Should You Train In CATT?


Are you a mental health professional looking for a child-focused trauma therapy protocol? 

Maybe you’re wanting to enhance your skill set to better serve your clients or simply need to top up your CPD to meet the annual requirements.

However you ended up looking at CATT training, wondering if you should invest in it, you’re in the right place. This blog is for you.

We explore CATT, why it is a beneficial addition to your therapy toolbox and how the training works.

What Is CATT?

CATT, or Child Accelerated Trauma Technique, began with Dr Carlotta Raby in the late 90s and developed substantially into a holistic trauma-focused therapy and training programme that fully complies with current UK NICE and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on treating children with PTSD and C-PTSD.

In response to a push for local councils to better support young people socially excluded from school, a London authority initiated a project to help them. At the time, the team had a limited framework but attempted to introduce a heavily play-based approach to develop the young people’s social and emotional skills through social modelling. 

To kickstart the support for these children and their families, the team began to run parenting programmes, mentoring and respite services, among plenty of other initiatives. As the project continued, it became apparent that many of the children exhibiting significant behavioural and emotional difficulties were experiencing psychological trauma.

Queue the birth of CATT. Rather than leaving these children with a completely ineffective system and a lack of support, the team proceeded to develop a protocol that would help young people work through and overcome traumatic memories in a safe and age-appropriate way.

CATT is a 12-stage holistic therapy developed specifically for children and adolescents. It fuses CBT techniques with creative arts processes to address the fact that young people aren’t able to rely on verbal communication alone to communicate their traumatic experiences. The CATT protocol is highly flexible, and the framework used today has been heavily influenced by a diverse range of children’s and adolescents’ voices worldwide.

Why CATT Works

CATT works quickly to help young people heal, and here’s why.

Demonstrated Success

CATT has a history of huge success in countries all over the world, including Rwanda, Gaza and Uganda. CATT works even in cases of extremes, like persistent trauma experienced in war and high-conflict zones, and fills a gap that isn’t effectively covered by adapted adult-based trauma therapies. 

Flexible And Bespoke 

The 12-stage process of the specialist CATT therapy protocol allows each stage to be fully adaptable in response to the needs of the individual. Everyone is different, and every child’s trauma presents in a wholly individual way; an adaptable trauma therapy such as CATT must exist to best meet the varied needs of traumatised young people worldwide. 

Holistic, Child-Centred Approach

CATT is one of the only trauma therapies designed specifically for children and adolescents. The approach speaks to young people’s communicative techniques of play and creativity, enabling them to engage more readily and work through their traumatic memories in an age-and-stage-appropriate way. It also includes the system and community around the young person to facilitate sustained recovery.

The Benefits Of CATT

There are currently over 300 mental health professionals using CATT worldwide, and the number is growing year on year. Individuals training in CATT experience the following advantages upon successful completion of the 2-day programme.

Therapy Fusion For Maximum Effectiveness

CATT amalgamates CBT techniques with art and creative therapy processes to dial into children’s and young people’s intrinsic motivation for play and creation. Storymaking and telling, as well as depiction through art materials and toys, help your young clients express their experiences and related emotions. CBT techniques for memory rescripting and overcoming avoidance are incorporated.


Each of the 12 stages of the CATT protocol can be adapted to suit your young client’s needs, age and developmental stage. 

Safety and Stabilisation 

CATT sessions provide children with both the safety to speak and express themselves and the tools to be able to get what’s inside, out. The holistic, child-centred process puts a strong focus on developing safety and stabilisation, and emotional regulation capabilities, before moving to trauma memory processing 

Easy Integration 

Learning the CATT model will quickly and easily enhance your existing professional skillset, and you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate what you’ve taken on board into your practice straightaway once you complete the 2-day course.


CATT In Practice

Though it’s a 12-stage protocol, session and treatment lengths can vary depending on the individual needs of the client. Ending CATT sessions with a young person is also carefully paced to make sure that the movement away from therapy is a positive one. Beyond the 12 stages, check-in sessions can be offered around significant dates and other anniversaries that might prove tricky for the child or adolescent to navigate emotionally.

CATT begins with building a relationship between practitioner and client so that a safe space is created for the young person. 

It’s this connection that engages the child, and it’s a combination of both the security of this relationship and various stages of safety and stabilisation, psychoeducation and memory processing through the subsequent stages that facilitates a successful recovery for them.  

Throughout the 12 stages of CATT, practical play and art therapy techniques, by way of arts and crafts materials and age-appropriate toys, are used to engage clients and give them a way of communicating and working through their trauma.

Nearing the end of the CATT process, the penultimate step is evidence gathering. Reports from the child or adolescent themselves, as well as communications with parents, carers and school teachers, can all be reviewed as evidence that the child has overcome PTSD.

The CATT Training Process

CATT training is in-depth and informative. Training courses are regularly held both in-person and online, making them highly accessible for all mental health professionals wishing to add integrative trauma-focused therapy designed specifically for young people into their toolkits.

A CATT course consists of two full days plus half-day online e-learning. You will gain a conceptual and clinical understanding of PTSD and C-PTSD and how symptoms manifest in children and adolescents, learn all 12 stages of the CATT method in detail, get to practise memory processing stages in pairs and come away with plenty of creative ways of engaging with potential young clients. 

Delegates training with us leave fully confident to implement CATT immediately to treat PTSD and C-PTSD, having had extensive opportunity during the course for experiential learning, and supervised practice actively practising the protocol. 

Taking one of our two-day CATT training courses also adds 16 CPD hours to your annual requirements, so you can rest easy knowing you’re learning new techniques.

CATT Training Will Make You Better At Your Job

Should you train in CATT? YES!

Learning the CATT process will enhance and improve your ability to support and treat PTSD  in children. Training is interesting, informative and easy to partake in – you don’t even need to leave the house to complete the course if you opt to join us online.

Want to find out what previous delegates have to say? Visit our website to read their contributions. 

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Julie Shipton
Julie Shipton
Amazing course. Very informative and well delivered. Would recommend this to anyone working with children who have experienced trauma.
Nicole Asghar
Nicole Asghar
The CATT training was excellent. The trainers had thought through everyone's different learning styles to ensure we would all get the most out of the content, something which was really appreciated. The trainers were attentive, knowledgeable and clear in their explanations of quite a complex topic. I came away feeling confident and well-equipped to bring CATT into my work. Thank you!
Claire Fraser-tytler
Claire Fraser-tytler
a really well delivered and useful training
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 :)

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

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Should You Train In CATT?

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