CAT Foundation Graduate Entry

Entry to Year 2 CAT Practitioner Course
for ACAT Foundation Course Graduates

Catalyse will consider applications from CAT Foundation Course graduates who can apply with their foundation year credit to complete year 2 to gain the training, clinical experience and assessments necessary for accreditation as an ACAT accredited CAT Therapist / Practitioner.

The CAT Foundation Course is equivalent to the year 1 of a CAT Therapist / Practitioner course in academic and clinical content and written work requirements. The therapy component is a brief personal reformulation experience. The Foundation Course is modular and has been designed for trainees satisfactorily completing the course to apply to do a second year on any practitioner/therapist training course nationally. For trainees considering year 2 with Catalyse from outside our usual catchment area you can set up or maintain your local supervision arrangements and attend the course teaching which is based in Manchester for eight days (October to May) and in South Yorkshire (a two-day end of training residential in mid June). You would join our current second year cohort.

Course Components

Academic: Training Days and Seminars

You would attend the ten days spread throughout year 2, starting with two days in October and two days in November, then a further four days from January through to May. There is a two-day residential in June.  Single days are Fridays and two day blocks are Thursdays and Fridays. You would join a seminar group of between three and six participants, meeting for an hour and a half eight times a year (or equivalent). Each group has some input from a seminar group 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 and will approve arrangements.

Clinical Practice

As a year 2 trainee you would continue in weekly supervision with an accredited CAT supervisor, usually carrying two CAT training cases at a time to complete the minimum of eight supervised cases. Supervision is usually in groups of three trainees for 1.5 hours with a minimum of 40 sessions each year. Trainees are expected to attend regularly, and are required to be in supervision until the completion of all clinical work. This may extend up to a further six-months depending on the individual trainee’s case mix and circumstances. Trainees who work in specialist settings (e.g. forensic, eating disorders) need to gain experience of doing CAT in adult mental health, by seeing at least two cases. Trainees develop the skill to practise 16 session CAT but should also gain experience in variations of the time limit to 8 session and 24 sessions. Of the eight cases required (which should include all three CAT Tools: Reformulation Letter, SDR and Goodbye Letter) six of these should be of 16 or more sessions.Click here for more information on supervised clinical practice as part of CAT training.

Personal Development

As a Foundation Course graduate you will have completed a Personal Reformulation experience. At Practitioner level trainees are required to have an experience of CAT personal therapy during their practitioner training. This is a standard 16 session CAT conducted by an accredited CAT therapist. If you chose to complete a CAT therapy as part of Foundation training then this can ‘count’.  Click here for further information on personal development and personal therapy as part of CAT training.


Trainees are expected to attend a minimum of 85% of each element of the taught course. Clinical appraisals take place every six months. Written work for year 2 includes:

  • An essay midway through the year addressing the application of CAT concepts in your clinical work;
  • A case study at the end of each year. The Catalyse course requires the inclusion of a session recording with accompanying analysis and reflection to pass as a CAT practitioner. If this was not part of your Foundation Year 1 case study then this needs to be part of your Year 2 case study. Trainees need to arrange consent and data security to submit this but the course provides guidance on this;

Click here for details of practitioner training and the award from ACAT.


Training days are held in Manchester, with the residential usually near Sheffield. Supervision groups are run in various locations across the UK. Seminar groups run at venues convenient to trainees. We provide a list of CAT training therapists, and trainees may have to be prepared to travel for therapy.

Application process

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate they are academically capable of undertaking year 2 which focuses on CAT with complex presentations and have appropriate access to clients. Therapists who do not have experience of working in secondary care or equivalent settings but who can demonstrate a level of experience in delivering psychological therapies addressing complexity, such that they wish to be considered for the Practitioner course are welcome to apply.  Application form and guidance is provided below.


  • Initial application fee £15 :: If called for interview £50
  • Academic Training: £2000 per year (including ACAT registration fee of £87 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: four course texts, and the ACAT Annual conference

Teaching team

Principal trainers:

  • Dawn Bennett
  • Kathryn Pemberton
  • Sarah Littlejohn
  • Jo Coggins
  • Marisol Cavieres

Some of the training days will also include invited speakers.

How to apply

Entry to the second year of the course is through application and interview. Applicants are invited to submit an application form (available as a download below) which includes the details of your completed Foundation Course credit, a CV with two referees and you 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 form with initial fee of £15, payable to ‘Catalyse’ to the administrator, Frances Free [postal address available on request]. Tel: 07842 137745.
Application fees can be paid online.  Please ask.


Please contact us if you are considering applying to year 2. We aim to interview prospective applicants alongside our year 1 applicants and the initial date for interviews is usually in June in Manchester. The course commences on the first or second Thursday and Friday of October each year.


Catalyse (formerly CAT North) has developed a successful CAT Practitioner Training programme in the North of England since 1992. It also offers 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 or email  Tel:  01305 263 511.

The application form, and application guidance can be downloaded here. The CAT training prospectus (covering the two year programme and giving course dates for 2020) is also provided.