Working Relationally with Young People online book launch - offered by ICATA
21st May 2024

Time: 9am till 10:30am

ICATA are delighted to be hosting the online book launch for the latest in the Innovations in CAT series, published by Pavilion, that has been produced in collaboration with contributors from across the globe. Contributors include a number of young people sharing their lived experiences of their difficulties and distress, as well as their encounters with services, so that across its 18 chapters, and 4 shorter case studies, the book offers an international perspective to the field of relational mental health and relational practice.

This book explores the growing interest in and demand for relational mental health support for young people, parents, families and communities. Relational approaches place an emphasis on authentic and mutual connections; the therapist is not an aloof ‘expert’, but an engaged human being who is an active part of the process, and who draws on subjective experiences and passions in the service of the client. Working Relationally with Young People explores the theory, practice and delivery of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and its relational mindset in youth mental health and wellbeing and makes the case for prioritising a relational way of working across all services and support for young people – whether they be within children and young people’s mental healthservices, or in other contexts such as education, social care or youth work.

This book launch is therefore an open invitation to anyone working alongside young people – teachers, social workers, youth workers or mental health practitioners – who might be interested in how we may prioritise the relational in our thinking and day to day practice. We hope to be joined by a number of the chapter contributors, showcasing work from a number of different countries and contexts.

The book offers a wide range of views and perspectives regarding relational working and how this can be made meaningful and accessible for children, young people, their families and across communities. As one might expect from a book written from within the Cognitive Analytic Therapy community, it does not shy away from recognising the impacts of social injustices and widening inequalities, and speaks to these through concerns such as climate, gender identity, power and proximity, workplace burnout and bullying, as well as privilege and exclusion. Throughout the book the reader is encouraged to remain open and curious, to embrace uncertainty and acknowledge complexity, to allow creativity and an embracing of plurality. For this book is allowing a space for dialogue to be all about relationships – within, between and around.

As Lee and Nick say in the opening chapter:

We hope you enjoy and are challenged, in a good way, reading this book (yes, it is our intention to be challenging enough). We have found the relational approach helps us zoom up and out from the individual to the wider world, with all the spaces between offering opportunities for change. This approach has helped us acknowledge and use the relating that is happening between us, so we can start to change the part we play, allowing relational repair. We know that the young person’s practitioner, be they youth worker, school well-being coordinator, social worker, teacher or psychologist, knows that the working relationship is the key to change, but the task is to create a space that will allow this to occur. For it is in the space between that lies the opportunity for change.”

Reviews of the book:

‘This wonderful book brings together the voices and methods of those working at the creative edge of helping and empowering young people. Read and discover new ways of working and new ways of relating.’ – Steve Potter Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Author

‘This amazing book gives evidence of the importance not only of “being relational”, a core concept in CAT and in our work with young people. This book is not only a dialogue between clinicians but there is hope for promoting change in connection with and relating to young people and the wider communities and systems around them.’ – Marie-Anne Bernardy-Arbuz. clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, CAT practitioner who introduced CAT in France in 2010.

For further information about the book please visit


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