About Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

Cognitive analytic therapy is a time-limited psychotherapy (normally 16 to 24 sessions) which integrates theories derived from cognitive psychology, psychoanalytic psychotherapy (mainly object relations), and ideas derived from Vygotsky and Bakhtin(dialogic).

It is an integrative model that helps us to understand the links between the relational patterns from the past and present, and how this affects our everyday life.

Understanding the development of personality, and that aspects of personality are socially constructed, is central to CAT. The tools of therapy, including the reformulation letter, psychotherapy file, procedural diagrams and the dialogic sequence analysis, are particularly helpful in conceptualising and managing complex presentations within a relational framework.
CAT is a relational model that was developed within the NHS in the UK to meet the rising pressures and demands of the services and patients. It involves developing an active collaborative therapeutic relationship with the patient and is particularly applicable to work in NHS and mental health settings.

CAT is now used in many countries across the world to treat with patients with complex presentations both in the inpatients(acute) and outpatients’ settings including community mental health teams and third sector organisations. CAT is transdiagnostic and can also be used in contextual, team formulations, consultations and group work.

Structure Of The Course.

The course will be taught in three modules:

Module 1 (21st & 22nd October 2024): Shape and Structure of CAT

  •  CAT as Therapeutic Model
  •  Theories and Tools that Underpin the model

Module 2 (23rd & 24th October 2024): Self in CAT

  • Relational Focus and Alliance
  • Organizational, Societal, Individual including inequalities.
  • Specific Presentations in CAT

Module 3 (25th October 2024): Complex presentations and Endings

  •  Complex Presentations
  •  Boundaries and Framework
  •  Endings and Self-Care

Objectives and Learning Outcomes:

  • To gain a shared language for inter-professional work based upon CAT’s integrative and dialogic approach to cognitive and relational processes.
  • To demonstrate continued utilisation and sharing of the CAT formulation tools in team meetings, handovers and contexts, as well as during daily work and as part of a care co ordinator role.
  • Using CAT skills to develop reflective practice.
  • Apply the psychological thinking and relational skills and produce CAT formulations for the patients and deliver CAT informed therapy under their existing professional role.

Training Methods Employed:

Lectures, Joint mapping, clinical exercises, ie. completing the Psychotherapy File and case discussions.

Written Work:

  • 1 case study (2000 words).
  • 1 reflective essay (2000 words).


  • Successful completion of the written course work.
  • Two cases under supervision with a satisfactory appraisal from the supervisor.
  • Certificates will only be given to those participants who achieve a minimum of 85% attendance.

Ethical Practice:

The trainees will need to abide by the ethical practices and  guidelines linked to their existing professional roles and affiliations.


Core professional training in one of the health care professions – Nursing, Medicine, Psychologists, Psychologist Practitioners, Trainee Psychologists, Psychotherapy, Counselling, Occupational Therapy, Social work. (The trainee should be either warranted or on the pathway for a warrant within the structure of their profession).

Trainer’s Names and Qualifications:

  • Jessie Emilion (UKCP registered Psychotherapist, ACAT accredited Supervisor and CAT Trainer).
  • Deborah Russel Carroll ( PSI registered Psychologist, Ireland CAT accredited Supervisor and CAT trainer).

More About The Trainers

Deborah Russell-Carroll is a Clinical Psychologist, accredited CAT psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer. She has worked in the Irish healthcare system for over thirty years and is currently employed as the Principal Psychologist Manager in the Dublin South Central area of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland. She is a past chair of the Accreditation Committee of the International CAT Association (ICATA) and ex-chair of the Irish Association for CAT (ICAT). She has a particular interest in the dialogical self and her doctorate in psychology focused on the dialogical relational patterns inherent in the area of abuse and trauma.

Jessie Emilion is a BACP accredited Counsellor and UKCP registered CAT psychotherapist and supervisor. She has been working in the NHS for the last 20 years in various capacities as a Clinical Lead, Trainer, Manager and Supervisor. She is currently employed by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust as the Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapy Lead at the Munro Centre within a Secondary Care Psychological Therapies Service. As a former Head of Counselling and Diversity Lead within Lewisham Psychological Therapies, NHS she has a particular interest in bi-lingualism, race, language and culture, with extensive experience of working with refugee communities.

Steve Libreri is a warranted social worker and an IRRAPT trainee in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). He has been working in the social field for the last fifteen years, holding positions both in the private and public sphere. His latest contributions were as Director to the Child Protection Services and as Commissioner for the Inmates Welfare and Development. He is presently the co-chair to the Malta Cognitive Analytic Therapy, the local association managing the community of CAT trainees. He has a particular interest in the application of CAT to forensic and occupational settings, and his area of studies focus on the relational patterns inherent in the area of abuse and offending.

Prof. David Mamo is a Consultant Psychiatrist with Special Interest in Geriatric Psychiatry, Visiting Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Malta, and Head of the Malta Postgraduate Medical Training Programme. He completed his medical training at the University of Malta in 1993, and pursued postgraduate studies in Neuroscience at the University of London, General Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh USA, Psychopharmacology at the University of Toronto, and a doctorate in Translational Neuroscience from the University of Ferrara, Italy. Having completed CAT Practitioner Training in 2023 and is currently enrolled in the Inter-Regional ACAT Psychotherapy Training Programme (IRRAPT).

Dr. Fabrizia Cassar MD (Melit.) MRCPsych UK – Resident Specialist in Psychiatry. Dr. Cassar is a newly qualified specialist in Psychiatry with a keen interest in Medical Psychotherapy and Cognitive Analytic Therapy. She has been an active member of the Malta Association of Psychiatric Trainees serving as President between 2020-2021 and an active member of the European Psychiatric Association of Trainees serving as Secretary General between 2022-2023. She is dedicated to improving psychiatric services and to the establishment of CAT in Malta.

Paula Zerafa graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology (Honours) in 2014. Following work experience in education and mental health rehabilitation with Richmond Foundation, she pursued a Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Malta in 2017. She is presently employed as a clinical psychologist with the local Mental Health Services, and works in inpatient and outpatient services at MCH. She is currently pursuing psychotherapy training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. When working therapeutically, she has a particular interest in exploring vicious patterns and psychological difficulties through relational approaches.

Important Information


Certificate in ‘CAT Skills Training’.


Richmond Foundation Training Centre, Qormi. Address MCE House Triq L-Industrija Qormi.


Early Bird  €650 till 30th June

€750 after 1st July

Participants will have the option to further their training in CAT, and become CAT practitioners. Kindly note that payment covers the 5-day CAT Skills Training.

Should you wish to know on how to become a CAT practitioners kindly get in touch.

For more information email us on