Café CAT

Hashtag:  #CafeCatalyse

Café CAT is an informal evening meeting which provides an opportunity for contact with CAT peers with a focus on exploring CAT-related topics or considering broader themes from a CAT perspective.  The Café was set up in 2017 in response to conversations begun at the Projects Forum about running an evening CPD event.

You can stay up to date with news about Café CAT by following its very own Twitter account @CafeCATalyse

When and where is the next Café CAT meeting?

Café CAT last took place on 19 June 2020 for a successful online meeting on ‘CAT in Lockdown’ via Zoom.  Pending developments with the COVID 19 situation we may arrange another online meeting in the coming months.  Whether the next meeting is face-to-face or virtual, we’ll update details here.

What happens at a Café CAT meeting?

The format of Café CAT varies and will differ acording to the topic and the person leading the session.

The first few led by Clive Turpin were similar to the model developed by Cafe Psychologique.    This included an open conversation about a topic or theme but with some lead from the person introducing the topic. There was a brief introduction to the title/theme and encouragement from the group to share understanding, experience and knowledge.

This worked well but we’re open to different formats too.  These are likely to vary according to the issue being discussed, and the style of the person leading.  It doesn’t have to be polished and there’s no need to use presentation tools like powerpoint, unless you want to.  It’s more about holding a space for you and your peers to be curious together, and share ideas and experience.  This could be an opportunity to try something out and build your confidence as a presenter or facilitator.

Clive, who co-ordinated Café CAT until the start of 2019, blogged about “Café CAT: The Story So Far” in February 2018 – click here to read Clive’s most recent blog.

We also ran a survey asking for feedback about experience of these events and you can read a summary (December 2018) at this link – Café CAT – Reflections so far and plans for 2019.

What topics have past Café CAT meetings covered?

Have a look at the list of topics and brief summaries of past Café CAT meetings by visiting the page here. 

Who can come to a Café CAT meeting?

Café CAT is an open event, but as we explore different aspects of the model, a basic understanding of CAT is beneficial.

Which areas in the North have a Café CAT meeting?

Most of the Café CAT events have taken place in Manchester but Sheffield had its first meeting in 2019.  Currently it’s planned that they will continue to run in both of these locations.  We hope they may become established in other locations too.  June 2020 marked our first online meeting via Zoom.

If you are interested in leading an event and running it in your local area (or virtually), let us know so we can support you in organising this.

What topics are planned for future meetings?

Several future topics have been suggested, including:

  • Establishing exits and incorporating healthy roles
  • My CAT, your CAT: Exploring difference within a shared framework
  • Whose letter is it? Reformulation and Goodbye letters, who do they belong to?
  • Research in CAT: challenging myths and reflecting on what we might have to contribute
  • Storytelling: How we tell them, the importance of them, who they’re meant for
  • Social media: the impact and how this comes into or bumps against therapy
  • Experiences of learning and teaching CAT: trainees, practitioners, psychotherapists
  • Attending to and working with feelings in CAT
  • Creativity, play and playfulness in CAT
  • Adapting CAT for different client groups (eg children, people with learning disabilities)
  • Birth
  • Death
  • Belonging

We are open to more and want to respond to the needs of the local CAT community.

How can I be involved?

Coming along and taking part in a discussion is the simplest way to be involved.

We would like Café CAT meetings to be led by a range of people from within the local CAT communities.  You might be interested in leading on one of the topics listed above, or a variation.  Be bold: we welcome your ideas, suggestions and offers!

We can provide a small fee to facilitators for leading a discussion.  We arrange all the event promotion and can offer other administrative support if required.

Looking forward to seeing you there.  There’s no need to book a place; just come along on the night.  We ask for a £5 donation on the night to help cover costs.

For further information, contact Frances Free via this link.