We are glad to see the following speakers at our conference:

Ian Kerr

Ian B. Kerr has been a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist in the NHS in the UK in London, Sheffield and Lanarkshire, Scotland.
He currently works in NZ-Aotearoa in Northland-Te Tai Tokerau DHB. He undertook a range of psychotherapy trainings, including in CAT with Anthony Ryle with whom he worked closely over many years. His clinical and research interests include psychotherapy integration and in working with 'severe and complex' and 'difficult' presentations, including systemically and cross-cullturally. He has taught on and been trainer for many courses in the UK and internationally.

He is co-author with Anthony Ryle of "Introducing CAT: Principles and Practice of a A Relational Approach to Mental Health", (2nd Ed), (2020).

REV Reflections on the evolving CAT

Anna Laws

Dr. Anna Laws is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and sex and gender specialist in the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service. It is a national service based in the North of England, which offers psychologically informed medical transition for people with gender dysphoria.

Her clinical work involves supporting the people who have the most difficulty with their path through medical transition, because of factors such as complex co-morbidities of physical and mental health, intense social deprivation and neurodiversity. She is privileged to spend a lot of time face to face with trans and non-binary people thinking and talking about their experiences, often over a significant period of time. She is particularly committed to educating healthcare professionals in gender affirming healthcare in the wider NHS. In her spare time she crafts things while sitting in a pile of cats.

CAT and Gender Dysphoria

Jason Hepple

Jason Hepple MA FRCPsych studied neuroscience, medicine and psychiatry at the University of Oxford, becoming introduced to CAT through his first supervisor Norma Maple in 1993. Never looking back, CAT became his passion, and he went on to train as a CAT psychotherapist and trainer and evolved into a consultant psychiatrist in psychological therapies in the NHS. He has served ACAT as editor of Reformulation, chair of the Training Committee, chair of ACAT and lead on external liaison with a recent successful petition campaign to secure two million pounds of central NHS funding for CAT training in England. Since his retirement as a psychiatrist, he continues to contribute as an honorary psychotherapist for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, the Somerset CAT practitioner training, the University of Exeter CAT Foundation course and the inter-regional UK CAT psychotherapy training.

What is underlying of CAT?

Minna Martin

Minna Martin is a psychologist, psychotherapist, teacher, and supervisor. She is also author of several books. She is a teacher in two current CAT trainings and a teacher trainee of body-focused psychotherapy (created by George Downing). She is an instructor and teacher of psychophysical breathing therapy and one of the authors of a book Breathing as a tool of self-regulation and self-reflection published by Karnac in 2016. In her own therapy work Minna Martin combines cognitive analytic psychotherapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, breathing therapy and mentalization-based treatment.

A Body Oriented Journey

Mikael Leiman

Mikael Leiman, PhD, is a professor emeritus in Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling at the University of Eastern Finland. He introduced Cognitive Analytic Therapy in Finland and has trained several generations of psychotherapists over four decades. He is also a frequent visitor in the United Kingdom and other European countries, giving workshops on the semiotic understanding of mental actions and communication. Mikael is the developer of dialogical sequence analysis (DSA), a microanalytic research method aimed at exploring how internal mental activity is embodied in expression. It is mainly used in single case psychotherapy and counselling studies.  Currently, Mikael is interested in re-exploring the relationship between CAT concepts and the theoretical formulations of DSA.

Frank Margison

Frank is a psychiatrist working in Manchester, UK- currently working in the two Manchester universities in student counselling and mental health services. 

Before that he was clinical lead in the Gaskell Psychotherapy Centre in Manchester working as a  relational psychoanalytic psychotherapist as well as working in CAT and psychodynamic interpersonal therapy [PIT]

 He is a CAT psychotherapist and is currently the non-Executive chair of Catalyse - the CAT organisation providing CPD and training mainly in Northern England. He has written articles on CAT and  several book reviews for the ICATA journal and is currently writing a review of Ryle and Kerr (2020) as a way of synthesising developments within CAT. He is external examiner for the Inter-Regional CAT psychotherapy course (IRRAPT) 

Back to the Future: Tracing the story of CAT


Christel Hessels

Christel Hessels, clinical psychologist, researcher and program manager of the center of expertise on early intervention Helping Young People Early (HYPE), which offers a CAT-based treatment for young people of 12-25 years old in the Netherlands. Christel was trained in CAT with Louise McCutcheon and is a CAT practitioner and CAT supervisor. 


Anneke Gielen

Anneke Gielen, clinical psychologist, working at the center of expertise on early intervention Helping Young People Early (HYPE). HYPE offers a CAT-based treatment for young people of 12-25 years old in the Netherlands. Anneke is a CAT practitioner, CAT supervisor and offers CAT training in the Netherlands together with Christel Hessels.


Leonie Sweeney

Leonie is CAT psychotherapist and supervisor based in the West of Scotland.  After many years working in the NHS in Scotland as a consultant psychiatrist, CAT came into her life, transforming it both professionally and personally.

An area of great fulfilment for Leonie is introducing, teaching and supervising CAT with those in the early stages of their careers and training, for her an integration of ‘looking back, looking forward’.  Looking then at CAT through the lived and work experiences of these young professionals from different cultural backgrounds has been especially enriching.  Leonie would like to acknowledge this here and to thank those trainees who bravely left the city to take up training placements in remote and rural Argyll!

Leonie grew up in the south-west of Ireland.  She attended Medical School and worked for some years in the city of Cork.  Scotland has been her long-time home and her place of work for most of her professional life. She feels it is no coincidence that she now lives in a damp, westerly, Atlantic place much like where she spent her earliest years in Ireland.

Finland, happiness, coconuts and peaches

Amarenna Guevara Celsi

Amarenna is a medical doctor from Santiago, Chile. She grew up there and completed her degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. After finishing her internships, she left Chile and spent some time traveling whilst based in Ireland. She later moved to the UK for work and then to Scotland to pursue a career in Psychiatry. She is currently working in Glasgow as a core trainee in Psychiatry finishing her third and last year. After this, she is planning to continue her training in Medical Psychotherapy and as a CAT Practitioner.

She set her heart on CAT after doing a short case under supervision of Leonie in one of her early placements in Psychiatry and decided to become involved with CAT Scotland. Something that has also become close to her heart over the years is her love for Finland which makes this meeting a unification of what has been, what is and what’s to come. 


Tim Sheard

I have been a CAT psychotherapist for about 25 years and the main focus of my clinical and training work has been on integrating relational embodiment into CAT and through this seeking to move beyond CATs inherent dualism (1).  I was also the principal originator of a new set of CAT tools, including one for counter-transference self monitoring, for the Bristol CAT and deliberate self harm project (2). I see the climate and ecological emergency as the over-arching issue of our time and have been an active member of Extinction Rebellion but more recently my focus has been on building an ‘eco-home’ (passive house). 

Sheard, T. (2021) Embodied therapeutic presence: A proposed extension and clarification of the CAT model Int. J. CAT and Relational Mental Health (4) 90-111

Sheard et al (2000) A CAT-derived one to three session intervention for repeated deliberate self-harm: A description of the model and initial experience of trainee psychiatrists in using it. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 73, 179-196


Sami Kivikkokangas

Sami Kivikkokangas is a special psychologist, adolescent psychotherapist and training psychotherapist in integrative psychotherapy. He works as a clinician in private practice with adolescents and young adults, where he moved from public sector after +10 years of work with adolescents and their parents at the Adolescent Psychiatry (HUS HYKS, University Hospital of Helsinki).

As a researcher he prepares his thesis focusing on psychotherapeutic change at the Clinical Research Doctoral School at the Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki. The aim of the research is to show using qualitative methods in single-case study design how self-observation as a precondition for the development of self-analytic capacity (ie. self-agency) happens and through what kind of interaction is this change in agency is made possible in psychotherapy.

In addition, he serves as a teacher in different contexts: for psychotherapy and undergraduate students at the University of Helsinki, for third sector care providers and international collaboration (Norway, Germany, USA, China). Other scientific positions of trust have included the chairman of the board of the psychotherapy work group (Finnish Psychological Association) and editorial boards of psychotherapy journals.

Julia Korkman

Dr Julia Korkman is and an adjunct professor in legal psychology, specialised in legal and forensic psychology and currently has the position of senior programme officer at the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control HEUNI. Dr Korkman is particularly interested in the vulnerability and malleability of memory, and how we best can help people remember and tell about difficult events without exerting negative influences over them. In her talk, she will discuss how we remember in general and how we remember difficult things in particular, and how research shows this can be affected by interaction.

Korkman has led several large research projects in the field of legal psychology and has expertise in, among other things, investigative interviewing and assessing witnesses in legal processes, investigating alleged cases of crimes against children, eyewitness identifications, factors associated with rape victims’ tendencies to make police reports and interviews and decision making in asylum processes. She has also worked concretely with criminal investigations, conducting interviews with children and young crime victims and witnesses. Dr Korkman is the President-elect of the European Association of Psychology and Law, an umbrella organization for academic research in the field of legal and forensic psychology in Europe and from the beginning of August 2023, she will hold the title of Professor of Practise with the Faculty of Law at the University of Åbo Akademi, Finland.

The vulnerability of memory

Erkki Heinonen

I work as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oslo and research manager at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. My main interests are in the process, mechanisms, and outcomes of psychotherapy. In other words: what are the patient-, therapist-, and relationship-related determinants of effective psychotherapy?

Therapeutic approaches that I have investigated include psychodynamic, solution-focused, emotion-focused, and cognitive-behavioral orientations. Many of my publications stem from the Helsinki Psychotherapy Study, a large-scale randomized trial of short- and long-term therapies (www.thl.fi/hps).

My dissertation, and one of my long-standing research foci, are also psychotherapists. What are the characteristics of effective clinicians – and how do they develop, in the course of training, supervision, and professional work?

Clinically, I have worked for many years in specialized healthcare, with different mental disorders, and taught and supervised healthcare professionals. I have trained specifically in emotion-focused therapy (EFT) at York University, Toronto, under Les Greenberg and colleagues, and maintain a private therapy practice Helsinki

Processes of emotional change

Elaine Martin and Steve Potter

Ghosts in our National Psyches

Glenys Parry

I am a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Emeritus Professor at the University of Sheffield. I worked in the NHS for 38 years, training in cognitive behaviour therapy and psychodynamic therapy before specialising in CAT. I work with people with a wide range of mental health
problems, including depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, eating disorders, gender and sexual identity problems, recurrent relationship difficulties. I also work with psychological aspects of physical health problems such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, diabetes, chronic pain and fatigue. I specialise in workrelated stress and personality difficulties. As well as psychological therapy, I offer coaching,
mentoring and therapy supervision. I am an accredited trainer and supervisor in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Much of my research has been on improving psychotherapy outcomes and preventing harm from therapy. I have a long-standing commitment to using research to improve practice (and vice versa) and have led or contributed to many national policy initiatives in clinical psychology and psychological therapies.

CAT Competencies