First States Day Fully Booked

The first run of the CPD day offered by Sarah Littlejohn and Dawn Bennett on States, Self-states & State Shifts on 19th March has proved very popular and is now fully booked.  If there’s sufficient interest it may be possible to run the day again at a later stage.  Contact us if you’d like to be added to a waiting list for a repeat of the event.

Image of sharpened pencil ready to write on blank notebook

Café CAT: The Story So Far

As the third Café CAT meeting approaches on 25th April, Clive Turpin reflects on the first two meetings and possibilities for future directions it might take.

Café CAT was inspired by the established approach of Café Psychologique that presents a topic for an open conversation. Café Psychologique meetings in various locations have included mortality, loneliness, music, amongst many many others.  It was a priority for Catalyse to promote and support an alternative informal CPD opportunity to those interested in and working with cognitive analytic therapy that also served to bring people together with a shared curiosity and interest.

So far Café CAT has met on October and January 2017 and the next is planned for 25th April 2018.  I’m really pleased that we have a new voice for this one, Suzanne Riddell, who wants to explore the topic of similarities and differences between NHS and private therapy work. Do they each carry particular impressions and expectations? What’s the view from “inside” or “outside” of one or the other? What are our experiences and where does the reality lie?

The maiden Café CAT’s title was “What state are we in?” which focused on how we think about, approach and integrate states into our work. To get the Café underway I presented the first two topics with the hope that we could encourage others to get involved.  At the first event I took a slightly more active approach in leading the session to get things going.  It was great to get two new voices of Vikki and Lucinda to put a blog together sharing their experience of the evening.

Next up was “Exploring the tools of CAT and what’s kept post training” in January this year.  After introducing the topic we quickly moved into a more conversational approach, which was the original aim of the Café.  We were also in a cosier room which no doubt impacted on the feel as we were all sat around a double table arrangement, compared to the large open space before. The conversation went in all kinds of directions and opened up new ideas, highlighted some differences and left us all with new some things to consider.

One of the things that I find most exciting about these open conversations is that you don’t know where it’s going to go and what you’ll encounter. Each event has left me with a lot to reflect on and influenced my practice thereafter.  In addition to this I’m getting to meet new people and those that I haven’t seen for a while.  It’s like a social win, a professional practice win, and a general brain/mind win and obviously a great way to connect with others.

I’m really keen to promote and keep new voices active within the Café.  I’ve got lots of ideas myself, however a variety of voices and differing views are so enriching. So as well as a summary on the Café so far this is also an active invite to bring something that you feel passionate or curious about or interested in and want to sound out an idea or experience with others. This would be greatly welcomed to keep Café CAT open and diverse, so if you have an idea get in touch and we’ll see if we can get it into the Café schedule.

We’re also interested in this developing in other areas, such as Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool, (as well as other areas of Manchester) where there are large CAT communities.

Here are a few ideas for some future Café CAT meetings:

  • 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)

Contact Clive for more information or to share ideas about future Cafe CAT meetings.  You can follow him on Twitter at  @Clive_Turpin.  You can also follow tweets about the Café through its hashtag #CafeCatalyse.  Otherwise join Suzanne Riddell and other northern CAT colleagues by coming along to the next meeting.

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CAT diagram showing reciprocal role and procedure around research, with exit of coning to this research conference

Building Our Research Community Together in Manchester

Have you seen details of the research conference which we are running run jointly with ACAT?  This takes place on 13th April in Manchester. The title “Encouraging to Engaged” sets out what we intend it to do, through bringing together CAT peers to consider how we can all become more confident, skilled and active in relation to research. Manchester does of course have an international airport for easy connections with other countries where CAT has a presence.  Colleagues from beyond the UK are most welcome to attend too.

A range of research-active colleagues involved in psychotherapy and practice-based research, and already playing a part in building CAT’s evidence base, will present and share their experience as “more knowledgeable others”.  Small group work focussed around participants’ needs will provide thinking space, practical support and scaffolding to help us all feel more able to make use of CAT’s evidence base in our practice and to develop it further. It doesn’t matter what your starting point is in relation to research, there will be something for everyone on the day.  Further details of the programme will be available shortly. (Update February 2018 – full programme is now available as a download on the event page here.)

Of course it wouldn’t be a CAT event without a CAT angle on the process of engaging in research.  In addition to the playful map Alison Jenaway offered as an image to help promote the day, there’s a promise of more SDRs from presenters.  Perhaps Alison’s diagram has already prompted you to draft your own?

We very much hope you can join us in April to play a part in further building our research community and renewing ACAT’s research strategy together.

If you have any thoughts, questions, suggestions or discussion points in relation to the day, do please add them here, or on Twitter using the #CATres18 hashtag.  You can also use the members’ only Research Chatterbox on the ACAT site.  Perhaps we can get a conversation started in advance of the conference: we  certainly look forward to the conversations on the day.

You can find out more about the day and book a place by clicking on this link.  The early online booking rate of £95 applies until March 12th.  If you need anymore information or advice about accommodation options in Manchester, please contact us.

Image of a floor mat marked "arrivals"

Introducing Kathryn Webb

At the end of 2017 we appointed Kathryn Webb as a new Catalyse administrator.  Kathryn has particular responsibility for the Sheffield Psychotherapy Practice and for managing the CPD programme.  She will also share some other tasks with our longstanding administrator Frances Free, from time to time.  Kathryn joins Catalyse at a busy time as we start to advertise the research conference ‘Encouraging to Engaged’, our first event organised jointly with ACAT.  This takes place on 13 April 2018 in Manchester, overlapping with a two-day introductory training course led by Sarah Littlejohn and Emma Taylor in Sheffield on 13 and 14 April 2018.  You’ll hear more from Kathryn throughout the year as we finalise further events in our 2018 CPD programme.  In the meantime we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing her a warm welcome to the CAT community in the north.