Stephen Irving

I am an ACAT accredited CAT practitioner and supervisor. I worked for the NHS for almost 30 years. Originally I trained as a registered nurse in both general and mental health.  The majority of my NHS working life was in the sphere of mental health. Completing my CAT training in 2007, I worked as a psychological therapist using CAT in a variety of mental health settings.  I found it useful in primary mental health, eating disorders, and secondary care services. In addition to offering both individual and group therapy, I provided formal contextual reformulations to teams. I also offered CAT informed supervision to colleagues.

In addition to CAT, I have had training in other therapies such as Mentalization Based Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.   I also co-facilitated a psychotherapy group using Democratic Therapeutic Day Service principles.

I retired from the NHS in March 2019, seeing it as an opportunity to discover and try out new challenges. I currently work independently supporting university students to manage their mental health needs in relation to their academic studies.

Reflecting on my career, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to train in CAT.  I consider myself equally fortunate to have had supportive work environments where CAT understandings were valued alongside other psychological models.  I particularly like the way CAT offers people the opportunity to discover aspects of themselves that can give rise to new insights and new truths. I really enjoy it when moments of clarity are revealed.  Pathways for change can then be explored and co-created.

I’m interested in learning more about the discoveries coming from neuropsychology and the potential implications for how we work as CAT therapists.

Personal reformulations are a safe and effective introduction to the way CAT uses a range of approaches in the pursuit of understanding.  A salient aspect is how the development of intrapersonal/interpersonal patterns emerge from relationships.  Relationships in therapy and elsewhere can then help us to appreciate areas of difficulties as well as areas of personal strengths.