Tag Archives: CPD

Painted wooden sign pointing to past and future

2022 Catalyse Round Up

And so the last days of January 2023 are here. Before the new year is much more behind us, and ahead of our AGM in early February, we’ve been looking back over 2022. It proved to be yet another busy year.

Training

CAT Practitioner Training

A double cohort of 51 cognitive analytic therapist trainees began their first year of CAT Practitioner training in October 2022. We have been trying out new venues to accomodate these two sizeable groups. Our trainers are becoming accustomed to delivering the same material to each cohort, two weeks apart. It’s interesting to observe the relational and dialogical in action each time. Each group, with its unique composition, alongside the same trainers, connect with materials differently. The researchers amongst us might get excited about the potential for a naturally occuring experimental design. However we plan to keep the training as consistent as we can across the two groups.

The trainer team are grateful to all of you supporting CAT training in the North. Especially with an enhanced intake, which asks for redoubled efforts from all, we extend our thanks to all our visiting trainers, supervisors, seminar group facilitators, and markers.

The previous cohort of 24 who began their training in early 2021 remotely, in the context of the pandemic, managed to meet for in-person training days over 2022. They completed the taught component of the Practitioner training at the customary residential two days. For them this took place in November.

Again, as with each set of graduates, we feel enriched by the range and standard of written assignments. We’re excited to see some of their essays translating into blogs or articles in the future.

Catalyse Training Films

Several new courses (plus some returners and one or two individuals) subscribed to our original set of Training Films. We plan to repeat a survey for trainers & learners in early 2023 asking how they’ve supported learning. You can read the results of the previous survey at this link.

Our second set of Catalyse Training Films, featuring a range of fictional clinical scenarios & therapy dyads, has continued in post-production this year. A grant from Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust made it possible to commence this initiative. A host of volunteer therapist/actors helped bring fictional outlines to life in an intensive weekend of filming in late 2021. Since then, the post-production process overseen by Kathryn Pemberton along with Brickoven Media has been moving towards completion. We look forward to making these new films available to stream in 2023.

CPD

In Conversation With Annie Nehmad

2022’s CPD programme began in March with a new informal online format. The first ‘In Conversation With….” event featured Annie Nehmad on ‘CAT & the New Psychotherapies‘. This was well attended & valued by participants, and we are starting 2023’s programme with another ‘In Conversation With….” online event. This time it is led by Elizabeth Wilde McCormick on the topic of ‘Personal Reflections on CAT’s Early Days‘. It takes place on 16th February, and there are still places available. You can read more about this event and book via this link. We’re looking forward to hearing more from Liz about her work with Tony Ryle as CAT was starting to develop. Curiosity and questions from those attending will make this session a really fascinating interactive dialogue.

CAT as a Tool for Leadership

Next up in May 2022 was a face-to-face repeat of David Harvey‘s “CAT as a Tool for Leadership“. This has been a consistently well-received event whether delivered online or in person. We are considering running a further Leadership day in 2023. Keep an eye on our Forthcoming CPD page if you are interested in attending.

Last May’s event earned very glowing feedback from participants.

“David was a really engaging speaker who incorporated our examples & questions into the content really well. Relating leadership to working with traumatised teams was especially pertinent to my work & made the course very practically useful as well as being theoretically interesting. It was also a really useful opportunity to meet with others and not feel as isolated when hearing the experiences of others. Containing and inspiring.”

A Graceful CAT: Embedding the Social Graces in CAT Dialogue

Paddy Crossling and Rhona Brown led a smaller-scale, half-day, in-person event on ‘A Graceful CAT: Embedding the Social Graces in CAT Dialogue‘ in July 2022. This built on a workshop they presented at the 2019 25 Years of CAT Practitioner Training in the North conference. One of the participants went on to enlist a further session on Social Graces for a national network event. Tools that Paddy and Rhona started to develop as part of their work are being piloted in some clinical and training settings.

“I hadn’t come across ‘social graces’ before and I really liked the conceptualisation of diversity/a feeling of difference/not belonging. It was a great opportunity to explore this both in relation to ourselves and others, and to consider how we may apply this approach in our work settings. Weaving CAT into the ‘social graces’ was an extremely helpful way of stepping out of the theory into the practice.”

Creating a Tapestry: Weaving Together EMDR and CAT

In October 2022, Mark Walker and Alison Jenaway led a sell-out face-to-face day on ‘Weaving Together EMDR & CAT‘. This was very well-received by participants, many of whom are already integrating these two models.

“Rich discussions about integrating EMDR & CAT – having recently trained in EMDR, I really valued a chance to think more relationally with other CAT therapists. It was useful to talk through clinical dilemmas in processing work & to think more about bringing neurobiology-informed approach into CAT more.”

CAT Supervisor Training Workshop

A further sell-out event in November ended the 2022 CPD year via Mark Evans & Sarah Littlejohn‘s 2-day CAT supervisor training workshop.

“Time to think through issues, refresh and consolidate learning; exercises were well though through- speed supervision & mock group supervision – both facilitators were excellent – time with CAT community & peers.”

Given increases in training places locally, and the possibility of future HEE funded CAT training places nationally, we very much encourage eligible CAT therapists to consider qualifying as accredited supervisors. Availability of supervisors is pivotal in supporting the learning and development of therapists interested in CAT. For anyone considering this, ACAT provides a helpful pdf summary of the process; “New Modular Supervisor Training Programme”. You can download this from the ACAT site page at https://www.acat.me.uk/page/cat+supervisor+training

Dawn Bennett has also just produced a further document for those attending our supervisor training. Her document aims to answer questions raised on the day, and ahead of the follow up session. It outlines the stages of supervisor training in a little more detail. The ACAT Supervisor Training Handbook describes all of this further.

Personal Reformulation

Our team of personal reformulation (PR) therapists completed a number of PRs with people seeking this brief CAT adaptation for personal and professional development. There is uptake from CAT Skills trainees, clinical psychology trainees & a range of others.

In 2023 we hope to offer PRs as part of other training and consultation, including initiatives around leadership. If you are interested in investing in a PR experience for yourself, or for staff or teams within your organisation, then do contact us. You can read more, with links and information on how to book a PR at this link.

Other Commissioned Projects, Consultation, Training and Research

In 2022 we completed an ACAT-accredited 6 month CAT Skills training with a range of staff from a local NHS trust. We delivered a number of reflective practice sessions, in addition to staff training & consultation initiatives. These included a series of one- and two-day introductory courses on CAT Skills for NHS teams. Similarly, but with content adapted for a non-professional audience, we also helped to scaffold CAT-informed work with staff of a third sector agency. A bespoke training on Five-Session Cognitive Analytic Consultancy ended additional offerings for 2022.

There is always a lot of possible work in the pipeline. We are lucky to have the support of various associates & colleagues around the North who help us deliver additional initiatives.

Staying involved with Catalyse

We’re always pleased to hear from CAT colleagues interested in working with us in one capacity or another. You can get involved in small contained ways to begin with. Roles can extend into more substantial involvement in Catalyse as an organisation. If you’re interested, then check out the information about possibilities for involvement with Catalyse at this link. Please do contact us to express your interest.

So it’s been a busy one! More ahead in 2023. Many thanks to all those who sought out our support with Cognitive Analytic Therapy related things over the last year. We really appreciate all of you working with us to deliver trainings, CPD, PR, consultation, research & other initiatives.

Save The Date: Two Day Supervisor Training Workshop in November 2022

Thinking of starting your journey as an ACAT-accredited CAT Supervisor? Mark Evans and Sarah Littlejohn are offering a face-to-face two day supervisor training workshop. This will take place on 17 and 18 November 2022 in Manchester. Mark and Sarah will follow the two days with a half day follow-up meeting, online, at a later date. Together these will constitute Part 1 of ACAT’s supervisor training pathway. We’ll post more details of this training shortly once booking is open. Do save the date if you’d like to sign up.

Update: more details and booking options for this event can now be found at this link: CAT Supervisor Training Workshop

Graceful Daisies in July

In this blog, Rhona Brown outlines her forthcoming half day workshop co-led by CAT and systemic family therapist Paddy Crossling.

There is a current push within ACAT for trainers, supervisors and therapists to develop skills and confidence in considering and addressing protected characteristics. Finding ways to more actively take such issues into account in therapy is recommended by UKCP’s HIPC EDI Guidance on teaching Equality, Diversity and Intersectionality in HIPC training organisations. These are shaping how ACAT-accredited training embeds aspects of equality, diversity and intersectionality throughout training and CPD. I’m involved in a working group thinking through how this can progress.

CAT has always been a model that situates the individual in their unique social context. The work of Vygotsky and Bakhtin underscored its radical social model of the self. Ryle and Kerr proposed that training therapies include ‘culture mapping’ to enable practitioners to recognise their own cultural influences and biases. However how realistic this is in each training therapy is another matter. And of course learning and personal development around these issues is life long, as we and the world continue to be fluid and unfinalised.

In contemplating tools to help us in this endeavour, a couple of years ago Paddy Crossling and I explored how we might adapt a systemic family therapy framework. The Social GGRRAAAACCEEESSSS was first proposed and shared by Alison Roper Hall and John Burnham. As a conceptual device they developed it to aid reflection on how aspects of identity impact on our relational exchanges. The letters in the mnemonic refer to Gender, Geography, Race, Religion, Age, Ability, Appearance, Accent, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Employment, Education, Sexuality, Sexual orientation, and Spirituality. Most recent descriptions include a catch-all additional S for ‘something else’.

These hold some similarities to items included in CAT’s Psychosocial Checklist (PSC), first developed by Yvonne Harris and Janet Toye in 2004. Janet and Rachel Pollard went on to update it in 2006 but it has not been widely adopted in CAT. Like the Psychotherapy File (PF), it primarily centres the relational experience of the client. Neither of these CAT tools necessarily prompt reflection about the self of the therapist. In systemic thinking the lense is broadened to include the therapeutic system, whereby reflection gives way to reflexivity. This refers to the ability to reflect on action and use it to inform future action. The GGRRAAAACCEEESSSS help to scaffold therapist reflection in such a way that it brings to the fore what may be visible, invisible, voiced or unvoiced in our own personhood. This in turn can help us, in our actions, stay open to conversations about the interaction between client and therapist perceptions of our respective social selves.

Therapy, after all, is often about opening up conversations that are often not easy to have, in authentic ways. Inevitably this involves the complex and multifaceted personhood of both parties. Aspects of assumed, perceived and subjective identit(ies) can be powerful mediators of both the therapeutic alliance and rupture. The collaborative nature of CAT starts from a place of humility in its gradual co-construction of shared meaning. Yet understandings are seldom complete. And of course each of us brings a myriad of different life experiences and contextual positionings in the social world.

Finding our way through these can feel uncomfortable and challenging. Without some waymarks we can feel a bit lost. Often, strategies and procedures we employ to feel more safe or secure in our professional roles can powerfully influence the direction therapy takes. In order to hold space for respectful, curious conversations around aspects of identity, we need to feel at ease with uncertainties and discomforts that such exchanges can provoke. Moreover we need to be able to respond helpfully when our clients step into that space with us.

Paddy is on the cusp of retirement from the NHS, following a career spanning some fifty years. She brings much clinical wisdom as a jointly trained CAT therapist and supervisor, and systemic family therapist. Paddy also offers DBT in her busy role in an NHS psychotherapy service. Preparing for our ‘A Graceful CAT’ workshop in 2019 opened up a creative space from which emerged a ‘graceful’ daisy. In addition to the approaching season, this inspired the image we chose to advertise our forthcoming event. In our experiential workshop Paddy and I will provide an overview of these complementary frameworks and introduce this fledgling tool. There will be opportunities for both personal reflection and practice in pairs or small groups. We hope the workshop will provide a safe space for therapists feel more comfortable and confident in working reflexively with similarities, differences and power in the therapy room.

To find out more or book onto this half day in Manchester on the morning of 15th July, visit the “A Graceful CAT: Embedding Social Graces in CAT Dialogue” event page at this link.

November 2021 News

It’s been a while since we published a newsletter to update on new developments. At our recent Executive group meeting in November 2021 we thought we’d try updating more regularly on the blog. If you’re interested in following Catalyse activities this is another way to stay informed.

Practitioner Training

We made the decision to defer the next intake of the Practitioner Training until 2022. However this doesn’t seem to have made 2021 a less busy year. We’re pleased to have had a great deal of interest in the course already. The deadline for applications is May 6th next year and we look forward to checking our inbox then. Marisol Cavieres provided her final training day in October, and has now moved on from her tutor role after ten years of working with us. This makes way for trainer Jo Coggins to take on the tutor role for our new October 2022 intake, working alongside Kathyrn Pemberton who is the tutor for the 2021 cohort.

People

This year we’ve also had further additions in that David Harvey has joined us as an associate. Jenny Marshall has also joined and taken on a lead role for Personal Reformulations. Additionally, Cath Laverty has come on board in a Non-Executive Director role. Glenys Parry made the transition to a Non-Executive Director role after retiring from her Executive and Finance roles at the end of August. Her inimitable mix of wisdom, strategic precision, seemingly limitless practical skill, plus her warmth, irreverence and humour, have aided Catalyse since its inception. We miss her in our Executive meetings. However we’re pleased she’ll remain involved in a number of other ways. Alongside their practitioner training roles, Dawn Bennett and Sarah Littlejohn are now Co-Chairs of Catalyse and Dawn is Finance Director.

CPD

After a pandemic-related pause, four CPD events over the second half of this year have been well received. Our December event on Therapy for Parents and the Family Court Process is the most well-subscribed of the year, but there are still spaces if you wish to book on. David Harvey will be repeating his in-person CPD day on CAT as a Tool for Leadership on Thursday 5th May 2022. More details and booking options for this will be available soon.

CPD lead Jo Coggins is in touch with several colleagues about a number of other stimulating CPD days over the coming year. We’ve streamlined the CPD proposal process so that there is a bit less form-filling. Instead the process includes more conversation with Jo to begin developing a proposal. We hope this will help prospective presenters move from an idea to something firm. If you have chats with Jo on Zoom you may not spot her swapping a tentative pencil for a more confident pen. Have no doubt she will be working towards getting a definite date in the calendar. Then the website work gets properly underway and we can start to advertise your event.

Many of you completed our CPD survey earlier this year. In response, for 2022 we’re planning to offer a range of different events to suit different pockets and purposes. This includes a mix of face-to-face and online events, and we will share more details soon.

Catalyse Training Films

It’s just over a year since the Catalyse training films became available to stream. Vimeo recently informed us they have had over one thousand views. We’re about to launch a brief survey to ask more about the experience of those who have used them to date in training, or their own learning. Catalyse practitioner course trainees have direct access to them throughout training. Other CAT Practitioner training courses and Clinical Psychology courses have purchased subscriptions too, and some have also arranged for their trainees to have direct access at a small cost-per-head fee. Being able to watch the films at any time means that learners can use the materials more flexibly. In addition to viewing them direct during remote training days, they can also review them in their own time.

We didn’t really anticipate that individuals might want to subscribe to the films as a preparation for training in CAT. However we’ve discovered that there is some interest in this. As a result we’re reviewing the subscription costs to make it more possible for people to access them in this way. We’ll share details of new subscription arrangements shortly.

Training Films: Take Two

Not content with one series of materials, supporting initial skills development in cognitive analytic therapy, we are well underway with a second series. This is thanks to a generous donation from a charitable endowment fund by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Their contribution is enabling Kathryn Pemberton and a small group of CAT colleagues to plan and produce a further five short films, in conjunction with Brickoven Media and a number of local CAT colleagues.

The first series is suitable for introductory and year 1 practitioner training. Using different fictional scenarios, this second series of films will demonstrate a range of situations presenting more complex therapeutic challenges. From countertransference and strong expressed emotions, to rupture linked to values and world-views, the films aim to demonstrate more advanced CAT skills and competences. Again they will not be striving to show ‘perfect’ clinical practice. Instead, they explore the richness of such therapeutic encounters and possible responses by CAT therapists. As learning resources we hope they will facilitate exploration, discussion and debate around more advanced CAT skills and competences.

The recent weekend of improvisation and filming at GMMH premises in Manchester deserves a blog in its own right. Until that emerges, you can see a few visual highlights and glimpses of therapists who kindly gave up parts of their Sundays to help us, on the #CatalyseFilms hashtag on Twitter. If you’re not on Twitter you can scroll back to view the Twitter feed here on the website.

Staying involved with Catalyse

As ever, we welcome approaches from ACAT-accredited CAT therapists across the North of England who would like to become involved in the work of Catalyse in some way. There are plenty of possibilities. You can read more about how to go about this in Dawn and Glenys’ guidelines here. And of course you can always contact us through our administrator Frances Free.