ACAT: Understanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship
21st September 2018

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Robert has published two short blogs linked to this event.  The first covers some of the ideas and research behind it.  You can read it by clicking on this link  

The second blog looks more closely at the idea of interventions as relational acts in CBT interventions.  You can read the second blog by clicking on this link


Overview / aims

Decades of psychotherapy research demonstrates that the therapeutic relationship is fundamental to good outcomes in any therapy. Yet problems and ruptures to the therapeutic relationship are common and stressful, and they can present challenges to therapists across all levels of experience. Understanding and formulating problems in the relationship and making them the focus of collaborative dialogue are all essential components of successfully addressing them.

Is there consensus based on research regarding what are helpful and unhelpful therapist responses to ruptures or strains in the therapeutic relationship?  Yes, there is, and interestingly, research suggests that experienced therapists tend to make more unhelpful responses even after intensive training on the subject.  Making theory practice links throughout, this workshop will draw on the application of CAT tools and skills to focus on what helps and what does not in this workshop designed to help therapists work better when the therapeutic relationship gets stuck.   

Learning objectives

  • Provide a relational formulation of the therapeutic alliance with an emphasis on interventions as relational acts i.e. the principle that the same intervention can be experienced differently depending on client’s characteristic ways of relating to themselves and others meaning for example, that a thought diary could be experienced as self-affirming by one client or controlling by another.
  • To provide a transtheoretical model of rupture resolution as a tool for guiding the process of rupture resolution.
  • Provide participants with practical skills in how to use CAT formulations as a resource for the purposes of therapeutic metacommunication i.e. creating a dialogue that fosters awareness and understanding of the relational patterns between you and your client, so they can be explored and resolved collaboratively.
  • To help you reflect upon the role of vulnerability (both your client’s and your own) in rupture events and their resolution.
  • The workshop will provide expert teaching, and experiential exercises, allowing delegates to practice skills.  Transcripts of rupture events and their resolution from Robert’s clinical work provide real life examples of the theory practice links discussed. 

This is relevant to the following groups:

This workshop is aimed at CAT therapists and trainees, as well as clinical/counselling psychologists and other multi-modal clinicians with some knowledge of CAT who wish to develop their skills in this area of work and/ or deepen their relational skills when using other modalities such as CBT.


Robert Watson is a Clinical Psychologist with 17 years’ experience and has extensive experience in public and private settings working with clients with complex psychological presentations. He is an accredited CAT therapist and supervisor and is the vice-chair of ACAT.  This is the third run of this workshop following its successful first run for the West London Mental Health Trust Personality Disorder Service on 30th April 2018.

Some examples of what participants have liked so far:  

"Very clear guidance of how to notice, understand, and address ruptures.  I have had previous lectures on this, but this was the most helpful in practical terms."

"Having more awareness of dynamics and the confidence to speak to clients about it"

"The clinical examples of how to tackle ruptures.  Knowing that there is no set way to fix ruptures - it depends on the situation and your own judgement." 


ACAT reserves the right to change programme content and presenters

Timings: arrival 9:40am for tea / coffee, the workshop will commence at 10am and finish at 4pm.

How to book

  • Book and pay by personal credit or debit card online via the Booking section below
  • By email attaching the booking form to:
  • By post enclosing the booking form and a cheque to:  ACAT, PO Box 6793, Dorchester, DT1 9DL


Terms and Conditions: 

For event terms and conditions please visit


Details and Booking Information

21st September 2018

You can book this event online if you are registered or logged into this site. Click here to register or log in using the boxes at the top of this page.

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