Skip to content

Workshops, Talks, Programs & Retreats


Our programs are practical, science based, trauma-informed and transformative. The work combines modern science with contemplative healing practices. integrating  mindfulness, compassion-based approaches with positive psychology that research has proven to increase resilience, positive wellbeing and deeper relationships.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn practical skills of self-compassion to integrate into everyday life
  • Connect with your inner wisdom 
  • Identify your deepest values and unique strengths
  • Discover a renewed sense of hope and vitality


Current Projects

Mindful Self-Compassion for LGBTQIA + young people 

Kathleen is the lead facilitator on a research project offered by The University of Western Australia for LGBTQIA + youth.  Although many LGBTQIA+ Australians live healthy and happy lives, research has shown that a disproportionate number experience poorer mental health outcomes. These health health outcomes are directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse on the basis being LGBTQIA+.

Past Projects

Invited Speaker Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria ARC VIC

OCD & Anxiety Disorders Week Community Education Seminar Program
Delivery of a self-compassion workshop for people with anxiety disorders, their families and carers.

Resilience for Filmmakers – Open Channel

In 2016 Entertainment Assist released staggering statistics about what many of us in the industry already know – we have a mental health crisis.

With uncertainty, a lack of opportunities, and dwindling support for emerging practitioners, it’s no wonder more than half of people working in the entertainment industry suffer from anxiety, and even more from depression.

To shine a light on such a critical issue, Open Channel will be teaming up with Entertainment Assist, along with a panel of emerging and established filmmakers, including Steph Westwood and Ben Steel, to bring you an open and honest discussion about facing mental health issues in the film industry today.

To round out the discussion, practicing psychologist Kathleen Cator will help guide our panel and audience in ways they can best face these issues whilst still being able to participate in the industry they love.

2 day Core Skills Workshop with Chris Germer

Co-teacher of a 2 day workshop with Chris Germer on his first visit to Melbourne. This workshop was an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the clinical perspective of Chris Germer and the pioneering research of Kristin Neff.

The Art and Science of Self-Compassion ANZACBS Conference

Delivery of a 3 hour workshop in self-compassion. The activities included short guided meditation practices, facilitated enquiry based discussion and reflective written exercises. Participants explored how cultivating skills in Self-Compassion could help them experience an increased sense of safeness, acceptance of themselves and connectedness with others. Time was also spent in reconnecting with one’s values, and exploring how self-compassion could help one live in accord with them.

Invited speaker UQ Compassion Symposium

There is rapidly growing evidence of the protective, positive and healing effects of self-compassion. While we might intuitively know the benefits of being kinder to ourselves, why do we continue to engage in excessive self-criticism. And what prevents us from treating ourselves with kindness as we would a good friend? The barriers to self-compassion may even be greater for ‘warmhearted’ people, such as health professionals, teachers and carers, those who are dedicated to helping others.

This was an experiential short workshop, where participants engaged in several guided reflective activities and facilitated group discussion to explore and identify their own internal barriers to self-compassion.

Self-Compassion Retreat for WPO/YPO

The following Event description was written by the event host

YPO / YPO Gold Spouse Partners were fortunate to come together recently on a crisp spring day at the beautiful home of Kathleen Cator, Clinical Psychologist and Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher.

With the intention of improving the quality of the relationship with oneself and others, Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training cultivates the skills of self-compassion to enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with self kindness, care and understanding – providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience and empathy.

Kathleen and her co-teacher Tina Gibson guided the group through the day-long workshop which included an introduction to the theory, science and common myths of self-compassion, short meditations, reflective exercises, thought provoking discussions and mindfulness exercises.

Amongst numerous practical exercises for cultivating self-compassion, the highlight of the day for many was the invitation to ‘Sense and Savour’ the exquisite garden, barefoot and in silent meditation. Moving around the sun-filled garden quietly and peacefully allowed uninterrupted contemplation (a rare gift in our hurried lives of today) and thorough engagement of all five senses.

“…warm, knowledgeable, calm, confident speakers that made me feel very at ease when exploring sensitive topics.”

“Insightful and knowledgeable speakers. Content was specifically tailored to the audience. The speakers listened well and understood confidentiality.”

“Great take home value”

“(The resources) were nurturing, very knowledgeable, calm and good at using analogies.”

“Years of experience in the subject field is clearly communicated in their teachings.”

A One Day Workshop for Health Professionals Epworth Psychology Team

A one day workshop Self-Compassion and Emotional Resiliency to the Psychology staff at The Epworth Hospital.

Professional Development Workshop for staff at The Gawler Cancer Foundation

A professional development half day workshop for staff at the Gawler Cancer Foundation.

Self-Compassion for Women Leaders NAB Women Leaders in Technology

Invited by Michelle McQuaid to deliver a talk to 300+ at National Australia Bank NAB as part of their Women in Technology Forum.

A Wellbeing Research Project at Monash University for the Law Faculty

Thriving at Monash Law: The Wellbeing Project
Delivery of workshops and assistance with the research project to first year Monash Law students.


Professional development for Teachers at Loretto Girls School


Pilot MSC Program at Swinburne University of Technology

Invited by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Student Advancement, Swinburne University, to deliver a Mindfulness-based program. Delivered and Facilitated an 8 week Mindful Compassion Program for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Co-researcher for the formal research pilot project.

Enova Energy, Byron Bay

Enova Community Energy is changing the face of electricity.

We are a social enterprise, built from the ground up by the people, for the people.

Enova is owned by more than 1,600 Australian community shareholders. We’re already supporting communities to power themselves with renewable energy that is locally generated, stored and distributed.

As a social enterprise, we will also give half of our profits (after tax and reinvestment) back to the community via energy efficiency, education and community projects.

Mindful Self-Compassion Education for Carers with Uniting

A series of workshops for Family Carers


CARE Compassion and Resilience Education for The Wellbeing Centre at The Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Development and delivery of CARE – Compassion and Resiliency  Education Program – for The Wellbeing Centre at the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust for staff industry, partners, and community.

CARE offers an engaging, experiential, practical learning opportunity for SMCT staff, industry partners and customers. The program aims to teach evidence-based tools to increase participants’ wellbeing that can be easily integrated into their personal and professional lives. CARE also offers a collaborative framework for compassionate care, relationship building and communication skills.


Online Webinar Series to Social Change Entrepreneurs for The Wellbeing Project

The Wellbeing Project is focused on both cultivating a shift in the field of social change toward one that is healthier and more supportive of inner wellbeing, and on catalyzing the development of a new infrastructure to better support everyone working in the field. The Wellbeing Project is a project co-created with Ashoka, Esalen, the Fetzer Institute, the Skoll Foundation and Synergos.

Designed and delivered a webinar series on self-compassion to 4 cohorts and provision of individual coaching to Social change entrepreneurs from all the corners of the globe.


Invited Speaker Mainstreaming Mindfulness in Education and Psychology Positive Psychology Interest group and Meditation Association of Australia

This event was co-hosted by Positive Psychology Interest group & Meditation Association of Australia. As part of an expert panel on Mindfulness, I presented and commented on the application of self-compassion in education and psychology.

Care, Connection and Compassion for Climate Change Activists

Facilitator for a workshop hosted by Psychology for Safe Climate (PSC). Climate Change Activists were given the opportunity to acknowledge and give expression to their feelings about climate change, and learn skills to build their emotional resilience.


Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) Leaders Workshop

As the climate changes, how have you?

A workshop to foster reflection and expression of awareness of how climate change has impacted on each participant: how do they see themselves now, how they saw themselves before knowing about climate change, and how might they change in the future?

The aim of the workshop was to offer a safe space for expression of the emotional impact of climate change, and to foster reflection on climate change as a potential opportunity to grow.


Self-Compassion Presentation for Climate for Change

Climate for Change’s mission is to create the social climate in Australia for effective action on climate change.

We know that social change happens when ordinary people start having conversations with those they know and trust. Climate for Change support people to have effective conversations about climate change, and to take actions that will inspire others.

Climate for Change is the only organisation in Australia specifically focussed on helping people to have conversations with their peers on climate change – something that is now being recognised by experts as key to building public support for the action we need on climate change.