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 April
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44th April 2019
CAT Introductory Event: Introduction to CAT - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS FT
55th April 2019
CPD Event: States and Self States - offered by Catalyse
CPD Event: ACAT: Obsessions and Transformations in CAT
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88th April 2019
CAT Supervisor Training: Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential
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2929th April 2019
CPD Event: Out of control sexual behaviour workshop - offered by Become Psychology
3030th April 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 29 Events

View all courses

29-04-19 Out of control sexual behaviour workshop - offered by Become PsychologyOut of control sexual behaviour: A CAT informed relational approach to assessment, formulation, and intervention, and how to engender affirmative sexual desire 9.30am till 4.30pm Venue: Institute of Biomedical Sciences, 12 Coldbath Square, London, ...

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...

08-05-19 3 Day Introduction to CAT - offered by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation TrustIntroduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy: A three day course A course for professionals working with mental health interested in the concepts and practice of CAT Dates: Wednesday 8th May, Wednesday 22nd May, Wednesday 5th June 2019 Times: 9.30 a...

08-05-19 2 Day Cognitive Analytic Therapy Skills Workshop2-day Cognitive Analytical Therapy Skills workshop Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th May 2019, 10am - 4.30pm, University of Kent, Canterbury Campus Course leaders: Sara Casado and Paul Johanson The general aim of course is to provide an introduction...

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...

11-05-19 Resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship interactive webinar offered by Become PsychologyUnderstanding and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic relationship: a practical skills interactive webinar 10:30am to 4:30pm ~ Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor...

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...

14-06-19 CAT South West CPD EventThe CAT South West CPD Event for Summer 2019 will be on Friday 14th June. The group will be welcoming John Bristow to South Devon to talk about using CAT with an understanding of embodied experience and trauma. More details to follow soon....

14-06-19 Embodied CAT and Trauma - offered by CAT South WestEmbodied CAT and Trauma Based on practices used with CAT patients derived from the published work of psychotherapists informed by interpersonal neurobiology with John Bristow Dartington Hall, Totnes 9.00am for 9.30 am to 4.30pm, Friday 14th June ...

21-06-19 How to run a successful private practice - offered by Become PsychologyHow to run a successful private practice: all you need to know 9:30am till 4:00pm Venue: Elizabeth Gaskell's House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW ~ Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive A...

27-06-19 8th ICATA ConferenceThe 8th ICATA Conference will take place this year in Ferrera, Italy, 27 - 29 June 2019. Early Bird registration extended until 31 March 2019 Please visit http://www.unife.it/convegno/icata2019 for more information and booking....

01-07-19 The 5 Session CAT Approach Skills Training offered by CatalyseThe 5-Session CAT Approach : Skills Training Using CAT to inform care planning whilst working jointly with the service user and the care co-ordinator A 2-day workshop led by Angela Carradice & Dawn Bennett For further details, booking informa...

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 (...

12-07-19 Autism in the Therapy Room - offered by University of CambridgeUNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE STAFF COUNSELLING SERVICE INVITE YOU TO THEIR INAUGURAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE Autism in the Therapy Room Exploring the benefits and challenges of working with this client group using current academic findings and clinical expe...

12-09-19 ACAT: Trauma workshopCurrent Thinking regarding Trauma – some possible implications for CAT Led by Annie Nehmad and members of the CAT and Embodied Mind Special Interest Group This workshop will be held the Abbey Centre, Westminster The neuroscience of the last...

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 Booking closes 27 August 2019 (cheque payments t...

13-09-19 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATintro919 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, 13th and Saturday, 14t...

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

26-09-19 Two Day Introduction to CAT - offered by CollaborateTwo-day Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy Thursday 26th September and Friday 27th September 2019 CAMBRIDGE 9.30am to 4.30pm each day, lunch included Facilitated by Dr Alison Jenaway, Dr Carol Gregory and Rosemary Parkinson This course t...

01-10-19 South Wales CAT Practitioner Training 2019 - 2021South Wales CAT Practitioner Training 2019 - 2021 Applications are invited for the above course starting in September 2019. For further information and an application pack please email Dr Susie Black: susie@psychsolution.co.uk The closing date is 3...

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...

14-11-19 2 day workshop in CAT Supervision - offered by CatalyseMore information to follow....

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...

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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