Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT)
CAT is a type of therapy which examines the relationships on a client’s life which underlie the way they think, feel and behave. A CAT therapist helps the client to make sense of the situation they are in, and explore the difficulties they face; and then make manageable goals aimed at positive change.
This is usually a short duration therapy, with around 16 sessions. The techniques used come from cognitive therapy and psychodynamic approaches. Cognitive therapy recognises the power of beliefs, whereby unhelpful beliefs can stop people from moving on. By testing and challenging these beliefs, space is made to develop new ideas and approaches that may be more helpful. This is geared toward future and moving forward. Psychodynamic refers to how unconscious processes can relate to a a person’s current behaviour, with a focus on bring these into self-awareness, with an understanding of how the past affects present behaviour.
CAT looks at the underlying reasons for problems in earlier life, and assists clients with the understanding that people use strategies to survive difficult times, which may result in patterns of behaviour being carried forward. Not all patterns remain helpful, and these can be changed if they are identified and changed for the better, via CAT.