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 October
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1717th October 2019
CPD Event: ACAT: CAT in Groups
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2626th October 2019
CPD Event: How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology
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Special Interest Group Event: CAT TAST SIG
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3131st October 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 21 Events

View all courses

17-10-19 ACAT: CAT in GroupsWorking with Clients and CAT Reflective Practice #acatgroup19 Presented by Jason Hepple Times: Arrival 9:30am for a 10am start, 4:30pm finish Cost: ACAT Member £110 (online) / £125 (invoice/cheque) | Non–member £125 (onli...

26-10-19 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...

28-10-19 CAT TAST SIG...

31-10-19 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 - Glasgow Workshop Whether you are considering starting private practice, or want to develop your existing private practice, this workshop will equip you with the knowledge and skills ne...

07-11-19 Sex Addiction: a relational approach to assessment, formulation & interventionSex Addiction: A relational approach to assessment, formulation, and intervention - Manchester Workshop - offered by Become Psychology This the fourth run of this workshop. 96% of past participants rated the workshop as excellent. On one level, a...

08-11-19 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 - Manchester Workshop Whether you are considering starting private practice, or want to develop your existing private practice, this workshop will equip you with the knowledge and skills...

14-11-19 2 day workshop in CAT supervision - offered by Catalyse#CATsup19 Catalyse is offering an intensive 2 day ACAT Accredited Supervision Workshop for those considering training as an ACAT Accredited Supervisor. Attendance at this and a follow up reflective session fulfils the Part 1 ACAT-approved training a...

15-11-19 An Introduction to CAT - offered by the Sussex Partnership NHS FTAn Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy offered by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust A two-day course for mental health professionals Friday 15th and Saturday 16th November 2019 Conference Room 2, East Brighton Community Mental Hea...

15-11-19 Applying CAT in Physical Healthcare Settings - offered by Midlands CAT and PhysCATIt is increasingly recognised that mental well-being is strongly linked to maintaining physical health and in coping with long-term illness and disability, and that psychological therapy can play a key role in improving outcomes. Cognitive Analytic T...

16-11-19 Sex addiction - Interactive Webinar - offered by Become PsychologySex addiction: A relational approach to assessment, formulation, and intervention, and how to engender affirmative sexual desire. Interactive Webinar. ~ Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist in Sexual Health, Accredited Cogn...

23-11-19 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...

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...

06-12-19 ACAT: CPD for the HeartA 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. ACAT Member £110 (online) / £12...

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...

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...

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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