An Introduction to CAT ~ 3/4 July 2024

Forthcoming Catalyse Event

Excerpt of a diagram with words and arrows

An Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

A two day face-to-face workshop led by Sarah Littlejohn

Hashtag #CATintro24

Date: Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July 2024
Time: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm each day
Venue: Booth Street East, Central Manchester
Fees:  £190.00

(Please note the event fee includes refreshments througout both days but not lunch.  You or your organisation can request invoicing, which incurs an additional £15 fee)

Overview of workshop

This two day face-to-face workshop provides participants with an introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy.  Through a combination of brief theoretical presentations, video-based scenarios and live experiential exercises, you will have an opportunity to understand CAT concepts and practise using some of the key skills involved. 

Catalyse trainer, Sarah Littlejohn, will help you explore different ways the CAT approach can support assessment, rapid formulation and psychological therapy.  She will model using CAT as a highly collaborative tool to help make sense of relational difficulties and common psychological symptoms, alongside working with problem patterns in the therapy relationship itself. Finally, Sarah will also cover CAT’s approach to managing therapeutic endings in a thoughtful and constructive way. 

She will use clinical examples and role play to help demonstrate use of CAT in action.  Additionally, you’ll be able to view excerpts from a series of Training Films depicting a fictional CAT therapy. Catalyse developed these films for training purposes, and embed them throughout Practitioner Training. 

Throughout the days you will have the chance to work with each other in pairs and small groups. 

All participants will receive an attendance certificate for their CPD records.

Aims and learning outcomes

Over the two days, Sarah will focus on:

  • introducing Cognitive Analytic concepts and methods
  • demonstrating how to draw out or “map” diagrams of problematic, repeating relationship patterns. She will use live examples, including those from your own practice, and support you to try out this technique
  • introducing the CAT tool of letter writing. Sarah will share examples and help you practice of ways of framing and summarising client narratives, histories, presenting problems and repeating problematic patterns through writing
  • aiding understanding of CAT’s theory of therapeutic change, and how to develop alternative relationship patterns and roles
  • exploring how CAT can be used to understand relational patterns in therapy, help predict issues associated with poor motivation and engagement, and work with endings

Please note that attending this course does not lead to any professional qualification in Cognitive Analytic Therapy and does not qualify you to deliver this therapy approach.  If you are interested in looking into further training or supervision in CAT, information and signposting to options for these will be provided.

Who is it for?

This event is for anybody interested in learning more about cognitive analytic therapy.

Applicants to the Catalyse CAT Practitioner Training are required to have attended a two-day introductory course on CAT (or equivalent).  This course is therefore ideal for those intending to apply in 2024. Working with Sarah, as a founding trainer for Catalyse Practitioner Training, provides a taster of the teaching style on the course.


Sarah Littlejohn is a CAT psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer.  She originally trained as an integrative psychotherapist over thirty years ago and qualified as a CAT practitioner in 2001.  She’s been a lead trainer for the Catalyse Practitioner Training for many years. In addition to her training role, Sarah also provides supervision for CAT practitioner and CAT psychotherapy level trainings. She’s been a past chair of ACAT’s Training Committee and is currently co-chair of the Catalyse Executive.  She’s  particularly interested in how CAT provides a framework for the early formulation of complexity, and uses of the therapeutic relationship.


The venue is located on Booth Street East in Central Manchester ; full details will be provided on application. The location has easy access to several food outlets so that participants can purchase lunch.  You are also welcome to bring your own provisions to eat in the training room. 

Participant feedback on the last event

We asked participants what they found “most useful, interesting or enjoyable” about the previous introductory CAT workshop held in May 2023. Some responses (shared with permission) are listed below.

“Watching the video of enactments in a therapy session.”

I really enjoyed the mixture of teaching, practice in pairs and groups, whole group discussions. The content was brilliant.”

“The application of the model to the case example.”

I found both days really interesting and valuable. I feel like I have a much better understanding around CAT – this was a great introduction to the model.

“Mix of didactic learning and group work, discussions, pairs, video etc. Managing enactments.”

The repetition helped to embed the model. The group work and pairwork helped with self-reflection. The training videos were good. The self-reflection on our own procedures and how they impact the work. It was all really good, thank you.

“How to make my work with clients more structured. I really enjoyed hearing about cases and the practising of some of the theory. I have a greater understanding of reciprocal roles and how much they are present. I feel like I will be thinking about this during my sessions with clients.”

Putting theory into practice through the exercises.

“Group work. Use of real case to generate discussion. Explanation of how to generate reciprocal roles.”

“I found the explanation and examples of SDR’s extremely useful as it allowed me to visualise the methodology and ‘show my working out’ which I believe will aid therapeutic rapport in the future.”

Thinking about my own cases and how to utilise the framework of CAT, helped make all the terminology and theory more understandable – we were given lots of opportunity to do this on the course.

Group Size

Places are limited to a maximum of thirty participants.  

Booking Information

We advise early booking to secure your place.  Once fully subscribed a further waiting list will be in place.

For online booking, follow the link below. When you pay online, you will automatically receive a receipt. You can also request a receipt from the Catalyse administrator.

If you require invoicing, there is an additional charge of £15.00. Please contact the administrator to inform us that you intend to book.  You may download the booking form by scrolling to the end of this page.

Terms and Conditions

Before proceeding to book and pay for this event, please ensure you read and understand our terms and conditions.