Somerset CAT Practitioner Training
15th March 2019 to 12th February 2021


This is a two-year in-service training leading to accreditation as a CAT Practitioner by the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT).

This course enables staff already qualified in a core caring profession or with psychological therapy experience to enhance their understanding and skills in psychotherapy by learning the theory and methods of Cognitive Analytic Therapy.  This, our fifth CAT Practitioner Training in the Trust, will start in March 2019, with applications being accepted from within and outside Somerset Partnership now.

The training programme is centred around supervised clinical work and 11 training days per year, seminar reading groups, written work, and a personal CAT therapy.

The Course Directors and Trainers are:

Jason Hepple, Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychological Therapies and a CAT psychotherapist and supervisor.  Jason is an experienced teacher and trainer and a former chair of ACAT.  He has published numerous papers and edited books on the practice of CAT particularly in the fields of later life and CAT in groups.  Jason will liaise with ACAT and external trainers.

Liz Fawkes is a CAT psychotherapist and Supervisor, and is Clinical Lead for CAT in Somerset.  She is currently Chair of ACAT Training Committee.  Liz has taught and supervised CAT extensively, and has particular interest and experience in working with people with a personality disorder.

Applicants from within Somerset Partnership

The course will be open to appropriate staff from Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Staff must have the support of their line manager to apply for and attend the course, and Course Director Liz Fawkes is available to discuss the benefits of CAT training with team managers and line managers should that be helpful in gaining that support.

Those successfully qualifying as CAT therapists will be able to deliver 2 CAT therapy sessions a week, thus contributing to effective working within the CMHT in line with the 3Fs approach. Applicants should aim to agree this commitment with their Line Manager when initially applying to the course.

Applicants external to Somerset Partnership

We are pleased to be able to accept applications for external fee-paying places on the course. These applicants will have to demonstrate that they can fund the training, find appropriate clients and meet with them in a suitable setting.  If making their own arrangements for supervision then they will need to demonstrate that this is appropriate for training supervision, that the supervisor is an ACAT accredited supervisor and a current member of ACAT, and that the supervisor is willing to complete the necessary processes and paperwork for ACAT practitioner accreditation.  We can provide more information about this, and can sometimes help put people in touch with appropriate supervisors.

Clinical Placements within Somerset Partnership: We can offer external candidates a clinical placement via an honorary contract within the Somerset CAT Service, where we offer clinical supervision in return for seeing two cases throughout their training.  We are also sometimes able to offer places within our training supervision groups to people seeing their own patients, at a cost of £1,000 per training year.

Psychology Graduates

We welcome enquiries from psychology graduates who have relevant clinical experience (eg, working as a psychology assistant).  Please contact liz.fawkes@sompar.nhs.uk to arrange a time to discuss your potential application.

Requirements for all applicants

All applicants will be expected to demonstrate that they are academically capable of undertaking postgraduate study, having either a first degree or equivalent qualification, or other evidence of academic capability.  They will already have (and will be asked to demonstrate) relevant experience of working with people in a mental health setting, and either a qualification in an NHS recognised core profession (e.g. nursing, clinical psychology, medicine, occupational therapy, social work), or evidence and qualification which demonstrates an equivalent level of competence.  It is desirable for applicants to have attended a 1-day introduction to CAT or equivalent. 

Applicants must have the personal qualities that make them suitable for the profession of psychotherapy and have sufficient emotional competence to deal with the psychological aspects of the work.  We will be looking for a lively and enquiring mind, an ability to listen and respond with compassion and respect and without prejudice, evidence of self-reflection, self-awareness and a commitment to self-development, evidence of personal stability and appropriate boundaries, and a capacity for constructive working relationships.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, class and disability, ethnic and cultural difference.  It is desirable but not required for applicants to have had a personal therapy experience.

Application Process

Applicants are required to submit:

  1. A current CV, with two referees.  Referees should be able to comment upon the applicants’ clinical and personal competencies.  If applicants are doing their training within their paid employment role, one referee must be a line manager or team leader who is able to confirm that the applicant has their support to undertake the training.  The second referee must be a clinical supervisor or equivalent.  Please discuss this with the referees and ensure you give an up-to-date email address, telephone number and ‘snail mail’ address for each.
  2. An account of their current therapeutic approach.  This should be no longer than two typed sides of A4.
  3. A personal statement indicating the reasons for choosing CAT training.  This should be no longer than one (typed) side of A4.
  4. An account of why it is important for therapists to develop an understanding of their own emotional life.  This should be no longer than one (typed) side of A4.

These four elements should be sent to Liz Fawkes, Clinical Lead for CAT:  liz.fawkes@sompar.nhs.uk

Interview Process

Short listed applicants will be invited for interview.  Interviews will be conducted in two formats.

Firstly there will be a 90 minute group interview.  This will take place on Friday 23rd November 2018.

This will be followed on a different date to be arranged by a one-to-one interview with one of the Course Directors, which will also cover all the practicalities involved in joining the course, covering access to patients, supervision and managerial support. 

Fees and Costs

Internal Candidates: For Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust employees all course fees will be met as part of its ongoing commitment to clinical excellence, the provision of evidence based therapies, and the delivery of services to clients referred to the personality disorder team.

External candidates: We are pleased to say that we have kept our fees the same, at £2000 per annum.  Please notes that the full year’s training fee of £2,000 is required before the each first training day of the year.  Similarly if candidates are paying for supervision, payment is required prior to the start of each year of supervision.

Additional Costs for all trainees: Trainees, whether Somerset Partnership or external, will be required to meet the cost of a personal CAT therapy (16-session plus follow up) as this is not included in the course fees.

Training Dates and Venue

The training dates for the 2019-21 course have already been set.  These will take place in South Petherton Community Hospital education suite from 09:30 – 16:30 on the following Fridays:

Year One: 15/3/19 : 12/4/19 : 17/5/19 : 14/6/19 : 12/7/19 :13/9/19 : 11/10/19 :15/11/19 : 13/12/19 :10/1/20 : 14/2/20

Year Two: 13/3/20 : 3/4/20 : 8/5/20 : 12/6/20 : 10/7/20 : 18/9/20 : 9/10/20 : 13/11/20 : 11/12/20 : 8/1/21 : 12/2/21

Further information and enquiries:

If you have any further questions, or would like to discuss your potential application, please do contact Liz Fawkes via her email liz.fawk@sompar.nhs.uk and she will arrange a time to talk with you.


Details and Booking Information

15th March 2019 to 12th February 2021

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