Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy

(Our Training in CAT section is currently being updated and these pages are under revision.  Once complete, we will add a note of completion date so that website viewers can be sure the information is the latest.  If you have any training query in the interim, please contact Maria Cross:


CAT is a versatile approach to psychological help and there are three main areas of the application of CAT in practice which is reflected in our training:

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

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

Our training courses and training routes emphasise these elements to differing degrees.
Our introductory courses are not accredited whilst all other levels of training are.

Please scroll to bottom of this page for current training courses or click here.

ACAT Non Accredited Courses

Introductory Courses

These are short, introductory workshops usually of one or two days in length and are intended to outline the philosophy and core concepts of CAT theory and practice for professionally qualified staff who are new to CAT. While certificates of attendance for CPD may be given, the courses are not assessed and do not lead to a qualification. Attending an introductory course is not an absolute requirement for staff wishing to apply for accredited CAT training, but they do give a good idea of what CAT and CAT training involves and applicants for accredited training should demonstrate that they have this level of understanding as preparation for further training [booking via the ACAT website].

For more information about Introductory Courses please click here.

"Very good training, learned a lot and inspired further interest!"

"It has been one of the best, informative, useful, understandable and enjoyable training sessions I have ever experienced"

"The whole day - really interesting content and the presentation was excellent - very professional and maintained my interest throughout to the extent that I'm now very motivated to look further into CAT."

Bespoke Introductory Courses:

ACAT can provide ‘bespoke’ introductory workshops, so if your organisation or Trust is interested in hosting a day, please get in touch with the ACAT office to explore the possibilities: or phone 01305 263511

ACAT Accredited Courses

ACAT accredited courses can be considered in terms of two possible routes or pathways, specifically regarding whether they are likely to lead to a 'CAT career' or not. The CAT Therapist (career route) is for those using CAT in one-to-one therapy roles. The ‘non-career’ route is focused on CAT Case Management Skills, with a contextual focus and suited to generic workers or practitioners not in therapy roles. CAT would be used to enhance your current role. 

CAT Skills Training - non career route

For those interested in the non-career route (CAT Case Management), ACAT offers a six month course 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. These courses aim to enhance skills in team working with complex clients, psychologically informed case management and understanding the impact of working within a context, usually with complex clients.  The award is the ACAT Six Month Skills Level Certificate in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) (Case Management). Possible applications include IAPT / SMI - PD case management; secondary care MDT team care CAT informed care co-ordination; specialist e.g. complex cases and forensic settings.

For more information about CAT Skills Trainings please click here.

“It was one of the few things I have attended over the years where I felt I am really learning and developing as a practitioner”


For those interested in the CAT career route to offer CAT as a therapy, there are three levels of training in CAT theory and practice, all ACAT accredited with the option to take a modular route through these levels. The trainings are CAT Foundation, CAT Practitioner / Therapist and CAT Psychotherapist Training Courses.

ACAT has been recognised by the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) allowing CAT Practitioners to use the protected title Psychological Therapist

CAT Therapist / Practitioner Course - career route

This two year training aims to develop skills to practice CAT as a 1-1 therapy. It is open to trainees with a core profession and relevant experience. It leads to ACAT accreditation as a CAT therapist / CAT practitioner, allowing the graduate to practice CAT within their core profession. It consists of eight modules over two years consisting of theory, skills and supervised clinical case work and assessed through four clinical appraisals every six months; two clinical case studies and two essays. Trainees must complete a sixteen session CAT training therapy. Entry to the two year course is through application, interview and attendance at a CAT introductory workshop (two days) or equivalent.

For more information about the CAT Therapist / Practitioner Course please click here

“I have enjoyed the course and learned a great deal. I have especially enjoyed the teaching from people who really thoroughly know the model and are clearly motivated to help us learn in a supportive environment. I would highly recommend this course.”

CAT Foundation Course - career route

This one year course is equivalent to the year one of a CAT Therapist / Practitioner course in academic and clinical content and written work requirements. The therapy component is a brief personal reformulation experience. This course was designed following an invitation to develop a CAT training for IAPT workers. The Foundation Course is also offered by some DClinPsychol training courses in fulfilment of the British Psychological Society (BPS) requirements for clinical psychologists to train in two models. The award is ACAT Foundation Certificate in CAT Practice. The Foundation Course is modular and has been designed for trainees satisfactorily completing the course to opt to do a second year.

For more information about the CAT Foundation Course please click here

"Attending the CAT Foundation Course has enabled me to add a more robust framework to my work as a Psychological Therapist within IAPT - a service where sessions are most definitely time-limited! Equally for my clients it appears to allow them a quicker 'grasp' of past and present relating and behaviour patterns and therefore they can identify the potential for change more easily."


Following completion and accreditation as a CAT Therapist / Practitioner…….

Completion and accreditation as a CAT Therapist / Practitioner is a transition point to further CAT (psychotherapist UKCP) training and ACAT supervisor and, trainer development / accreditation. CAT Therapist / Practitioner training is required as a minimum basis for using CAT as a consultancy model, specifically for taking the consultant role; for running CAT groups, for delivering brief reformulation sessions in CAT Skills and Foundation Courses.

Psychotherapy Training - career route

The CAT Psychotherapy training course enables CAT Practitioners / Therapists to become Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapists via an additional two-year accredited training which leads to eligibility for full registration with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
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 successfully completed a two-year CAT Practitioner training.

For more information on Psychotherapy Training please click here

Supervised Clinical Practice as part of CAT Trainings || Appendix 1

It is important to note that all trainees undertaking accredited training courses must be supervised by a supervisor who is both accredited by ACAT and a current member of ACAT. For training at Foundation, Practitioner and Psychotherapist level, supervision is 15 minutes minimum per client per week for all training cases. CAT’s preferred model is face to face group supervision but circumstances may arise when a group may not be possible for a part of a trainee’s training and we explore alternative arrangements. Supervision appraisals are conducted individually.
All accredited ACAT supervisors have completed the ACAT accredited supervisor training.

To see Appendix 1 Supervised Clinical Practice as part of CAT Trainings please click here

Personal Development and Personal Therapy as part of CAT Trainings || Appendix 2

As CAT is a relational approach, the way therapeutic work impinges on and requires the use of self and self-reflection is a core element of CAT training and supervision. We make a commitment to personal development in order to manage our own selves (roles and procedures) so that personal difficulties are not enacted unhelpfully with our service users in the working environment or on the course. At each level of training, there is a personal therapy component. At CAT Therapist / Practitioner level this is a 16 session CAT; at CAT Skills Case Management and Foundation Course level this involves a brief ‘personal reformulation’ experience; at Psychotherapist level trainees will be expected to commit to an ongoing programme of personal psychotherapy throughout the two years of the training.

To see Appendix 2 Personal Development and Personal Therapy as part of CAT Trainings please click here
To see Appendix 3 CAT Personal Reformulation for Personal and Professional Development please click here


ACAT Supervisor Training

ACAT Supervisor Training is based upon an apprenticeship model provided by ACAT for experienced CAT practitioners and psychotherapists to progress towards accreditation as a CAT supervisor. All accredited ACAT supervisors have completed the ACAT accredited supervisor training. The entry requirements and supervisor training pathway and accreditation can be accessed by ACAT members in Supervisor Training Guidelines and Application.

If you are an ACAT accredited Psychotherapist and also a member of UKCP you will be eligible on ACAT accreditation as a supervisor to join the UKCP Directory of Approved Supervisors as a Recognised Training Supervisor (RTS).  
If you are an ACAT Practitioner and you become accredited as a CAT Supervisor you will be eligible to join the HIPC Directory of Approved Supervisors as a Recognised Training Supervisor. 

For more information on ACAT Supervisor Training please click here  


Please click here for a flow chart of ACAT's Courses and Trainings showing modular structure

MSc Cognitive Analytic Therapy

The MSc programme at Sheffield Hallam University is open to prospective MSc students who are interested to conduct research in CAT. They can apply via the Advancing Professional Practice Programme.
The contact is senior lecturer and CAT therapist James Turner (

For further information on the MSc Cognitive Analytic Therapy please click here


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

APL as part contribution to CAT training:
Applicants for CAT Practitioner training can in principle 'count' a maximum of two CAT cases as part of the eight cases needed for that training. In exceptional circumstances, individuals may wish to have past training and experience recognised by ACAT as equivalent to its current standards and to count towards an award. Guidelines exist outlining procedures for this route.

For further information on APL and APEL please click here

Courses currently accepting applications at each of these levels are listed below (or via the relevant page accessed by the links)

Please direct any general enquiries about training to the ACAT Office in the first instance to:  Maria Cross at

Current Training Courses

1 Year CAT Foundation Courses

CAT Introductory Events

CAT Practitioner Trainings

CAT Psychotherapist Trainings

CAT Skills Trainings

CAT Supervisor Trainings

CAT Training Events

MSc Cognitive Analytic Therapies

ACAT Calendar for January
1313th January 2017
1 Year CAT Foundation Course: Wiltshire One Year CAT Foundation Course - POSTPONED
1616th January 2017
CAT Introductory Event: 2 Day Intro to CAT for people with Intellectual Disabilities - offered by the LD SIG
2020th January 2017
Training Committee, Final datefor Agenda Item submissions
2727th January 2017
Accreditation submission deadline
Trustees, Final Agenda Item Submission Date

Our Next 3 Courses

02-03-17 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CATIntroducing 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 working. Thursda...

08-06-17 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CATIntroducing 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 working. Thursda...

27-06-17 ACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision ResidentialRelational Skills in CAT Supervision A residential, intensive skills training course lasting two and a half days Dates and venue to be confirmed Aims: This intensive two and a half day residential course is open to Trainee CAT supervisors, off...

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