CAT and the Brain ~ 16 Nov 2015

Past Catalyse Events

CAT and the Brain:
How the brain works, what gets in its way and implications for CAT practice


Led by Emma Taylor and Pete Walpole

Please note this event has now passed.

Date: Monday, 16th November 2015
Time: 9:30am to 4:30pm
Venue: Dalton Ellis, Conyngham Road, Manchester, M14 5RL
Fee: ACAT member :: £95.00   non-ACAT member :: £120
The workshop includes lunch, refreshments and course handouts.

Workshop details:
This workshop was aimed at therapists and health professionals interested in gaining a greater understanding of how the brain functions and how key neuropsychological processes can influence cognition, behaviour and relationships. It aimed to improve practice with adults who have acquired cognitive impairments linked to depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, head injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and cancer.

No prior knowledge of neuropsychology or cognitive impairment necessary.


  • To explore the relevance of the brain and cognitive functioning to a relational therapy like CAT
  • To raise awareness of basic brain architecture and cognitive functions
  • To increase participants’ awareness of the potential impacts on cognitive functioning of changes in mental and physical health status including the impact of medical treatments
  • To introduce cognitive domains vulnerable to emotional and neurological difficulties including attention, memory and executive functioning
  • To explore reciprocal roles and procedures which may particularly present in people with cognitive difficulties
  • To consider possible impacts of these upon the individual’s relationships with families, networks and care systems
  • To consider implications of neuropsychological insights for using and adapting CAT tools, including reformulation and mapping
  • To provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on clinical practice in this area

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Appreciation of the brain and dialogue with it, regardless of our client population
  • Increased knowledge of what affects cognitive functioning
  • Knowledge of how cognitive difficulties may present in assessment and therapy
  • Familiarity with some strategies likely to maximize learning and processing in therapy
  • Discussion and exploration of the implications of neuropsychology for your own CAT or therapy practice

Workshop facilitators

Dr Emma Taylor is an independent Clinical Psychologist and CAT therapist working with the Catalyse Sheffield Psychotherapy Practice. She worked for 15 years in the NHS, within adult and older adult mental and physical health services. She has extensive knowledge of assessing and working with people with dementia. More recently, she has worked in hospital and community settings with adults with acquired brain injury and other neurological diseases. In addition, she has extensive personal knowledge of living with neurodevelopmental and specific learning disorders. Emma was a lecturer at Guys medical school and for the Open University, has taught on Doctorate in Clinical Psychology courses and delivered training for many other health professionals.

Dr Pete Walpole is a Clinical Neuropsychologist working in the Clinical Neuropsychology Department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. Pete has over twenty years’ professional experience of adult mental and physical health settings. He trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy in the mid-late 1990s, before completing his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2005. He has a Post-doctoral Diploma in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology, and the British Psychological Society’s Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology. He has taught on the Trent and Leicester DClinPsy courses in the past, and has been providing teaching and placements for the Sheffield DClinPsy course and elsewhere in the NHS for the past 10 years. In his current role, he specialises in the neuropsychological differential diagnosis of dementias, and the diagnostic assessment of people exhibiting cognitive problems that have no clear organic basis at the time of referral.

NB: This workshop focussed on work with adults with acquired rather than developmental cognitive difficulties.