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 July
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55th July 2018
ACAT Annual Conference: 24th Annual ACAT Conference 2018
66th July 2018
ACAT AGM: ACAT's Annual General Meeting 2018
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2020th July 2018
CPD Event: Exploring Issues of 'Race', Culture & Language within a CAT Framework - offered by Catalyse
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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 15 Events

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06-09-18 NTW CAT Practitioner Training 2018 - 2020NTW CAT Practitioner Training 2018 - 2020 This is a two-year in-service training leading to accreditation as a CAT Practitioner by the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT). Our training programme enables staff already qualified in a co...

14-09-18 ACAT Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATintro918 ACAT Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy A two-day introduction to the skills and concepts in practice This highly-rated, short course is offered by ACAT for people new to the CAT way of working Friday, 14th and Saturday, 15t...

21-09-18 ACAT: Understanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship#ACATRup18 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...

01-10-18 South London (formerly St Thomas’) Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Practitioner TrainingSouth London (Formerly St Thomas’) Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Practitioner Training Course Course Introduction 21st/22nd September 2018 Course commences October 2018 and ends July 2020 Organised by The Association for Cognitive Analytic...

04-10-18 CAT North Practitioner Training 2018-2020Catalyse / CAT North Practitioner Training - October 2018 (Manchester) A two-year training course in Manchester offered by Catalyse / CAT North commencing 4th October 2018. The course is for people with a core mental health profession leading to the...

19-10-18 ACAT: Clinical Applications of Bakhtin in CAT - Dialogism in Action#ACATBakhtin18 Clinical Applications of Bakhtin in CAT – Dialogism in Action A practical one-day workshop that aims to bridge the meaning gap between the theory of dialogism and clinical practice in CAT Overview / aims Do you ever find your...

26-10-18 CAT & EMDR#ACATEMDR18 Presented by Mark Walker More information will be available soon...

08-11-18 An Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust#CATinSussexIntro An Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy A two-day course for mental health professionals Thursday 8th and Friday 9th November 2018 Conference Room 2, East Brighton Community Mental Health Centre, Brighton Genera...

15-11-18 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATIntro1118 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 15th and Friday 16th Novembe...

30-11-18 PhysCAT Day#PhysCAT18 More information to follow soon...

30-11-18 CAT, ID & Trauma Conference - offered by the CAT LD Special Interest GroupCAT, ID and Trauma This conference is for people working or connected with intellectual disabilities who are interested in how the relational model of Cognitive Analytic Therapy can help us to navigate around complex situations. We know how trauma h...

15-03-19 Somerset CAT Practitioner TrainingThis 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 exp...

01-06-19 2 Day Introduction to CAT - offered by Collaborate - dates TBCCollaborate will be running a 2 Day Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) in the Cambridge area in June 2019. Dates and further details will be published once confirmed....

13-09-19 ACAT Annual General Meeting 2019The 2019 ACAT Annual General Meeting will be held in London during the ACAT Annual Conference on Friday, 13th September 2019. Details will be added to the website once confirmed. Items for the agenda to be received by 19th July 2019 ...

13-09-19 25th National ACAT ConferenceMore information to follow in due course - save the date!...

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