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 September
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1111th September 2017
CAT Introductory Event: Two day Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy - offered by Collaborate
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1515th September 2017
CAT Introductory Event: ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT
CPD Event: A CAT Approach to Organisational Dynamics - offered by Catalyse
Training Committee, Final date for submission of TC agenda Items
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2020th September 2017
ACAT International Conference: 7th International CAT Conference
2121st September 2017
CPD Event: Mindfulness Retreat offered by Catalyst East Anglia
University of Nottingham
2222nd September 2017
ACAT AGM: ACAT Annual General Meeting 2017
University of Nottingham
Exam Board, Final Accreditation Submission Date
Trustees, Final Date for submission of Agenda Items
2323rd September 2017
University of Nottingham
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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 14 Events

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01-10-17 Scotland CAT Practitioner TrainingPractitioner Level Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy October 2017 - June 2019 Course Directors: Dee Affleck and Jamie Kirkland Applications are invited for places on a 2 year Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Practitioner Level Training Course. ...

01-10-17 Brighton CAT Practitioner TrainingCognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Practitioner Training Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in association with ACAT Closing date for applications: 31st July 2017 CAT Practitioner Training Cognitive analytic therapy is a time limited psychothe...

03-10-17 North London CAT Practitioner Training2017-2019 North London CAT Practitioner Training October 2017-August 2019 There are a few places left - the application deadline has been extended to 23rd June 2017 The course is run by the Haringey Complex Care Team at Halliwick, St Ann’s Ho...

05-10-17 Catalyse CAT Practitioner TrainingPractitioner Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy organised by Catalyse (formerly known as CAT North) October 2017 to July 2019 https://catalyse.uk.com/training/2017-2019-practitioner-training/ The CAT Practitioner Training is a two year trainin...

14-10-17 Working Collaboratively with Medically Unexplained Symptoms - offered by CAT SouthThe objectives for this one day CPD event are ... to understand the application of CAT principles when working with people who present with disabling or distressing physical symptoms where medical explanation and intervention is inadequate to gain ...

30-10-17 The 5-Session CAT Approach - offered by Catalyse#CATfive217 Course information: The course is specifically focused on building understanding and skills in using this application of CAT. It aims to: • Enhance understanding and skills to help work with service users who are unable to make us...

01-11-17 Dorset CAT Practitioner TrainingDorset CAT Practitioner Training November 2017 – October 2019 CAT is a time-limited therapy, normally 16 to 24 sessions, which integrates theories derived from cognitive psychology, and psychoanalytic therapy. It involves developing an active...

03-11-17 ACAT: CAT & Embodiment#ACATemb17 Embodiment, therapeutic space and reducing therapist fatigue This workshop is an exploration of how we may begin creatively to use engagement with our own embodiment as therapists to free up stuck or overwhelming process with challenging...

17-11-17 Working with Self-Harm - A relational approach - offered by CatalyseWorking with self-harm: a relational approach A 1-day workshop led by Clive Turpin and Cheryl Delisser Event Hashtag: #CATshr17 Booking options now open Overview of workshop: People who self-harm can present in many health settings from general ...

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...

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...

01-01-18 Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in CAT (IRRAPT)Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training (IRRAPT) in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) 2018 - 2019 Organised by The Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) Leading to Accreditation as a CAT Psychotherapist with ACAT and with t...

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...

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