Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Yvonne Stevens Bristol Cognitive Analytic Therapy Service
20th March, 2007
Cognitive Analytic Therapy, or CAT as it is known, is a brief individual therapy usually lasting between 8 to 24 sessions. The focus of the therapy is to identify unhelpful and sometimes damaging patterns of behaviour and relating to others which seem difficult to change, even though we are aware that they are causing us and others close to us pain. The patterns and ways of relating are understood in the context of the family, culture and social environment that we have grown up in.
Together with the therapist these patterns are described and understood using diary-keeping, letters and diagrams. Once these patterns of behaviour and ways of relating are recognised, alternatives are discussed and the likely impact of change is considered. CAT uses techniques and treatment methods from both psychoanalytic and cognitive therapies in a collaborative relationship with the client.
CAT is widely used in the health service and in private practice for a wide variety of clients groups and problems.
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