How Is CATT Used In Different Settings?

How Is CATT Used In Different Settings? 1

CATT, or Child Accelerated Trauma Technique, is a flexible and efficient therapy model for all mental health professionals.

From registered therapists to mental health social workers and psychiatrists, CATT provides a child-centred therapy developed specifically to engage young minds and their communicative techniques of play and creativity. This helps them to process their traumatic memories and resolve them safely and speedily. 

There are many settings CATT can be applied in, and we’ll cover them in this blog.

Primary Care

Settings that provide frontline healthcare, like private practice, NHS children’s community mental health teams and schools, are some of the many settings where CATT can be applied effectively. 

Mental health professionals working in these areas who regularly and directly see children and young people can identify PTSD and C-PTSD and apply the 12-stage protocol without onward referral to a specialist service being required. 

When young people have reliable access to a known, trusted person in a primary care setting, this can ease the fear of talking and enable them to open up more readily. Mental health professionals working in these settings can quickly form positive relationships with children under their care, meaning CATT can be implemented and begin to work effectively. This can speed up the young person or child’s access to the therapy they need without having to sit on waiting lists whilst things get worse.

Using CATT in primary care settings is a practical early intervention that can prevent traumatic memories from causing increased mental health problems and difficulties as they remain unresolved. Mental health professionals trained in CATT provide fast access to therapy so desperately needed without having to join waiting lists, which is beneficial not just for the child but also for the already over-burdened specialist and tertiary mental health services.

How Is CATT Used In Different Settings? 1

Specialist Trauma Services

For children and young people who have been referred for help, specifically with PTSD or C-PTSD symptoms, CATT helps trained professionals working within the service to deliver enhanced care alongside the other aspects of support on offer.

These settings include specialist child trauma services, learning disability and neurodevelopmental teams, sexual violence and assault centres, and could be NHS teams, charities or non-governmental organisations.

CATT is a highly effective and fast-working therapy that works because it understands that young people do not rely on verbal communication alone. Mental health professionals working within specialist trauma services can utilise their CATT training to build trust and rapport quickly and begin working through the 12 fully flexible stages of the protocol to support children and adolescents in overcoming PTSD and Complex PTSD. 

Services For Looked After Children And Young People

Looked after children and young people likely have experienced interpersonal trauma. 

Their experiences and memories are inherently varied, unique and often complicated, and many professionals are often involved in their care. This can lead some children and young people to develop a strong mistrust of adults and authority, even from a young age, which can be a huge barrier to them gaining access to help for long-suffering trauma-related issues.

Utilising CATT in services for looked after children and young people reduces the need for more ‘strangers’ in their lives. Because CATT is so adaptable, the protocol can be personalised and built around the young person’s experience; this is made an easy task given the huge amount of information already held about the lives of the children in the care system.

Services for Young Offenders

It might not surprise you to read that there is a high incidence of PTSD and C-PTSD in young offenders. 

A large portion of young offenders can be identified as vulnerable during childhood, and many children with emotional and behavioural difficulties who have experienced or are experiencing traumatic events can continue to come up against further problems as they get older if not treated effectively.

Working through the 12 stages of CATT supports the rehabilitation of young offenders and offers continuity of support within one setting rather than forwarding the young person to further services. Professionals working within young offenders services that train in CATT add the therapy technique to their already great understanding of issues that commonly present for these young people, a match made for fast progress.

NGOs And Services For Refugees And Asylum Seekers

CATT is easily applied with non English speakers throug the use of interpreters. It has seen proven success in different countries and numerous areas of high conflict or natural disaster where there isn’t typically easy access to mental health support. 

The CATT protocol has been proven to be adaptable enough to treat children and young people from different cultures without a dip in effectiveness (Allard, Bates and Skaarbrevik 2016; Edwards 2011; Raby 2010; Raby and Edwards 2011; Rolington 2014) and has been used in areas of conflict, war and natural disaster where it works quickly for cases of acute PTSD and reduces the intensity of the symptoms associated with the traumatic experience. 

The provision of trusted adults at times when things might feel hopeless speaks volumes for children and young people enduring ongoing traumatic events. Using CATT significantly reduces symptoms of acute traumatic stress and allows young people to progress in life skills and psychological adjustment as they move through the CATT programme and process their traumatic memories. 

Private Practice And Adult Settings

How Is CATT Used In Different Settings? 3

CATT can be beneficial to those working in private practice who need specialist therapy for treating PTSD and Complex PTSD. 

CATT, though developed with children and young people in mind, has been used successfully with adults, too. The protocol is so easily adaptable that any setting offering therapeutic support to adults can reap the benefits of CATT for adult patients and clients.

Adults mostly communicate verbally through language, but that doesn’t mean they cannot benefit from an adaptable, holistic trauma-focused therapy combining CBT principles with creative arts methods. CATT respects choice, promotes access to treatment, and holds the patient or client at the forefront of the therapy. 

Using these approaches within the treatment expands the individual’s capacity for communication and expression to speed up the process of getting trauma that’s been stored on the inside, out.

A Trauma Therapy That Works

CATT is the only therapy designed specifically for children and young people with PTSD or C-PTSD from the roots up, but it works for everyone. No matter your profession or the setting you work in, training in CATT helps you support your clients to work through their traumatic memories, safely and quickly.

Do you work with individuals with PTSD and Complex PTSD? Are you looking for a specifically trauma-focused therapy that works quickly? See our website for more details.

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Jo McQuillan
Jo McQuillan
Fantastic training, great delivery and good mix of learning and practical use of new skills.
Lucy Wainwright
Lucy Wainwright
Really enjoyable course. Depth and breadth of information and plenty of pactice time.
Emily B
Emily B
My colleagues and I were so pleased to be able to attend the excellent training on CATT. The training was extremely engaging and inspiring and we are looking forward to working with our patients using the CATT techniques.
A Hearn
A Hearn
Really brilliant course, it’s a full 2 days but very very good The course theory is backed up throughout with demonstration videos which really solidifies your learning. The tutors are so knowledgeable. I am really looking forward to adding this new tool to my toolkit, am so glad I did it.
Inspiring training delivered professionally on line. Enjoyed the break-out rooms and met some really interesting people. Can definitely recommend this two day training.
Gina Gomez
Gina Gomez
I was delighted to attend the CATT online training course after having seen the wonderful impact of CATT on children during one of my clinical psychology training placements. I am extremely interested in the value of play in therapeutic approaches, so CATT fits the bill perfectly. It is a child-centred, non-stigmatising and effective approach. The training I attended was thoughtful, professional and experiential and the trainers were approachable and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this course.
Sharon Twigg
Sharon Twigg
The CATT training we excellent! Great resource booklet, fabulous tuition on the theory and practice as well as group work. The pace and level of teaching was perfect. I felt really enabled to try the method out safely online with other colleagues on the course. I have used the method successfully now with young people and teenagers in CAMHS who could not tolerate EMDR or TF-CBT due to the intensity of their symptoms. It has also worked well with kids with Autism, using toy figures or Lego. This method is now one of my top 3 go-to tools for trauma. Thank you :)
Many thanks to both Carlotta and Dominic for running such a brilliant and informative course. It was a clear and wonderful way to understand the neurobiology of how trauma affects the brain and to see such clear examples of how to use CATT training with young people. This intervention is now my first choice of protocol for working with complex trauma and PTSD. I would highly recommend this course!

We provide training and consultation in Children’s Accelerated Trauma Technique (CATT) worldwide to mental health practitioners and organisations

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How Is CATT Used In Different Settings?

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