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?

Cafe CAT is back – online via Zoom – on Friday 19 June 2020, 7.00 – 8.30 pm. Our theme will be CAT in LockdownRenate Pantke and Jo Coggins will lead the meeting, and hope to hear from interested people about what they would like to cover:

 In this unprecedented time of change, distance, adaptation, ingenuity, anxiety and opportunity we would very much like to get together again.

We would like to make the time as useful as possible, so we are asking you to submit ideas for our agenda. This could be offering reflections about the changes you have encountered in your clinical work, ideas for technological adaptations, questions you have for others, new types of ruptures you may have encountered, lockdown friendly exit ideas etc.

You may wish to talk on the night for a short time and introduce your thoughts, or you may prefer us to share your ideas with the group. We will form an agenda based on your ideas.  If you don’t have ideas but would like to attend anyway, thats great too.”

Please let us know if you would like to attend this online meeting. We will send an email out nearer the date with the Zoom details and the agenda.  There is no fee to attend this meeting.

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.

You can read more about past Café CAT meetings by clicking here. 

Who can come to a Café CAT meeting?

Café CAT is an open event, but as we will be exploring different aspects of the model, a basic understanding of CAT would be 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 marks our first online meeting via Zoom.

If you are interested in leading an event and running it in your local area, 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. (NB For the next online meeting in June there will be no fee but those wishing to attend will need to contact us to confirm and receive their Zoom invitation by email.)

For further information, contact Frances Free via this link.