Call for Conference Workshops

Friday morning workshops

Henrietta Batchelor - 'Retirement – who am I really?'

For many of us retirement is a step-change, a whole or partial change of role and, like other life changes such as leaving home or having a baby, deserves the same kind of consideration and thought. Our new ‘way-of-being’ may not be quite how we imagined it to be, but it can be a meaningful and productive post career move, depending on how we manage this transition. This awareness may be sharpened by the perceived and actual proximity of death. In contrast to earlier life changes, there are few ‘second chances’ for this phase of life. 

This workshop explores the meaning of work, and its varying importance in different people’s lives. It is suggested that, whether welcomed or dreaded, for many retirement is a life stage transition which needs to be accommodated, a process akin to mourning. Our relationship with institutions and workplace settings is considered and how letting go work not only impacts on individuals but on relationships as well. A work role gives many people an identity such that retirement may feel as if part of the self is lost. This is explored through a CAT framework using clinical examples and pairs/small group discussion.


Henrietta Batchelor retired as a Consultant Psychotherapist in Women’s Health in 2013 and has since worked in independent practice as a Cognitive Analytic Therapy psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer. She is currently ACAT Chair of Ethics and has served as an ACAT Trustee for a number of years until recently. She has a background in Educational Psychology research, teaching, Relate counselling until discovering CAT as a modality that worked for her and many clients too. She has published articles on supervision, post-natal depression and on her love of children’s literature. Most recently she has contributed a chapter on Ethics to the Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Analytic Therapy due to be published by OUP this year and a chapter on Retirement to Conversations in Later Life, edited by Michelle Hamill, published by Pavilion also later this year. Outside work she sings in two choirs and enjoys painting in oils and watercolours, enjoys music, film and theatre as well as being an active Granny.


Dr Melanie Lee -'Here, take a SIP! How to integrate CAT with other relational therapies including ACT, EMDR and IFS to become your most authentic therapist self'

This workshop focuses on the third conference theme of “Therapist Wellbeing” by offering an introduction to the Somatic Integration and Processing (SIP) Model of case formulation as a wonderful framework of therapeutic integration.

The workshop will offer an overall introduction to the key components of the SIP approach through exploring its American origins, how the presenter came to find model and start a dialogue with the founders (during the middle of the pandemic) and how it is transforming the clinical practice of her and her team in private practice.

Case studies will be offered to demonstrate how SIP offers an intuitive way to integrate other evidence-based therapeutic models (including ACT, EMDR and IFS) within a CAT framework with an overarching emphasis on ‘safety in connection’ in the therapeutic relationship. Personal reflections will be shared to offer specific therapeutic examples of where therapist authenticity can lead to both excellent client outcomes whilst also maintaining therapist well-being. The presenter will encourage participants to reflect upon their most clinically challenging blocks with CAT through small group discussion and explore where SIP may be applicable in such moments.

It is intended that participants will leave the workshop will greater trust in their own clinical instincts backed up by a clear, concise theoretical framework which is consistent with the origins of CAT theory but expands therapeutic possibilities in the room. Participants will have heard about some real, practical clinical examples and will have had the opportunity to reflect in groups about how to start implementing the workshop ideas into their own clinical practice with immediate effect. 


I am an HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist and CAT Practitioner with additional training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), IFS (Internal Family Systems) and SIP (Somatic Integration and Processing). Following 13 years in the NHS, I have been working solely in private practice since 2017 as the Founding Director of Trust Psychology and Trust Pain Management, leading a team of psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the North-East of England. I offer supervision and training as well as one-to-one adult therapy work with a particular specialism in chronic pain following my time working in pain management multi-disciplinary teams (see Reformulation article; “Never-ending hurt” Davis, M., Summer 2017, pp16-21). I have a huge passion for the formulation and treatment of complex, relational trauma and have found the integration of relational therapies with body-based approaches and parts work so helpful personally and professionally.


Clive Turpin & Susie Black - 'How do we look after our therapists selves when life throws us lemons? When do we push through and when do we stop?'

A brief presentation introducing the main strands of this workshop. These may include:

  • Some brief example life events
  • Some thoughts about the language of coping and what it actually means to cope, including what does good coping look like
  • Some questions to be raised about when we as therapists should stop and when it is helpful to push on through
  • When is it enough? Self to self vs self to other signs
  • What can we learn from our earlier ‘soothe’ experiences (or lack of them)?
  • What do we do when our work setting aligns with the stuff we are going through (and is this inevitable in some way)?
  • What do we need to do more of to survive in what seem to be ever more complex and demanding work places / spaces?
  • Some questions about how much (if any) it is helpful to use our understanding of personal life events to inform therapy.  Can it be an equalizer in which we become two humans working together to understand rather than therapist and client?

Presenting a ‘generic’ staff map highlighting what our work environments might push us towards doing, and how we can end up burnt out without noticing.


Clive Turpin is a CAT Psychotherapist and supervisor, based in Manchester working in an NHS Psychotherapy Service and runs a small private practice. Clive has frequently contributed to ACAT conferences.

Susie Black is a Clinical Psychologist, CAT supervisor, trainer and practitioner.  She jointly runs South Wales CAT practitioner course.  Susie has worked in both adult mental health and physical health settings.  She has developed and presented on models of adjustment (generic maps) to cancer/physical health, the impact of working in oncology / physical health settings on staff and how burn out and compassion fatigue occur. 


Emma Chorlton & Julie Lloyd - 'Using CAT mapping to become a neuro-affirming therapist'

This workshop aims to help people to reflect upon their work with autistic people, to conceptualise being autistic as a difference rather than a deficit and to think about how we can all move towards becoming neuro-affirming CAT therapists. We will discuss the shift from a deficit model to a difference model, and encourage people to reflect upon their own assumptions about autistic people.

We will use CAT mapping to consider how differences in processing and understanding between autistic and neurotypical people can lead to relational ruptures and autistic people being oppressed, considering Damian Milton’s ‘double empathy problem’ theory. We will discuss that reciprocal roles formed between the autistic people and the relationships around them (and with society more broadly) create much of the distress experienced by autistic people. This will include themes about needs not being recognised or validated, other people having neurotypical expectations, and experiencing bullying.

We will consider some common reciprocal roles and repertoires described in by autistic people in research and relevant literature (for example about masking / burnout).

Emma has recently been co-delivering a post diagnostic group for autistic people, co delivered by autistic people. Whilst participating in this Emma in discussion with Julie has mapped reciprocal roles and patterns that have been observed alongside cofacilitators and group attendees. When these have been reflected back to the group they have been affirmed by many of the co facilitators / attendees as capturing commonalities in their experiences, and these will be shared as some examples of patterns autistic people can experience.

Finally we will consider implications for practise in terms of adaptations to make to CAT therapy and how to take a neuro-affirming approach to finding ‘exits’ (including expecting others to change their perspectives, connecting to autistic communities to empower and gain self-acceptance), and developing skills only where this is a specific skills requested by the person).


Both Emma and Julie are CAT therapists and clinical psychologists and work with neurodivergent people, Emma in the NHS and Julie in independent practice.   Emma is currently undertaking CAT supervision training and is supervised by Julie. 


Christina Wilson & Dupe Adu-White - 'Offering helpful, useful, therapeutic and ‘good-enough’ CAT follow-up sessions'

Christina will share ten themes discovered from her dissertation research into CAT follow-up sessions. Together, Christina and Dupe will create a reflective space, guided by the research findings, clinical material and case examples, to explore applying these themes to therapy.  The reflective conversation will explore enhancing CAT follow-up sessions with clients in the NHS and in private practice, the evolving CAT model, and supporting the learning of CAT supervisees and trainees.


Christina is a principal clinical psychologist, CAT psychotherapist and CAT supervisor. Dupe is a CAT psychotherapist, CAT supervisor, and chair of the ACAT EDI committee. Christina and Dupe are both from culturally diverse backgrounds and are personally committed to celebrating diversity and enhancing inclusivity across CAT. Christina and Dupe previously worked together in Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.


Steve Potter & Clare Fisher - 'How to cope with the news: mapping our distress in a traumatising world'

We will share some examples of mapping and writing in response to current local and global crises, considering whether this has helped and if so, how it has helped. Participants will then be invited to work in small groups to map a specific current crisis and their emotional and intellectual responses to it. In the final part of the workshop, participants will be invited to share these maps.


Steve Potter is a CAT psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer based in London. He struggles to hold on to a perspective in the face of confusing and frightening messages from the social and mass media. He doesn’t think he can make sense of a client’s distress without making sense of the distress and disorganization in the world.

Clare Fisher is a CAT psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer from South Wales. She has a tendency to map at 3am in response to worry.


Saturday morning workshops

Amanda Copeland & Eve Sheppard - 'Therapy Wellbeing: Vitamin N - restoring our health and vitality'

Note: This workshop will be held outside.  In the case of inclement weather, however, this will be in a seminar room.

This workshop will explore how burnout and vicarious trauma can affect our physical and emotional health and well-being, and how as therapists and clinicians we are more at risk of experiencing these issues. Nature connection and nature based approaches can be a way of restoring health and vitality and this will be discussed and reflected on together as a group in a nature setting.

Being and moving in nature can be a way to be more somatically embodied, allowing a sense of wholeness and spaciousness to just be with benefits for emotional regulation and physical and emotional well-being. David Abram in his book The Spell of the Sensuous (1996) writes about the necessity of this sensory, experience, as a way of making contact with our body through contact with the earth, “by acknowledging such links between the inner, psychological world and the perceptual terrain that surrounds us, we begin to turn inside-out, loosening our psyche from its confinement within a strictly human sphere, freeing sentience to return to the sensible world that contains us.” (Abram,1996:262).

We will explore systemic influences on how we have been socially conditioned to believe that well-being and resilience are individually determined, linked with productivity and self-sufficiency, and how damaging this is to individuals and ecologies. When we connect with nature, and experience more interconnectedness, we can experience a philosophical shift from an individual focus to a more systemic one, and experience a sense of wholeness, belonging and a more holistic understanding of ourselves and our relationships with the World around us. In nature we can slow down, and also can feel a powerful sense of belonging and acceptance. The practice of being in and with nature, and the realisation that as humans we are part of something greater than ourselves, not only part of human systems, but ecosystems too, can be profoundly healing.

Inherent in this workshop will be to explore how nature heals, that nature can be our therapist/co-therapist, through imagery and metaphor without prejudice or judgement.

When in nature there is an invitation to observe and pay attention, nature can have something to show us, if we are able to be receptive and open to learn from it, and has such restorative wisdom.

Working in and with nature in this way has ancient and sacred roots, medicine walks and vision quests (also known as vision fasts) were held within Native American communities.  Many traditional cultures would look to the use of ritual and ceremony as part of these sacred journeys.


My name is Amanda Copeland I am a cognitive analytic psychotherapist and supervisor as well as a mental health nurse.

My current clinical role is working within a family eating disorder service in Sussex and I have extensive experience delivering CAT to children and adolescents and families.   I am one of the facilitators of the CAT children and adolescent special interest group. I have also worked in adult mental health services with complex trauma, eating disorders and severe and enduring mental health conditions.

In recent years I have trained as a ecotherapist and am interested in integrating nature based approaches with CAT.  I am also interested in how nature connection can be a helpful way for therapists and practitioner to deal with burnout or vicarious trauma.  I am one of the facilitators of WildCATS  a special interest group exploring nature connection further, we were privileged to run our first WildCATS events last year in the Scottish Highlands when we delivered an immersive nature connection event to CAT therapists.

Eve is CAT Therapist and Mental Health Nurse with 28 years of experience working in NHS, Private Healthcare, and Overseas with adults, children, young people and families.

Currently Eve works in CAMHS as CAT Therapist in NHS Wales across Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

For me, being connecting and interacting with nature has been present since childhood. My love for the outdoors and nature took me to joining WildCAT residential Sept 2023 in Scottish Highlands led by Nick Abi and Amanda.

Being in this beautiful space with a wonderful group of CAT people supported me on a new journey of CAT being a co therapist in my practice.


Rachel Beckford - 'How can we provide effective and respectful CAT to those who are neurodiverse. Busting the myths and stereotypes.'

Often neurodiverse people are misunderstood and can be seen as ‘ambivalent’, ‘not psychologically minded’ and ‘avoidant’. These misunderstandings on our part are a form of discrimination and unwittingly we can create barriers to those who could be accessing our help. The intended outcome of this workshop is to encourage everyone to have the confidence to make small adaptations to their existing practice so that these barriers can be broken down.

The workshop will start with a presentation to include simple adjustments that can be made to our CAT practice and why these are necessary, like adjusting for processing speed or sensory needs. It will also remind people that those who are neurodiverse are not so different and that the tools we all have still apply and work!

Two clients have agreed to be audio recorded and for this to be shared at the conference. This will include their personal experience of CAT and why it worked/is working for them, what was good about it and as well as any tips or suggestions about what else we could be doing. 


I am a Clinical Psychologist and worked within the NHS for 22 years before setting up in private practice 9 years ago. CAT has been an integral part of my practice since training in 1993. I left the NHS as a Clinical Lead of a county wide network of 4 specialist Eating Disorder Services. I have also been a manager as well as a professional lead for psychological therapy staff. I have regularly taught other professionals, continue to provide supervision, and have occasionally presented at conferences.

I knew little about neurodiversity until I started private practice 9 years ago. To my surprise, I found that approximately 50% of those presenting to see me for help were neurodiverse and had often been misdiagnosed, discriminated against by services or had been struggling alone for many years believing that they were somehow “broken” or “lazy”.  I am passionate about helping neurodiverse clients to make sense of their experience, seeing the strengths as well as challenges. I have attended several training courses/ peer supervision as well as reading to develop my skills and knowledge. I have lived experience of parenting a neurodiverse child at home and of what can go wrong when we are ‘neurodiverse blind’.


Paul Johanson - 'Self-compassion, CAT and wellbeing: a critical view'

This workshop will promote dialogue, guided self-compassion meditations and reflections.

Participants will gain some experience of self-compassion practices and their usefulness for therapists and clients. Participants will be invited into dialogue on the topic of wellbeing and its position in the world of psychological therapy post-pandemic. There will be signposting for further reading and training.


I’m a Cognitive Analytic Therapist, meditation teacher and Mindful Self-Compassion Trained Teacher with the Center for Mindful Self Compassion (USA). I also completed the Self Compassion in Psychotherapy (SCIP) training offered by the Center for MSC in 2021. I originally trained as a probation officer in 1994 and since then I’ve worked in criminal justice, substance misuse, social work research, serious mental illness, psychological therapies, cancer and palliative care. I’ve also worked as a regional manager for NHS England in implementing national programmes in mental health, psychological therapies and patient experience. I am an experienced trainer and group facilitator: I currently offer training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy, resilience skills, communication skills and Compassion Circles (also called ‘Taking Care, Giving Care’). I’m a long-term (35 years +) practitioner and teacher of compassion and mindfulness meditation and I’m currently the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Sussex.


Margaret Gani - 'Navigating Race as a CAT therapist – whose shoes?'

What thoughts do this word evoke?
How comfortable are we talking about Race?
Does Race come up in your therapy sessions? Or does it seem like it might come up, but when it doesn't - you're relieved?
Do you feel - it's a post-racial world, why do people keep bringing this up?
Would you freely discuss your race-related experiences with a therapist not of your racial makeup?

Race as a word is fraught with various tensions - terms used to delineate can be clumsy and unwieldy.
Can Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) help us navigate racial experiences?
CAT is a collaborative therapy that helps us explore our past, understand our present, and eventually improve our future.

CAT as a relational therapy, provides an avenue to name, discuss and resolve uncomfortable and unmanageable feelings and emotions. CAT can help us as therapists - whatever our race or perspective - to proactively provide safe spaces where patients can explore their own race-related uncertainties - freely and with support.

Come walk with me through a CAT informed consideration of Race as one of the forms of difference encountered in the therapy room and beyond.


Margaret is a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist in a career transition to Preventative Mental Health. She has worked in Nigeria and Britain, in roles in acute inpatient psychiatry, community mental health, public mental health, and public health, among others. She studied Medicine at the University of Jos, Nigeria, completed an MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and trained as a Psychiatrist on the Manchester training programme. Her CAT training was at Catalyse in Manchester. She has interests in medical education, effective communication, public mental health and psychological therapies. She enjoys a leisurely hike, dancing, and watching Sci-fi.

This workshop on CAT and Race will involve actual shoe changes – oh the horror ????!! It will be run with multiple discussions, interspersed with small chunks of didactic type information. Depending on the numbers, we might have multiple groups. We will do practical exercises, including using the Gani Check and Cross paradigm!


Vicky Petratou - 'Creative Explorations of reciprocal roles in CAT practice: looking how various ‘intention-action-impact’ processes affect our relational experiences and responses'

The participants of this workshop will engage with playful experiential creative activities in order to explore ways of noticing, working with and reflecting on the ‘action and impact’ parts of reciprocal roles.

The goal of this workshop will be to help participants to engage with the concept/experience of the Reciprocal Roles with fresh curiosity and expand their understanding of how they are activated and impact upon ourselves and others.


I am based in Southeast London and have, for many years, provided CAT Psychotherapy, Dramatherapy, Clinical Supervision and Training to individuals and organisations. I have a special interest in working creatively in an embodied way with CAT and have been inspired and influenced by my experiences in Improvision, Physical and Playback Theatre as a Performer and Director/Conductor. Since 2006, I have also been working for the NHS, at the Munro Centre, Guys Hospital, as a CAT Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor. I have been engaged in the St Thomas Hospital CAT Practitioner training and the UK CAT Psychotherapy training (IRRAPT) as a seminar leader, tutor, and marker for many years. I have also taught at other CAT trainings both in London, Scotland, Malta and Greece. 


Tim Sheard - 'CAT as  an embodied relational ecosystem:  Implications for theory, practice and training'

This workshop focuses on embodiment as a bridge between all three themes of the conference:  inclusion of marginalised voices and experience, the climate and ecological emergency and therapist self care.

CAT, like most psychological therapies, is rooted in dualism, the dominant dissociative narrative of our culture.  Bodies are not a minority but the voice of the body and of nature is split off, othered, muted and marginalised in CAT theory, practice and training.  It will be argued that this largely unacknowledged reciprocal role of dominating and controlling to controlled, dismissed, silenced is a form of collusive identification/reciprocation with problematic reciprocal roles that underpin the climate and ecological emergency.  Ecotherapy can be held ‘out in nature’ but also nature can be in the room in our seemingly forgotten embodied co-identity with nature.

We will identify, share and explore our reciprocal roles as therapists in relation to what we call ‘our bodies’ when working with clients: body as object, body as subject, body as relational.  Previous experience suggests emerging themes of dominance, control, extraction, depleting and burdening as well as resourcing, resilience, being with and presence.

We will go on to explore the potential role of embodiment in mediating therapist self care and resilience in contrast to therapists feeling burdened, depleted and perhaps exhausted.  This part of the workshop will be focused around the demands and difficulties of working with adults suffering from developmental trauma. Two pathways of therapist ‘self care’ will be explored:

  1. It is as if embodiment can mediate foundational relational capacities of boundaries, poise, empathy and feeling
  2. It is as if embodiment mediates and self-to-self reciprocal roles, making them more tangible and real and so supporting embodied therapeutic presence

Embodying CAT suggests expanding the CAT model of the therapeutic relationship into a more systemic one of an embodied relational field.  This can be seen to have parallels with the multidimensional complexity of inter-relationships of an ecosystem.

CAT training does not routinely involve embodiment and it does not feature in the core competencies.  It could be understood to be a ‘meta-competency’ but it will be argued that this would need to run as a theme throughout training and not simply  “bolted on”.


Tim Sheard has a background in medicine and trained as a CAT psychotherapist in the 1990’s.

He works independently and has offered introductory workshops and series of training workshops within the CAT community in the UK and Finland over many years.


Hilary Beard - 'Dissertations, dissertations, dissertations!'

You are invited to join a workshop where graduates from the Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training share with you the hard work and creativity of their Dissertations.

Ways of seeing when words are a second language

I have always been interested in imagery, I find pictures easier than words to capture a feeling or a memory.  How we come to understand imagery has been something of an enigma to me, but when I explored it through early childhood development, I could see how imagery becomes an important part of our intersubjective world as infants, and forms our early expressions of feelings. Not everybody can use imagery and the same as not everyone can use words.  My dissertation explores how a hinterland of imagery and embodiment at times too often become overlooked by the rush to put it into words.

Sarah Huish CAT Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Course Director working as a Clinical Lead for CAT in Somerset Foundation Trust.

A qualitative exploration of CAT therapists’ experiences and countertransferential responses in working with Binge Eating Disorder clients

I will present findings from a qualitative qualitative exploration of CAT therapists’ experiences and countertransferential responses in working with Binge Eating Disorder clients, which will include a brief overview of the literature on this topic with particular focus on CAT theories and ideas. I will then describe the methodology briefly before sharing my findings with discussion on the key themes and opportunity for participants to share their own reactions to the findings and/or experiences in working with this client group.

Dr Libby Watson is a Clinical Psychologist and CAT Psychotherapist working with adults, with special interest in Binge Eating Disorder. She works primarily in private practice now, whilst continuing to input into the Training and Partnerships Team within the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).

The Secret Garden and Other Stories-how might CAT Therapists use literature as a therapeutic tool?

Everyone has a story. We all live by narratives that define who we are and how we approach the world. By entering a fictional world, it seems that we can entertain connecting with something larger than ourselves., a world that expresses essential and timeless themes. My Dissertation explores these themes.

Wendy Mather: CAT Psychotherapist working in both the NHS and in private practice

Destructive and Deadly: The narcissistic possibilities of King Lear and Romeo, observed though a CAT lens

Focusing on two of Shakespeare’s well-known tragedies, I aim to briefly explore the destructive and deadly narcissistic possibilities that exist within the characters of King Lear and Romeo. Through observing the topic of narcissism as witnessed through these two characters, I hope to demonstrate that turning to the dramatic world of Shakespeare can help CAT therapists observe these often complex and challenging therapeutic encounters from an observing eye perspective and can provide rich and fertile ground for understanding powerful emotional dilemmas and relationships. 

Emma Walton CAT Psychotherapist. South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust


Hilary Beard is Course Director of the Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training [IRRAPT] and is a Consultant Adult Psychotherapist

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ACAT Calendar for July
33rd July 2024
CAT Introductory Event: An Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) - offered by Catalyse
99th July 2024
CPD Event: A Beginner’s Guide to Cognitive Analytic Therapy: Practitioner and Service User Perspectives
1818th July 2024
ACAT Annual Conference: ACAT National Conference 2024
1919th July 2024
ACAT AGM: Annual General Meeting
2727th July 2024
CPD Event: How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology

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Gemma Harris ACAT has received the sad news that one of our members, Gemma Harris, has recently passed away....

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