2016 – 2018 Practitioner Training


The 2016 – 2018 course has now commenced. If you are interested in applying for our 2017 intake please contact us.

The Practitioner Training is a two year in-service training for people with a core mental health profession leading to the award of the ACAT CAT Practitioner Diploma, with accreditation and professional membership of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.

For those interested in seeking UKCP registration as a psychotherapist, this course fulfils the entry requirements for Psychotherapy Training in CAT which is a further two years and leads to UKCP registration.

Please scroll to the end of this page for course downloads and information.

Aims of the Course

Catalyse (CAT North) aims to provide a training programme to enable core professionals with competence in their own field to enhance their understanding and skills in psychotherapy by learning the theory and methods of Cognitive Analytic Therapy.


The course is spread over two years and consists of training days, seminars, supervised clinical work, experiential learning and a personal CAT.

Training days

There will be 20 training days over the two years divided into the following themes: 

  • Fundamental CAT concepts
  • Theoretical bases of integrative psychotherapy
  • Theories of object relations and inter-subjectivity
  • Personality disorders – theories and treatment
  • Basic concepts in psychotherapy practice
  • Evidence based psychotherapy practice
  • Principles of ethical professional practice

The course aims to familiarise trainees with the theory of CAT, providing an understanding of the Procedural Sequence (Object Relations) Model and Reciprocal Role Relationships, as well as introducing later developments in CAT, of activity theory and self states. Trainees will be helped to apply these concepts, along with the CAT reformulatory tools (prose letters, diagrams and goodbye letters) through skills practice and supervised clinical work.

The training inputs will address the background theories which have informed the development of CAT and will also cover issues common to all psychotherapies within the CAT context: assessment; transference & counter transference; therapeutic alliance; process of change; working with difficult patients; termination; follow up.  All the training inputs will be planned in the light of the social/political context and psychotherapy research. There will be a balance of presentations, clinical applications, experiential learning and skills training inputs.

There are ten days spread throughout each of the two years, starting with 2 days in October and 2 days in November, then a further 4 days from January through to May.  Each year ends with a 2 days residential in June.  Single days are Fridays and 2 day blocks are Thursdays and Fridays.


Trainees will meet in seminar groups of between 3 and 6 participants, meeting for an hour and a half 15 times a year (or equivalent).  Each group will have some input from a seminar leader. However, the aim is to encourage trainees to take an active approach to their learning needs and to identify gaps in knowledge which their own activity can meet.  The course trainers will provide the reading material and guidelines to assist study etc and will approve arrangements.

Personal therapy

Trainees are required to undertake a 16 session CAT during training.

Supervised clinical work

This is part of two CAT practice skills modules.

Trainees work with a minimum of 8 clients under the supervision of an accredited CAT supervisor. Supervision is weekly, usually in groups of 3 trainees, for 1½ hours with a minimum of 40 supervision group meetings each year. Trainees are expected to attend regularly, and are required to be in supervision until the completion of all clinical work. This will normally take a minimum of two years but may extend up to a further six months depending on the individual trainee’s case mix and circumstances.


The course has one or two trainee advisors available for confidential consultation in the event of trainees having difficulties during the course.


Supervisor & trainee reports on supervision.

Trainees submit two case studies for assessment, one by the end of each year of Practitioner Level Training.

Trainees submit two essays about the application of CAT concepts in their clinical work of up to 4,000 words.


Training days are in Manchester,  with the residential usually in West Yorkshire or Derbyshire. Supervision groups are currently run in various locations in the north of England and elsewhere.  Seminar groups run at venues convenient to trainees.  We provide a list of CAT training therapists but trainees may have to be prepared to travel for therapy.


The Catalyse (CAT North) training is one of twelve ACAT course centres in the UK delivering CAT Practitioner training leading to the ACAT CAT Practitioner Diploma.

The award can be followed by:

CAT psychotherapy training: Psychotherapy training enables CAT Practitioners to become Cognitive Analytic psychotherapists via an additional two-year assessed course, which leads to eligibility for registration with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.

Admission criteria

The following criteria are offered as a general guide.

Essential Criteria:

  • Core professional training in the caring professions i.e. psychiatry, nursing, clinical and counselling psychology, social work, counselling, and occupational art therapy
  • At least one and normally two years of post qualification experience in a core profession depending upon experience
  • Introductory level experience/training in psychotherapy
  • Appropriate access to clients

Desirable Criteria:

  • Personal therapy experience
  • Work experience in a mental health setting – where the trainee has no such experience, they may be required to undertake a suitable placement


  • Initial application fee £15    If called for interview £50
  • Academic Training: £1950 per year (including ACAT registration fee of £82 per year).


  • Supervision usually costs approx £1200 for the year.  Alternatively, trainees may be able to get supervision within their workplace or may be able to negotiate free placements in exchange for seeing clients within the supervisor’s work setting (normally NHS).
  • Personal Therapy (approx) £750/£850
  • Optional additions:  Books:  4 course texts,  and the ACAT Annual conference.

Total:  £7,150 approx

Teaching team

Principal trainers:

  • Dawn Bennett
  • Mark Evans
  • Sarah Littlejohn
  • Marisol Cavieres
  • Deborah Pickvance
  • Glenys Parry
  • Lawrence Welch

Some of the training days will also include invited speakers.

How to apply

Applicants are invited to submit a CV with 2 referees and are asked to provide details of source of referrals,  assessment arrangements and venue for seeing clients.

In addition, applicants are asked to write a personal supporting statement of around 750 words giving an indication of:

  • your current therapeutic approach;
  • what you hope to gain from training in CAT;
  • why it is important for psychotherapists to develop an understanding of their own emotional life;
  • plus one case summary of around 500 words.

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited for an interview.

Please send application with initial fee of £15, payable to ‘Catalyse’ to Frances Free, [postal address available on request].   Tel: 07842 137745.  Application fees can be paid online by clicking on this link.
email:  frances@catalyse.uk.com


The deadline for applications has now passed  If you hope to submit a late application, please contact us to discuss.

The course commences on 6th and 7th October 2016.


Catalyse (formerly CAT North) has developed a successful CAT Practitioner Training programme in the North of England since 1992.   It also offers in-house training and supervision, consultancy and research by arrangement.

It is one of the regional trainings of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT),  for which more information can be obtained online at www.acat.me.uk or email admin@acat.me.uk  telephone 01305 263 511.

The application form, application guidance, a flyer and prospectus are available to download below:

Application Form 2016
Application Procedure 2016
Prospectus and course dates 2016
Prac Trg Flyer 2016