Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

What is cognitive analytic therapy?

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is an integrative, time-limited model, originally developed by Dr Anthony Ryle. It is collaborative and flexible and has a strong and central focus on the relational nature of human development and psychopathology.

CAT has a transdiagnostic approach, so it can be used to treat a wide range of difficulties including:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • personality disorder
  • eating disorders
  • substance abuse
  • psychosis
  • self-harm.

In individual therapy, CAT allows the therapist and client to work together to make sense of the patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving and relating to facilitate change.

The CAT model can be used as a relational framework as well as an individual therapy. Relational formulation is a useful relational reflective practice model for teams to use even in settings where CAT is not offered as an individual therapy.

A relational framework can assist clinicians and teams to work together collaboratively. It helps them to understand the origins of the client’s problems and promotes more helpful system and clinician responses that do not collude with maladaptive relational patterns.

Orygen's CAT practitioner course

Orygen’s two-year CAT practitioner training course is designed for mental health clinicians working across a range of public and private mental health settings.

The course is accredited by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ANZACAT) and based on standards set by the International Cognitive Analytic Therapy Association (ICATA) for the training of CAT practitioners.

The aim of the course is for trainees to develop the competencies required to be accredited as a CAT practitioner by ANZACAT. The training is delivered by staff with experience in our Helping Young People Early (HYPE) clinical care program. The HYPE program has been using CAT in early intervention for young people with personality disorder since 1999.

Please email [email protected] for further information.

Workshops and training


Dr Louise McCutcheon
Course Director

Dr Louise McCutcheon is a clinical psychologist and an accredited CAT practitioner, supervisor and trainer. She is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, and coordinates the Orygen clinical training team.

Louise jointly founded the award-winning HYPE program in 1999, an early intervention program for borderline personality disorder in young people. She has extensive clinical experience working with young people with complex and severe mental health difficulties and their families. In 2003, she established the HYPE service development and training program, which works with mental health services to implement early intervention for personality disorder initiatives. She lectures and teaches both nationally and internationally and developed the first CAT training program in Australia.

Louise was the founding chair of ANZACAT in 2010 and is the current chair of the training committee of ANZACAT. She has served on the executive committee of ICATA in various roles since 2009 and is currently vice-chair. She is also on the executive of the Australasian Association of Research and Treatment for Personality Disorders (AART-PD).

Dr Reem Ramadan
Course Coordinator

Dr Reem Ramadan is a clinical psychologist and an accredited CAT practitioner, supervisor and trainer. She has worked in public mental health services in the UK and Australia with people experiencing a range of severe and complex mental health difficulties.

Reem now specialises in youth mental health, having over 15 years’ experience of working with young people. She has worked as a senior clinician in the HYPE program, which provides early intervention to young people with personality disorder, and she established the specialist eating disorder stream at Orygen.

Reem has been working in the HYPE service development program for several years. She coordinates the two-year CAT practitioner training program and provides training and consultation on relational approaches to youth mental health to mental health clinicians and teams working with young people with complex needs. She is also a member of the ANZACAT clinical standards and training committee.