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 February
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22nd February 2019
CPD Event: Understanding and resolving ruptures - an online event offered by Become Psychology
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2828th February 2019
CPD Event: Managing Work Pressure - offered by NECAT

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 31 Events

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28-02-19 Managing Work Pressure - offered by NECATNECAT (North East Cognitive Analytic Therapy) Managing Work Pressure 1-day workshop led by, Thursday 28th February 2019 9.30am – 4.30pm Developing our personal awareness of the pressures created by high level managers and discovering how to...

01-03-19 Research Conference - organised jointly by ACAT and Catalyse#CATres19 The second, joint, one day Research Conference organised by ACAT and Catalyse The Research Journey from Start to Finish – Motivating to Motivated Venue: Institute of Biomedical Science, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL Overvi...

06-03-19 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATIntro0319 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. Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th March ...

08-03-19 ACAT: Out of control sexual behaviour#ACAToocs19 Out of control sexual behaviour: A CAT informed relational approach to assessment, formulation, and intervention, and how to engender affirmative sexual desire Presented by Robert Watson See Robert's latest blog on this topic at:...

09-03-19 CAT Nature Retreat - offered by CAT CumbriaWho? This event will be facilitated by Vannessa Tobin & Caroline Dower Where? Rydal Hall, Rydal, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9LX https://rydalhall.org When? Saturday 9th March 2019 – 10.00am – 5.00pm (coffee ...

11-03-19 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 Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therap...

15-03-19 Somerset CAT Practitioner Training 2019 2021This 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...

15-03-19 ACAT: CAT for psychosis: a relational approachPresented by: Dr Claire Seddon, CAT practitioner & Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Mersey Care Early Intervention for Psychosis (EIP) Service and Dr Alex Perry, CAT practitioner & Lead Clinical Psychologist, Aspire EIP Leeds #ACATrelpsy19 ...

27-03-19 Trainers and Supervisors Meeting#ACATtrain19 ACAT's Annual Meeting of Trainers and Supervisors Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th March 2019 St Anne's College, University of Oxford, OX2 6HS From 12 noon on Wednesday to 4.30pm Thursday The meeting, in its inspiring and we...

29-03-19 ACAT: CAT with Couples#ACATcoup19 Times: 9:30am – 4:30pm Venue: Institute of Biomedical Science, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL Overview and aims This day is aimed at individual and couple therapists who would like to work within a CAT model as well as at ...

29-03-19 Forensic CAT Conference - offered by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV)Shared Thinking Space: Innovations in Reflective Practice in Forensic Settings Friday 29th March 2019 #CATfor19 Hosted by Ridgeway Hospital, Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV) The Grand, York 9am-5pm with lunch and refreshments provided...

04-04-19 Introduction to CAT - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS FTAn Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy A two-day course for mental health professionals Thursday 4th and Friday 5th April 2019 Conference Room 2, East Brighton Community Mental Health Centre, Brighton General Hospital, Brighton ...

04-04-19 ACAT: Understanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationshipUnderstanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship: a practical skills workshop Presented by Robert Watson #ACATrup19 Venue: Institute of Biomedical Science, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL Overview / aims Decades of psych...

05-04-19 States and Self States - offered by CatalyseStates, Self-states & State Shifts: mapping & working with complexity using CAT’s Multiple Self States Model A one-day workshop led by Sarah Littlejohn and Dawn Bennett #CATmssm19 Overview of workshop: Individual clinicians and team...

05-04-19 ACAT: Obsessions and Transformations in CATObsessions and Transformations in CAT Presented by Jason Hepple Timings: Arrival 9:30am, start 10:00am, finish 4:30pm Venue: Pembroke College, Oxford Jason would like you to join him in a day of two parts: Morning: Working with obsessionality i...

08-04-19 Relational Skills in CAT Supervision ResidentialACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential Holland House, Main Street, Cropthorne, Pershore, WR10 3NB 4.30 pm Monday 8th April to 3.00 pm Wednesday 10th April 2019 Cost: £330 online booking / £345 cheque or invoiced booking ...

30-04-19 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 Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therap...

10-05-19 Free CPD Day - offered by University of ExeterCognitive Analytic Therapy - Free CPD Event Friday 10th May 2019 9:30am to 4.00pm University of Exeter Elizabeth Wilde McCormick How to enjoy writing a prose reformulation Jason Hepple Working with Obsessionality and Overvalued ideas Louise Yorke ...

11-05-19 The Five Session Approach - offered by CAT CumbriaCAT Cumbria aims to increase access to CAT in the Lake District and be a support network for CAT therapists in rural areas. Date & Time: Saturday, May 11th, 2019, 10am – 4.30pm. Venue: Hawkshead, near Ambleside. Overlooking fells and Esth...

17-05-19 ACAT: Embodied Presence and the Observing SelfEmbodied Presence and the Observing Self Regulating Affect, Processing Experience and Enhancing Inner Attunement Based on practices used with patients derived from the published work of psychotherapists informed by interpersonal neurobiology #ACAT...

17-05-19 One day conference celebrating 25 years of CAT Practitioner Training in the North - Catalyse#CAT25conf Catalyse invites you to celebrate 25 years of CAT Practitioner Training in the North One day conference on Friday 17th May 2019 Chancellors Hotel & Conference Centre, Manchester This one day conference aims to share, acknowledge and ...

04-06-19 ACAT: 2 Day Introduction to CAT#ACATIntro0619 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. Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th June 20...

13-06-19 Working with Unmanageable Feelings - offered by Catalyse#CATUM19 Presenters: Glenys Parry and Marisol Cavieres Venue: Chancellor's, Manchester More information to follow...

12-07-19 CAT & EMDR - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust“Taking a relational approach to working with trauma: drawing on EMDR and CAT” Over the day we will explore the integration of CAT and EMDR drawing on various strands of theory and practice. We will introduce Interpersonal Neurobiology (...

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 Conference #ACATconf19 'Integrating Trauma Developments into CAT' This page is for booking and Event Documents. For more information please visit https://www.acat.me.uk/page/acat+national+conference Early bird booking open until 9th April 2019 ...

26-09-19 2 Day Introduction to CAT - offered by CollaborateFurther details will be published once confirmed....

01-10-19 South Wales CAT Practitioner Training 2019 - 2021Advance Notice A two-year South Wales CAT Practitioner Training is planned to start in September 2019. Full details will be added to the websie once confirmed. Applications will be invited from March 2019 but please contact Clare Fisher, Course Dir...

01-10-19 Brighton CAT Practitioner Training 2019 - 2021Cognitive analytic therapy is a time limited psychotherapy (normally 16 to 24 sessions) which integrates theories derived from cognitive psychology, psychoanalytic psychotherapy (mainly object relations) and ideas derived from Vygotsky and Bakhtin. C...

03-10-19 CAT North/Catalyse CAT Practitioner Training 2019 - 2021The CAT Practitioner course is a two year training for core mental health professionals leading to accreditation and professional membership of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) consisting of: Training Days run across two years w...

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...

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