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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33rd November 2017
CPD Event: ACAT CAT and Embodiment
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99th November 2017
CPD Event: CAT 2 Day Introductory Workshop - offered by NTW NHS Foundation Trust
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1717th November 2017
CPD Event: Working with Self-Harm - A relational approach - offered by Catalyse
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1919th November 2017
CPD Event: Developing Embodied Awareness: A short residential course - offered by Caroline Dower
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2828th November 2017
CPD Event: Applying CAT in Physical Healthcare Settings - offered by MCAT/PhysCAT
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3030th November 2017
CPD Event: 2-day workshop in CAT Supervision - offered by Catalyse

Contact Details

ACAT Administration Manager:Susan Van Baars

Administrators:Maria Cross
Alison Marfell

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 Thursday
9am to 5pm

Our Next 12 Events

View all courses

28-11-17 Applying CAT in Physical Healthcare Settings - offered by MCAT/PhysCATApplying Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) in Physical Healthcare Settings An MCAT (Midlands CAT)/PhysCAT CPD and Special Interest Day Tuesday 28th November 2017 – 9.30am – 4.30pm (9.15am Registration) QEHB Postgraduate Centre, Mindelso...

30-11-17 2-day workshop in CAT Supervision - offered by Catalyse#CATsup17 Catalyse is offering an intensive 2-day Supervision Workshop for those who are in the processing of becoming ACAT accredited supervisors, those who are considering this step or those wanting to improve their CAT supervision skills. It form...

08-12-17 Our Relational Selves, Narcissistic Wounding & CAT - offered by CAT South WestCAT South West CPD Event Exeter Community Centre Friday 8th December 2017 - 9.30am - 4.30pm #CATSW17 Our Relational Selves, Narcissistic Wounding and CAT: An embodied and theoretical exploration Facilitated by Tim Sheard CAT psychotherapist and t...

15-12-17 CAT and the Neurosciences - offered by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation TrustCognitive Analytic Therapy CPD Afternoon - 12.00 to 5.00 pm #CATinSussexNS Our aim is to help us be more aware of how the neurosciences can inform our practice of psychotherapy and what we notice and reflect on during it, and how they can help us u...

16-01-18 CAT East/NSFT CAT Practitioner TrainingA Two year Cognitive Analytic Therapy Practitioner Training Course offered by CAT East / Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Accredited by the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) This course commences in January 2018, with ele...

25-01-18 Catalyse CAT Skills Case Management TrainingCatalyse CAT Skills Case Management Training 2018 CAT skills Case management Course: working with complex clients (Including but not limited to adult mental health and forensic settings) Dr Marisol Cavieres and Dr Karen Shannon Accredited CAT ther...

08-02-18 2 Day Introduction to CATIntroducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) #ACATintro218 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 wor...

26-02-18 Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in CAT (IRRAPT)Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training (IRRAPT) in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) 2018 A few places remain available for applications for the 2018 intake. Please register your interest NOW. The course is unlikely to run again unt...

13-04-18 2 Day Introduction to CAT - offered by Catalyse#CATspace18 This hands-on two-day course takes place in Sheffield and is led by Sarah Littlejohn and Emma Taylor. It offers an introduction to the values, ideas, methods and skills of Cognitive Analytic Therapy. It combines short theoretical inputs ...

24-05-18 2 Day Introduction to CATIntroducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) #ACATintro518 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 wor...

05-07-18 24th Annual ACAT Conference 2018ACAT's 2018 National Conference will be held at Keele University 5-7 July 2018. Further details shortly #ACATconf18 ...

06-07-18 ACAT's Annual General Meeting 2018ACAT's AGM 2018 will be held within the National Conference 2018 on Friday, 6 July 2018. Further details in due course...

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