More about CAT

CAT is an integrative model of human development and of psychotherapy drawing on ideas as mentioned below. It is a fundamentally relational model, both in its view of human development and in its practice of psychotherapy. At its heart is an empathic, respectful and collaborative, meaning-making relationship between the client and therapist within the therapeutic boundaries.

What are the origins of CAT?

CAT was developed in the early 1980’s by Dr Anthony Ryle at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. CAT developed as a public health response to the mental health needs of a busy inner London area, and this concern with access and equity remains at the heart of the model. He felt it important to offer a short-term focussed therapy for use in the health service; a therapy that integrated the best of different approaches to people’s problems and that could be researched and refined with the growing experience of clients and therapists.

Theoretically, CAT draws on:

  • Psychoanalytic concepts of conflict, defence, object relations and counter transference (particularly from Donald Winnicott). 
  • Ideas from activity theory and dialogism introduced by Lev Vygotsky and Mikhail Bakhtin.  (Dialogism is a particularly kind of dialogue, not limited to two people speaking to each other, but to the whole way in which we act towards each other and expect each other to act towards us.)
  • George Kelly's Personal Construct Theory and work with repertory grids; a focus on how people make sense of their world ("man as scientist") and on common sense, co-operative work with patients. 
  • From cognitive approaches involving step by step planning and measurement of change; teaching patients self-observation of moods, thoughts and symptoms.

What sort of problems can CAT help with?

CAT tries to focus on what a person brings to the therapy (‘target problems’) and the deeper patterns of relating that underlie them. It is less concerned with traditional psychiatric symptoms, syndromes or labels.

CAT has been widely used to help people who have experienced childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect and trauma, including people who self-harm. CAT is also used with people with eating disorders, addiction problems (like drugs and alcohol), obsessional problems, anxiety, depression, phobias, psychosis and bipolar illness. CAT therapists also work with adolescents, older people and people with learning difficulties, and in forensic settings.

CAT is mostly offered to individuals, but it can also be used effectively with couples, in groups and to help teams understand the ‘system’ in which they work – an approach called ‘contextual reformulation’.

What Qualifications Can I Expect the Therapist to Have?

ACAT can confirm that all the therapists listed on the ACAT Register are accredited CAT Practitioners or Psychotherapists.

CAT Practitioners usually have either core training as a mental health professional (e.g. as a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nurse, Social Worker or Occupational Therapist,) with a minimum of two years post-qualification experience, or previous training in counselling to an accredited level followed by a two year training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy with accreditation following successful completion.

CAT Psychotherapists have qualified as CAT Practitioners and have undertaken an additional in-depth two year training leading to this qualification.

To search the register for an Accredited CAT Therapist click here.

To find an Accredited Private CAT Therapist click here.

Both CAT Practitioners and CAT Psychotherapists count as Psychological Therapists in the Centre for Workforce Intelligence Review

CfWI ReportThe Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) recently completed a Department of Health commissioned review of adult psychological therapies to improve workforce planning. It has recommended a consensus definition of what a psychological therapist is across all therapy modalities and provides data on what is currently known about this workforce - the focus is on non-IAPT services. The report is intended for policymakers and decision-makers across the NHS. ACAT took part in the consultations and we believe this is an important review from ACAT's perspective.

We are pleased that in April 2013, ACAT was accepted as one of the professional bodies currently providing training for psychological therapists. Importantly, the CfWI definition of a psychological therapist includes CAT Practitioners as well as CAT Psychotherapists, and CAT Practitioners are included within existing workforce numbers in the CfWI report.

The report can be found through this link   http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/improving-workforce-planning-for-the-psychological-therapies-workforce/

ACAT Calendar for November
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77th November 2019
CPD Event: Sex Addiction: a relational approach to assessment, formulation & intervention
88th November 2019
CPD Event: How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology
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1414th November 2019
CAT Supervisor Training: 2 day workshop in CAT supervision - offered by Catalyse
1515th November 2019
CAT Introductory Event: An Introduction to CAT - offered by the Sussex Partnership NHS FT
CPD Event: Applying CAT in Physical Healthcare Settings - offered by Midlands CAT and PhysCAT
1616th November 2019
CPD Event: Sex addiction - Interactive Webinar - offered by Become Psychology
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2525th November 2019
Special Interest Group Event: CAT TAST SIG
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2828th November 2019
CAT Introductory Event: ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT
2929th November 2019
CPD Event: Equality and Diversity Workshop
3030th November 2019
CPD Event: How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology

Contact Details

ACAT Administration Manager:Maria Cross

ACAT Administrator:Alison Marfell

ACAT Financial Administrator:Louise Barter

Postal Address:ACAT
PO Box 6793
Dorchester
DT1 9DL
United Kingdom

Phone:+44(0) 1305 263 511

Email:admin@acat.me.uk

Office Hours:Monday to Friday
9am to 5pm

Our Next 13 Events

View all courses

25-11-19 CAT TAST SIGMonthly SIG meeting. Request membership to be included and you will be sent ZOOM link. ...

28-11-19 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATIntro1119 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. Thursday 28th and Friday 29th Novembe...

29-11-19 Equality and Diversity WorkshopBeyond Aims In/Equality: Embedding Thinking Space & Action in CAT Training & Practice This CPD day, organised by ACAT's Equality and Diversity Committee, brings together CAT therapists, trainees and other interested people to consider ho...

30-11-19 How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become PsychologyHow to run a successful private practice: all you need to know. Interactive Webinar. Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of the Association for Cog...

06-12-19 ACAT: CPD for the HeartCancelled; apologies for any inconvenience. A day of inner reflection and nourishment for therapists Presented by Annalee Curran and Elizabeth Wilde McCormick #acatheart19 Friday 6th December 2019 Arrival 9:30am for a 10am start, 4:30pm finish....

07-12-19 Understanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship - offered by Become PsychologyUnderstanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship: a practical skills interactive webinar. This is the sixth run of this workshop following its successful first run for the West London Mental Health Trust Personality Disorder Serv...

14-12-19 Online Psychotherapy - offered by Become PsychologyOnline Psychotherapy: An introduction to the relational and practical considerations. Interactive Webinar. Workshop presented by: Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of...

28-02-20 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATIntro0220 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. Friday 28th and Saturday 29th Februar...

26-03-20 Trainers and Supervisors MeetingMore information to follow, potential venue currently being investigated....

22-04-20 Relational Skills in CAT Supervision ResidentialACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential #ACATSup20 Holland House, Main Street, Cropthorne, Pershore, WR10 3NB 4.30 pm Wednesday 22nd April to 3.00 pm Friday 24th April 2020 Cost: £330 online booking / £345 cheque or invo...

01-05-20 Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic TherapyInter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy Applications are invited for the next intake of the Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy, starting in May 2020. Thi...

09-07-20 26th ACAT National Conference 2020#ACATconf20 'Connections, Conflicts and CAT' Hold the date! Venue: Grand Hotel, Gosforth Park More information to follow....

01-10-20 South London CAT Practitioner 2020 - 2022Further details will be added to the website once confirmed...

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