An Introduction to CAT ~ 13 & 14 April 2018

Past Catalyse Event

Section of cognitive analytic therapy map

An Introduction to CAT

A two-day workshop led by
Sarah Littlejohn and Emma Taylor

Please note this event has passed
Hashtag #CATspace18
Some feedback from the course:

What was useful, interesting or enjoyable?

The group exercises with chance to practice the skills. The real life examples from tutors – very relevant and interesting.

Learning about RRs [reciprocal roles] and the Three Man Clusters. How to formulate and then find exits. Dealing with enactments.

All was extremely useful & enjoyable. Seeing diagrams/maps – helpful.

I enjoyed seeing Emma’s role play; hearing the reformulation and goodbye letter and the SDR [sequential diagrammatic reformulation]  Maps.

All of it!

The mapping exercise, learning the fundamentals of CAT Therapy.

The understanding of RR [reciprocal roles]. The use of mapping.

That my psychodrama training that is relational fits well with CAT. That the structures of the maps help you to be more focused. Goodbye letter.

Drawing out maps, Thinking about exits.

Date: Friday 13th and Saturday 14th April, 2018
Time: 9:30am to 4:30pm
Venue: Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James Street, Sheffield, S1 2EW
Fees:  £230.00 (or £190.00 concessionary rate for counsellors in training and voluntary sector workers)

Outline of the Workshop

This hands-on, two-day course offered an introduction to the values, ideas, methods and skills of Cognitive Analytic Therapy.  It combined short theoretical inputs with role play of CAT practice and work in pairs and small groups to try out CAT skills.  The versatility of the approach was explored and a range of clinical examples highlighted.  The event aimed to help participants gain skills in using CAT as a framework for a range of therapeutic interventions from early formulations in brief focused therapy to working with complexity and personality difficulties. It included opportunities to practice the skills of mapping, negotiating and resolving problem patterns within the therapy relationship.  It was aimed at participants with some familiarity with the use of psychological ideas and methods in responding to mental health problems and emotional distress. 

For more information about introductory courses in CAT, visit the ACAT website here.

Course aims/objectives

  • Introduce Cognitive Analytic concepts and methods.
  • Draw out or “map” diagrams of problematic, repeating relationship patterns, using live demonstrations, case examples and your own practice
  • Introduce CAT tools of letter writing. We will use examples, and you will have the opportunity to experience framing client histories, problems and repeating problematic patterns in letter writing.
  • Discuss how CAT can be used to understand relational patterns in the therapy room, help predict issues associated with poor motivation and engagement, and work with endings.

Who was it for?

Any qualified professionals working with mental health difficulties, i.e. social workers, psychotherapists, qualified and trainee counsellors, occupational therapists; IAPT workers, psychologists, art therapists, and doctors.


Sarah Littlejohn is a CAT psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer.  She originally trained as an integrative psychotherapist 25 years ago  and qualified as a CAT practitioner in 2001.  She’s  been a lead trainer for the Catalyse (formerly CAT North) Practitioner Training for over a decade and also provides supervision for CAT practitioner and CAT psychotherapy level trainings. Sarah runs  introductory CAT workshops for a range of professionals each year.  She’s been a past chair of ACAT’s Training Committee and is currently chair of Catalyse Executive.  She’s  particularly interested in how CAT provides a framework for the early formulation of complexity, and uses of the therapeutic relationship.

Dr Emma Taylor is a clinical psychologist, accredited CAT practitioner and CAT supervisor.  She has 25 years of clinical experience, including 16 years in the NHS and seven years in private practice in which she offers therapy, supervision, training and acts as a expert witness for Family Courts. She is a member of the Catalyse Sheffield Psychotherapy Practice. She has been a psychology lecturer, and has delivered training for many professionals and organisations including Catalyse.