CAT Skills Case Management Courses 

This training is designed for generic workers in health, caring and support worker roles to acquire a useful working understanding of CAT to inform their routine practice.  The aim is not to train people to become individual therapists. The skills training can also be delivered as a bespoke training to teams in various settings and situations, e.g. community mental health teams, primary care, wards and specialist services such as substance abuse, consultation liaison teams, voluntary sector or community organisations.  There is a need to incorporate a degree of flexibility in the delivery of this training, to accommodate the needs of different training groups.  

“CAT has taught me a lot about risk assessment and management in terms of being able to use a patient’s formulation to obtain a richer understanding of exactly where the risky behaviour is located and likely triggers."

The specific focus and aim of this course is to enable those in supportive caring roles, with competence in their own professional field, to enhance their relational and therapeutic skills by using concepts and skills derived from CAT.  It aims to equip trainees with core CAT concepts and skills to inform formulation, intervention, care planning and risk assessment, as well as general dialogue about service users within and across teams. The course promotes CAT as a common model and language to aid professionals to understand and support service users with the difficulties they face. The course is applicable to a range of service lines, e.g. dementia and complex care, adult community and inpatient mental health, child and adolescent, forensic, learning disability, substances abuse and homelessness services.

The course offers a different application of CAT competencies and is not intended as a foundation or pathway to training as a CAT Therapist/Practitioner, or working as an individual therapist with clients.  In this respect it has a different kind of psychological contract which is not focused on doing therapy but on creating the conditions for the establishment, maintenance and appropriate ending and/or handover of treatment, support and care.  Those training and qualifying in this approach will be supported in continuing to build their skills if working alongside CAT trained therapists. Alternatively, CAT Skills Case Management courses are best delivered in a setting where CAT informed supervision / reflective practice will be utilised and / or where CAT Practitioners are able to support the initiative and broader development of CAT informed case management.

"I have learnt so much, both about the clients and my own expectations of myself and what is realistically achievable.”

The training comprises four components:

1.  Theory and Skills Training Days:  a minimum of five training days (35 hours) and seminar/peer reading groups (8 hours) or an additional training day. A case management course will aim to deliver the core concepts of CAT and although it may adapt the core curriculum to cover specific areas of relevance to the trainees dependent on their setting, the training will focus on the interaction between service users and professionals in the context of team -based treatment and care. This will include an emphasis on: 

  • a relational understanding of individuals and their development and distress
  • the role of reformulation, and reformulation driven care plans
  • interactions in teams and between staff and service users
  • skills of/in CAT diagrammatic formulation/relational mapping
  • enhanced skills in appropriate empathy and boundaries and working side-by-side.

2.  Supervision of Clinical Practice: trainees will receive thirty-five hours of group supervision on individual work, over the duration of the course to allow the trainee to extend their knowledge of service users and of different styles of working.  Ideally supervision is in groups of three for 1.5 hours per week for the duration of the course (hence 6 hours per month, 36 hours over 6 months).  This would usually work out as ½ an hour per week for each supervisee for their own work across the six months.  The choice of work will vary according to the individual’s professional role and work setting but as a common element supervisees will address the application of CAT’s model and methods to particular service users.  It is recommended that trainees focus on two individual service users.

3.  Assessment involves one clinical appraisal, a reflective essay on their personal experience of learning to use CAT and a case study of a person they have worked with.

4.  Personal Development: A valued and innovative feature of the skills course is the requirement to have a brief CAT Personal Reformulation (PR), where the objective is to develop a CAT understanding/mapping of the likely patterns of interaction triggered in the participant when undertaking professional work.
Please click here for further information on personal development within CAT training.

Further details about Personal Reformulation for Personal and Professional Development and how to arrange this will be provided by the course at the start of training. Once registered as an ACAT member on a course you can click into ACAT 'Training Resources' (under 'Training' on a member's home page when logged-in) to access the downloadable document 'Personal Reformulation: Skills and Foundation', or please click here to be transferred to your home page where you can access ACAT Training Resources

ACAT Moderator comments: “This course (provided to a staff team from one organisation), like the previous one, appears to have had a positive impact on the quality of care, enhancing the quality of care via improved boundary management and quality of therapeutic alliance between staff and clients. .….  Overall the course appears to have assisted staff to better understand themselves, their clients and their working context. Hopefully the reflective space created by the course and the supervision will be maintained.”

Admission Criteria would include trainees having relevant experience of working with people in a professional role, usually most participants will be working in the health, supporting and caring professions.  It is desirable to have some familiarity with psychological therapy approaches, and essentially an interest and aptitude for interpersonal and relational approaches, which means having the necessary personal qualities and sufficient emotional competence to deal with the reflective and psychological aspects of the work.  It is desirable for applicants to have attended an introduction to CAT or equivalent.

The Award:  on successful completion of the CAT Skills Certificate course, the candidate will submit an ACAT accreditation form detailing satisfactory completion of all components to the ACAT Exam Board.  The ACAT Exam Board meets three times a year and will agree the award - the Six Month Skills Level Certificate in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) (Case Management). A course has the discretion to award an attendance certificate to trainees who opt not to complete the written assessments. 

Applications for CAT Skills training 

CAT Skills courses are usually commissioned by NHS Trusts or other organisations. There are a number of inhouse 'bespoke' courses across UK. These courses can occasionally accept applicants if space permits. There are currently no planned open access courses for individual application but we are taking enquiries from those interested in this level of training. If you want to express interest or find out more about commissioning a bespoke CAT Skills course please contact Louise Barter, ACAT Administrator, in the first instance:


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Updated November 2020

Forthcoming Skills Courses are listed below.

CAT Skills courses are usually commissioned by NHS Trusts or other organisations. There are no current CAT Skills courses open to individual application.  

CAT Skills Training Courses

Petition to NHS England - The Case for Funding Training in the NHS 2021 Alert!
ACAT's online payment system has been updated - click for more information
ACAT Calendar for May
88th May 2024
CPD Event: 12 Easy Steps in Therapeutic Writing - offered by Map and Talk
1414th May 2024
CPD Event: Safety and CAT: Containing Distress to Manage Risk - offered by Catalyse
2121st May 2024
CAT Introductory Event: ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT - Online
Special Interest Group Event: Working Relationally with Young People online book launch - offered by ICATA

Our Next CAT Skills Trainings

There are no CAT Skills Trainings listings at present.


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