training courses.

Introductory Courses:

These comprise either short, introductory workshops usually of one or two days in length or longer, six month to one year introductions. While certificates of attendance for CPD may be given, the courses are not assessed and do not lead to a qualification. [Booking via the ACAT website]. 

Bespoke Introductory Courses

We have a bank of experienced trainers who are willing to provide ‘bespoke’ introductory workshops, so if your organisation or Trust might be interested in hosting a day, please get in touch with the ACAT office to explore the possibilities: admin@acat.me.uk   – 0844 800 9496. 

In response to the question: 'What was most useful for you?' a course attendee wrote:  "The whole day - really interesting content and S's presentation was excellent - very professional and maintained my interest throughout to the extent that I'm now very motivated to look further into CAT."

CAT is a broadly based psychological therapy focusing on a collaborative educational and therapeutic relationship

CAT Skills Training:

This training is designed for those working in the health and caring professions to acquire a basic understanding of CAT and to apply it to their routine work, rather than to practice CAT as an individual therapy. The training may be delivered to whole teams or to groups of interested individuals and it can be offered in a range of formats, to suit the requirements of the group. It is usually completed within one year and leads to an ACAT Skills Training Certificate.

Practitioner Training:

Practitioner training enables core professionals with competence in their own field to enhance their understanding and skills in psychological therapy by learning the theory and methods of CAT. These courses usually last two years and are assessed, leading to accreditation as a CAT Practitioner and eligibility for full membership of ACAT. The courses are held at a number of venues across the country in • Brighton • Cornwall • Dublin • London (North and Central) • Manchester • Newcastle • Norwich • Oxford • Reading • Scotland • Somerset • Cannock/West Midlands.  Most Practitioner trainings up to 2013 are Postgraduate Diplomas leading to ACAT Accreditation and a Diploma in CAT awarded by Sheffield Hallam University.  The collaboration between ACAT and SHU which has existed since 2008 is closing in 2013. We are currently exploring a new higher education provider for courses and ACAT anticipates continuing to offer the dual award at PG Diploma level.  If we set up a new collaboration, it is likely that the courses will be credit rated in the same way and that the new intakes will be included in this dual award. However, at the current time, we cannot guarantee this outcome. We will update applicants once any new partner arrangements are established.  Further information and application process can be found within each course link. 

MSc Cognitive Analytic Therapy

From 2013 the MSc programme at Sheffield Hallam University continues to be open to prospective MSc students who can apply via the Advancing Professional Practice programme.  The contact is james.turner@shu.ac.uk. CAT will remain the focus but the qualification will be MSc Advancing Professional Practice programme. There may be additional opportunities in the future with a new higher education partner. 

Psychotherapy Training:

Psychotherapy training enables CAT Practitioners to become Cognitive Analytic psychotherapists via an additional two-year assessed course, which leads to eligibility for registration with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. There is currently one Psychotherapy Training within ACAT, which is a two-year residential training (two year course with three residential weeks per year), known as the Interregional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training (IRRAPT). Applicants to the Psychotherapy Training must have completed a two-year CAT Practitioner training.

Supervisor Training
There is no formal training as a CAT Supervisor but instead applicants are required to produce a proposal to meet the accreditation criteria. The training is based upon an apprenticeship model provided by ACAT for experienced CAT practitioners and psychotherapists to progress towards accreditation as a CAT supervisor.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL):

In exceptional circumstances individuals may wish to have past training and experience recognised by ACAT and a collaborative provider such as a Higher Education/University partner as equivalent to its current standards and to count towards an award. This may for example be applicable to trainees who completed earlier trainings in CAT (pre 2008 ACAT only awards) who wish to have their training credit rated in order to progress to an MSc. Guidelines exist outlining procedures for this route.

Please make any general enquiries on training to the ACAT Office:  Susan Van Baars at susanvanbaars@acat.me.uk

Current Training Courses

CAT Introductory Events


CAT Practitioner Trainings


CAT Psychotherapist Trainings


CAT Skills Trainings


CAT Supervisor Trainings


CAT Training Events


MSc Cognitive Analytic Therapies


2014 ACAT AGM

Our Next 3 Courses

05-06-14 CAT Skills for working with Complex Clients in Mental Health or Forensic Settings‘Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Skills for working with Complex Clients in Mental Health or Forensic Settings Suitable for those working with clients on an individual basis, within a group or a team, or in a ward or prison based setting, wh...

02-09-14 Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy offered by Berkshire HealthcareIntroducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) A one day workshop offered by Berkshire Healthcare When: Tuesday, 2nd September 2014 10.00 am to 4.00 pm Where: Friends Meeting House, Maidenhead SL6 1RL Aims: To provide ...

19-09-14 ACAT Introduction to Cognitive Analytic TherapyIntroduction 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 Dates: Friday, 19th and Saturday, 20th September 20...