ACAT National Conference Programme 

Thursday afternoon 26th May 2022

12.45 – 13.30      Registration       

13.30 – 13.45      Conference Welcome   

13:45 – 15.15      Keynote: ‘How inequality comes between us' - Richard Wilkinson

15.15 – 15.30      Tea/coffee break            

15.30 – 16.30      Keynote: 'Us in the world/ the world in us’ -  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC)

16.30-16.45         Tea/coffee break            

16.45 – 17.45      Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum

17.45 – 18.30      Meet the Trustees  - Jay Dudley

19:30                     Evening meal

Friday 27th May 2022


07.00 - 08.00     Connecting Through Mindfulness to Wake Up to the Day 

Welcome to a nourishing session with Judi Sharifi who will guide you through a mindful meditation to bring you gently into the day, with a focus on managing conflict both in the world around us and within ourselves.

Please bring anything that makes you feel comfortable (blanket, cushion, loose clothing, water to drink), otherwise just show up and prepare for connection and calm.

08.30 – 09.00      Registration for new arrivals

09.00 – 9.10        Welcome            

9.10 – 10.40        Keynote: ‘Divided Self’ - Steve Potter

10.40-11.00         Tea/coffee break            

11.00 – 11.45      Keynote: ‘Dialogue and Diversity’ - Lawrence Welch

11.50 – 13.15      Keynote: 'Embodied CAT' - Caroline Greenwood Dower

13.15 – 14.15      Lunch

14.15 – 15.45      Workshops

15.45-16.00         Tea/coffee break            

16.00-17.00         AGM    

17.00-18.00         CAT guided self help for mild-to-moderate anxiety; a randomised patient preference trial - Stephen Kellett, Charlotte Bee, Jess Smithies, Mel Simmonds-Buckley, Niall Power,  Emma Headley and Annie Wray

19:30                     Gala dinner & entertainment

Saturday morning 28th May 2022

08.30 – 09.00      Registration for new arrivals

09.00 – 09.10      Welcome

09.10-10.40         Keynote: ‘The voices in our heads’ – Prof Charles Fernyhough with Steve Jefferis

10.40-11.00         Tea/coffee break            

11.00-12.30         Workshops

12.30-13.00         Closing comments and group reflection

13:00                     Conference closes

For information on speakers please visit



Friday 27th May, 2:15pm to 3:45pm

The Microcosm of Enactment in Supervision – Developing Clinical Skills
Jason Hepple

In the CAT supervision book I have written a chapter on the use of the metaphor of microcosm in CAT therapy contexts. This is simply the idea that unpacking a small occurrence in therapy or supervision may lead to exploration of greater depth and meaning that may be beneficial to the therapeutic work.

This workshop will be largely experiential and will concentrate on helping participants to develop clinical skills in the context of CAT supervision. The first task is to free up the therapist from the usual way of presenting a case to the supervisor by asking questions like: ‘What do you want to tell me about this client in ten seconds?’ or ‘Your client’s train is departing what do you need to say to them before the train pulls away?’. The form and content of the  therapist’s response and the feelings elicited in the therapist and supervisor ( body language, tone, the exact words that emerge, visual and auditory imagery, metaphor) may give an opening to explore greater depth in terms of the re-enactments in the therapy relationship that derive from the client’s earlier experiences.

This technique will first be demonstrated before participants will have the opportunity to try it out in pairs and then reflect as a group on what has been learned.

Hepple J (2016) The microcosm in CAT supervision. In: Cognitive Analytic Therapy supervision. A relational approach. Ed. D Pickvance. Routledge. 174-184.


Jason Hepple FRCPsych is an ACAT life member, psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer. He has published and taught internationally on CAT in later life, CAT in groups, CAT in obsessionality and the dialogic heart of CAT.


Using Ideas from Internal Family Systems to get to know problematic Reciprocal Roles and integrate separate self states
Alison Jenaway & Carol Gregory             

Internal Family Systems therapy was developed by Dick Schwarz, a family therapist in the USA.  His work suggests that all of us, both healthy and unhealthy, have a personality consisting of separate parts of the self (what we in CAT would call separate self states).  These parts can be seen as different family members, with the central role of the “self” being to co-ordinate the family system by being aware of all the different parts and having a good relationship with them.  These ideas seem particularly helpful for patients with experience of complex trauma and in the workshop we will present how we have used IFS within CAT therapy.  Participants will have a chance to experience an IFS intervention that they could go on to use with their own patients.

Learning outcomes will be:

An introduction to the theory of Internal Family Systems and how it may fit with CAT theory.

A clinical case example demonstrating how IFS can be used in a CAT therapy to get to know problematic reciprocal roles and befriend them.

To experience an IFS style intervention that can be used with patients to help them befriend and integrate problematic reciprocal roles/ self states.


‘Being and Falling’: Exploring the central importance that ‘holding in mind’ plays in bridging the relational gap between self and other when dissociative processes are mobilised to defend.
Jay Dudley

The workshop is aimed at those working with complex personality disordered patients, with an emphasis on the links between trauma and dissociation. 

‘A word is a bridge thrown between another and myself’ (Voloshinov).

I will explore the idea of the ‘materiality of language’ (Leiman) inherent in this statement and the ‘dialogic tension’ surrounding ruptures and enactments.

Bakhtin’s premise that ‘the word wants to be heard’ will be explored and placed against his concept of ‘responsive understanding’. These ideas will be linked with some of the clinical insights of Winnicott as I seek to get hold of what it means for us as practitioners, to position ourselves in such a way that the word can be heard. I will link this idea with that of ‘seeing’ or ‘the gaze’ and ‘mirroring’

These ideas will be set against a CAT understanding that problematic ways of being emerge in an early environment of ‘missing parental provision’. (I will give a brief overview of CAT’s Object Relational frame through the lens of Winnicott, Balint, and Fairbairn).

Alongside these ideas I will begin to explore and develop themes around Being, Time and Space, to help understand how we might unpick, rebuild, and integrate a fragmented or split-off sense of self, using clinical material along with CAT maps.

I will argue that the tensions between familiar RR’s that ‘demand’ our loyalty or allegiance, and the fragility of an unknown ‘new beginning’ are where change is forged.

CAT Exits: A ‘new beginning’ (Balint) may occur if the therapeutic relationship is located in the language and gesture of ‘responsive understanding’ (Bakhtin).

For change, in the form of new ideas, beliefs or internalised ‘good objects’, to be sufficiently ‘internally persuasive’ (Burkitt and Sullivan), we need to understand the underlying processes that can help to hold and contain. I will develop some connections between the ‘two-sided nature of words’ and ‘meaning bridges’ – (William Stiles; Stephen Mitchell). My aim is to bring a fresh focus and deeper understanding to dissociative processes.


Former Trainer & Course Co-Director – Somerset CAT Practitioner Training

Presented CAT case vignette of a BPD patient at Royal College of Psychiatrists Conference (2015). I gave CAT perspective; Peter Fonagy gave MBT.

Keynote speaker at CAT conference in 2018

Presenter – 2x1day workshops for CAT South West

Visiting Trainer Exeter DClinPsych CAT Training

CAT Practitioner Moderator x 2 courses

Currently working as Principal Adult Psychotherapist – Personality Disorder Service, Devon Partnership NHS Trust & in private practice    


Inpatient CAT – Mapping and Managing the Relationships
Dr Adrian Hayes & Dr Mark Draper

Acute psychiatric wards house those thought to display the most severe and limiting symptoms and the highest levels of risk amongst mental health services. Admissions are often unplanned and unpredictable with inconsistent staffing and boundaries, which has the potential to cause iatrogenic harm. We will discuss our experiences of using CAT on inpatient wards, both with individual patients as well as with teams. Mapping the relationship with services in the context of past relationships can highlight enactments which could cause difficulties in patient care and in how staff and patients relate to each other. Using the Responsibility Without Blame framework we will also show how services can flip between Rescue and Blame, robbing patients of their self-agency. This will be an interactive session using case examples and attendees can also bring their own experiences. We will also explore our perspectives from psychiatry and psychology.


Dr Adrian Hayes is a Specialist Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry and Medical Psychotherapy in Bristol.

Dr Mark Draper is a Clinical Psychologist in Dorset.

Both have completed CAT practitioner training and are awaiting accreditation.


A CAT Climate SIG workshop - CAT, our relationship with the climate and ecological crisis and finding exits through Connecting with Nature
Nick Barnes, Amanda Copeland & Tim Sheard

The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say - we will never forgive you." – Greta Thunberg, UN Climate Summit, New York, 23 September 2019

Regardless of our position and understanding of the climate and ecological crisis, most of us are becoming increasingly aware of the threats and impact of climate change on our lives, and on the world around us, with many exploring changes we might offer as individuals or in groups to seek to alleviate this pain and sadness. Some may find it easier to go to a place of denial, or even to become attacking of others. Wherever we position ourselves we are all increasingly involved in a dialogue about climate change which can often feel exhausting and overwhelming. It can feel very hard to prevent ourselves from falling into a sense of despair and hopelessness when seeking to overcome this global injustice.

In the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow the International Cognitive Analytic Therapy Association (ICATA) became increasingly aware of the need for there to be a more relational understanding of the patterns we might find ourselves being drawn into within the context of the climate crisis and felt that CAT, through our use of mapping and letter writing could have much to offer. There have been a number of webinars on line over the last 6 months, and this workshop will sit alongside those webinars, seeking enable a dialogue about where we might find ourselves in and amongst this crisis.

Thinking about this dialogue we would like to offer a workshop that is not necessarily about finding the answers and the solutions, but rather a workshop that allows us to share some of these difficult feelings, and reflect upon where we may go or be taken, as a result. We are not looking to offer CAT’s response to climate change, but rather thinking relationally about what are we getting caught up in, what are we left feeling, and where might we might consider exits that feel “good enough” , without us feeling overwhelmed and falling into a place of despair.

The workshop will offer an introduction to the impact of the Climate crisis on our mental wellbeing, but then open up into a space for us to be mapping together about our thoughts and feelings in relationship to this crisis. The later part of the workshop will then think about exits, sharing what we may have learnt, but also offering examples of what might be possible through nature based approaches and enabling a deeper connection with nature


Tim Sheard is a CAT psychotherapist who has a particular focus on integrating embodiment into CAT (e.g. see Vol 4  Int.J. CAT and Relational Mental Health).  He has also been involved in Extinction Rebellion.

Amanda Copeland is a CAT psychotherapist and supervisor who is currently training as a eco therapist to integrate nature connecting approaches into her work with adolescents. She works in private practice in Brighton and London and also offers online therapy and supervision

Nick Barnes is a CAT practitioner and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who is currently working within the Highlands of Scotland on projects and research focused on supporting children and young people, and their families through Nature Connection and Outdoor Learning, He is also the Sustainability champion and co-lead for the Royal College of Psychiatry ecoCAMHS initiative.


Intersectionality and power mapping. An assessment and evaluation tool for individuals, groups and organisations
Josephine Ahmadi

Power can be defined as the ability of a social group or individual to influence others in accordance with their interests. We are becoming increasingly more limited in our ability to influence and even clearly identify the power exercised at the economic, political and cultural level where the main source of power flows. The increased attention to this phenomenon in academic circles is in stark contrast with the way this is underplayed when it comes to explaining our experience and acting accordingly as individuals and professionals. Since 1997 Hagan and Smail devised power-mapping as a flexible tool to identify positive and negative influence in a person’s world.

The workshop aims to introduce intersectionality as an approach to power mapping which focuses not only on identifying proximal and distal powers in our life, but also on exploring how their interaction generates a more complex and accurate map of influence in the life of individuals, groups and organisations.


Josephine F Discepolo Ahmadi is a psychotherapist, a dramatherapist, a supervisor and a team consultant.  She has worked in the United Kingdom in a variety of National Health primary, secondary and specialist mental health services and in private practice. She is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead and the Cognitive Analytic Therapy Lead for the East Hampshire Division of the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. She is a supervisor, a tutor and a marker for a variety of training courses. She has contributed to research projects, training programmes and staff support groups and published work on therapeutic storytelling and on her special interest subject, the impact of social inequalities on mental and physical health. She is a mother and a grandmother and loves old films, playwright, gardening and working with her hands in general.


CANCELLED - The court report suggests parenting classes and CAT
Sarah Cluley

This workshop will look at the issue of therapy for parents of children involved in court proceedings. CAT is frequently recommended by professionals asked to provide reports for court. I will consider conflict, between parents and ‘the system’, between myself and ‘the system’ and conflicts within myself provoked by doing this work. I will give an overview of court processes and outcomes. This will be an interactive workshop looking at anonymised scenarios. I hope this workshop will encourage colleagues to take on some of these cases which are challenging but often rewarding.


My back ground is in psychiatry and I worked in the NHS predominantly in liaison psychiatry. I trained in CAT 1996-2000 and subsequently became a supervisor 2003. I have researched the use of CAT in people with poorly controlled asthma and poor self care and have helped organise and teach the CAT module on the Leeds psychology doctorate. As a consultant in Hull I developed CAT skills training & supervision for the A&E self harm service. I now work independently as a CAT psychotherapist and supervisor in Leeds.


Saturday 28th May, 11am to 12:30pm

Connection, conflict and loss with siblings - an experiential workshop mapping our sibling stories
Marie-Anne Bernardy-Arbuz & Steve Potter

This experiential workshop will reflect on personal experiences of sibling relationships and the reciprocal roles that they have contributed to in our lives.  We will give examples of linking early sibling reciprocal role procedures to patterns that are still active today in our professional work and personal lives.

Some may be positive, helpful and healthy. They give us strength and continuity with family histories.  Others may be limiting and painful and unhelpful.  The orchestration of family dynamics around sibling relationships may have gone unrecognised or locked up in a chamber of family secrets.  Sibling roles in the family may play at times of professional vulnerability or with colleagues and clients.    They show in our therapy sessions and working relationships. They can be hard to work with as we look at untouchable family structures and the place the person occupied in the family. Family loyalty and family secrets may be blocking our work and be carried across generations and be shaped by differences of gender, ethnicity and class.   After introductions the presenters will demonstrate mapping and writing about the impact on the present of sibling relationships and participants will work in pairs through a series of steps to map sibling patterns and write short letters to some positive or challenging aspect of sibling experience.  


Marie Anne Bernardy Arbuz is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist based in Paris

Steve Potter is a psychotherapist based in London. 


Gender dysphoria and CAT
Dr Anna Laws

Becoming aware of the diversity of gender identity can lead to all sorts of conversations and responses. I have proposed a psychological model of gender dysphoria from a CAT perspective. We will consider how individuals become aware of their gender identity, in a series of contexts and RRPs, and how individuals and communities respond to and reflect gender identities and gender dysphoria.   Participants are invited to consider the model and the experience of gender dysphoria and offer their reflections in a safe and respectful space.


I am a Clinical Psychologist and psychosexual therapist leading on psychological therapies in the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service, which offers psychologically informed medical transition for people with gender dysphoria.

My work involves supporting the people who have the most difficulty with their path through medical transition, because of factors such as complex co-morbidities of physical and mental health, intense social deprivation and neurodiversity. I spend a lot of time face to face with trans and non-binary people thinking and talking about their experiences, often over a significant period of time. I am particularly committed to educating healthcare professionals in gender affirming healthcare in the wider NHS. In my spare time I drink bad wine and watch bad TV while sitting in a pile of cats.


Chanting and Meditation
Jason Hepple

Some people find techniques that focus on breathing and internal states alone can be difficult to concentrate on or even uncomfortable. This experiential workshop will use chanting to aid meditation and enhance self-care and well-being.


Jason Hepple is an ACAT life member, psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer. He has an interest in yoga practice, chanting and meditation.


The egg that has not split (The psychologically unborn people and the implications for CAT therapy)
Spyros Karvounis

We are accustomed with the notion and the map of the split egg, when dealing with personality disordered patients. We are also familiar in tracing and following the reciprocal relationships in patients with neuroses. There are, though, some patients and some extreme states in others, where they are unable to enter into reciprocal relationships and our maps and conceptualization must be different.  These patients present great problems in therapy as they turn every therapeutic challenge into another problem to be looked at, yet they seem very willing to receive help. They are not trying to make us solve their problem, yet our presence is soothing their problem.  They find their problem difficult to define and everything we discuss turns into ‘a problem’, and it appears as if any active involvement exaggerates their difficulties, which are real.  These are the people whose engagement with life continues in feeding their insular existence.  They eternally reconstruct their psychological being from life’s fragments, from problems, as if they live in an unbroken, unhatched ‘egg’, refusing to be delivered into life.  In its essence their psychological ‘egg’ is really broken, and they seek therapy to mend it and they use the therapeutic relationship to play out their double movement of ambivalence. They appear as narcissistic, but they are not.  In the workshop I will present relevant cases and discuss the implications for therapy and the necessary therapeutic attitude.


Dr Karvounis is a CAT therapist and Jungian Analyst in private practice. He is a UKCP registered supervisor to individuals and teams. Currently he provides supervision to the Vincent Square Eating Disorders unit, CNWL Trust, London. He was a Consultant Psychiatrist in the NHS and led a therapeutic community and a Mentalization based out-patient treatment for patients with personality disorders in North London.


CANCELLED - Diasporic identity and transnational belonging: Applying CAT to understanding organisational dynamics in mental health services in the Rohingya camps
Nargis Islam

Our professional and personal identity interface is significant when working in any clinical context, but particularly so when in development and humanitarian settings. This is in recognition that working with different cultures and in low resourced settings poses certain risks of imposing western models of mental distress and associated treatments on non-western cultures. These risks relate to the potential to inadvertently engage in culturally incongruent and therefore unethical clinical practice and are akin to neo-colonial approaches. This work presents the conflicts and connections observed and experienced in the relational dynamics of the humanitarian/development sector. Experiences include how personal-professional identity and historical narratives have the potential to play out in professional ideological conflicts in mental health service provision and competency development planning. This work emerged from a reflective exploration of a diasporic cultural identity and transnational belonging, and the use of CAT in making sense of these complex cultural and organisational contexts. Dynamics and processes were influenced by power, dominance of culture, and internalized historical narratives; discussions will also consider how this learning could be applied to other contexts, e.g. working with minoritized groups and communities in the UK.


Dr. Nargis Islam is an Clinical Psychologist and Accredited CAT Practitioner based in Oxford, where she has worked in the NHS in adult mental health inpatient services and on Clinical and Counselling Psychology training programmes. Nargis is currently a Clinical Tutor on the University of East London Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme and continues freelance consultancy work on her other days. She has active clinical, training and research collaborations in the development and humanitarian sector in Bangladesh, and with educational and charitable organisations in the UK.


Using CAT tools with leadership teams in a large mental health Trust
Jenny Marshall & Kate Freshwater

Jenny and Kate will discuss some of their work (often with Steve Potter) using CAT mapping and letters with leadership teams within a large mental health trust. This includes the use of CAT tools to enable naming of conflict/challenge between groups at different levels of the organization, as well as within groups of senior leaders, and working towards resolution and exits. Benefits, challenges and pitfalls will be shared.

There will be opportunities for participants to practice some of the exercises used with leadership teams such as mapping our own leadership style, mapping the leadership style of others, and use of letters to parts of self or parts of the service/team/organization.


Jenny Marshall is a consultant clinical Psychologist and CAT Supervisor and has led the development of CAT within the Forensic Services of TEWV NHS Foundation Trust over the past 10 years. The service works with CAT as its overarching relational model.

Kate Freshwater is a consultant clinical Psychologist and CAT Supervisor and is the Trust wide lead for CAT in TEWV (for the past 18 years).


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ACAT Calendar for May
44th May 2022
CPD Event: Climate and Ecology Crisis SIG meeting
55th May 2022
CPD Event: Cognitive Analytic Therapy as a Tool for Leadership - offered by Catalyse
1313th May 2022
CPD Event: Talking with a Map an aid to better conversations - offered by Map and Talk
1818th May 2022
CAT Introductory Event: ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT - Online
2626th May 2022
ACAT Annual Conference: 26th ACAT National Conference 2022
2727th May 2022
ACAT AGM: Annual General Meeting

Contact Details

ACAT Administration Manager:Maria Cross

ACAT Administrator:Alison Marfell

ACAT Financial Administrator:Louise Barter

Postal Address:ACAT
PO Box 6793
United Kingdom

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9am to 5pm

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