Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is an integration of cognitive and psychoanalytic ideas, exploring a person’s thinking, emotion and behaviours and the relationships that underpin these. In CAT there is an emphasis on the therapist and client collaborating in creating and applying descriptive reformulations of presenting problems. The aim of CAT is to help remove ‘roadblocks’ that have maintained a person’s distress and to help develop different route maps for them to take forward. The aim is for the therapist to assist in the development of these new routes, but not to accompany the client along the road.

CAT tends to be time limited, around 16-24 sessions with follow up sessions after regular therapy ends. The initial sessions are called the ‘reformulation phase’. This is where you discuss your current difficulties, history and life experiences. Your therapist will ask you to also explore what works well in your life and what brings satisfaction and joy. Following this, your therapist encourages you to use diaries and self-monitoring to bring awareness to what was identified in the reformulation.

When ending therapy, the client and therapist will write goodbye letters.