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CAT in the UK


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Cognitive Analytic Therapy grew out of the pioneering work of Dr Anthony Ryle at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London in the 1980’s. It is currently a distinctive psychological therapy being offered in many different National Health and specialist centres within the UK as well as by private practitioners. ACAT was formally established as an accrediting organisation with the UKCP at the beginning of the 1990’s.

There is a moving and fuller description of Tony Ryle’s contribution on the ACAT Website.

His contribution internationally was in the same collaborative spirit as the model and practice of CAT itself. In the 1980’s psychiatrists and psychologists came to London from Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain and Finland. It was the Greek psychiatrists who helped to develop the diagrammatic form of the reformulation, and through the rich dialogues with Mikael Leiman in Finland, CAT’s emerging dialogic model was influenced by the Russian thinkers Lev Vygotsky and Mikhail Bakhtin. CAT in Finland is now well established and has developed it’s own CAT training programmes. In a similar spirit Tony Ryle’s early thinking found a home in Spain through the work of Carlos Mirapeix and in Greece through the work of Iannis Vlachos in Patras and Georgios and Aravella Adamopoulou in Thessalonika.

Since its creation the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) has grown to a membership which currently stands at over 900. The association has accredited CAT therapists, psychotherapists and supervisors from the UK and internationally. ACAT is a member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.

ACAT is now a well-established organisation, being a company and a charity. It runs a number of different training programmes; the 2 year practitioner/therapist training, the psychotherapy training, and the supervisor training. More recently 1 year CAT Foundation Level courses have started across the country and it is hoped that these will be taken up by Clinical Psychology trainings in the UK. ACAT runs an annual conference which is well supported. In addition, a wide range of innovative and on-going activities are offered by its members throughout the year both for its membership and others.

ACAT has been a keen supporter of research programmes and a full range of articles and course documentation is available on its website partly on the open section and more extensively in the members only section.

ACAT is a UK registered charity seeking to extend the range of applications of CAT to help relieve psychological distress in the UK. Full membership is only open to graduates of its practitioner training and psychotherapy training but membership as a friend is open to anyone interested in supporting and learning about the work of the association (www.acat.me.uk).

Training courses in CAT in the UK

There are practitioner trainings in London, East Anglia, Manchester, Brighton, Somerset, Scotland, Newcastle, West Midlands and Jersey.

Official Website

ICATA Member Association:

Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy