Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
CAT is an integrated method that focuses on the issues that brought the person to treatment (commonly referred to as "target problems") as well as the underlying patterns that underpin them.
CAT is an active treatment in which the client is invited to become an observer of their own life and the aspects that need to change. Changes might be little or important, such as the need to develop new ways to be in relationships. The CAT method entails examining related patterns and the impact they can have on the individual and their interactions with others. One of the goals of CAT is to assist the client in seeing the path to changing taught attitudes and beliefs about themselves and others and focusing on making better choices.
The therapeutic connection in CAT is collaborative, and it is expected that the patterns that the client repeats outside of treatment will be performed in the therapeutic encounter. This is a powerful event that may help the client make substantial changes as they begin to link their cognitive and emotional understandings.
CAT can be a successful treatment for depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. It is also a recommended therapy method for eating disorders such as anorexia. If you come to therapy feeling plagued by your interactions with others, CAT may be the right therapeutic technique for you.
What to expect while receiving cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)?
The first few CAT sessions are known as the 'reformulation period.' During this stage of therapy, you will go over your developmental history and explore your present challenges. You are likely to consider areas of accomplishment and happiness in your life, as well as areas of hardship.
During the initial phase, you will most likely be asked to complete a questionnaire known as the 'Psychotherapy File.' This is intended to help you understand some of your CAT model challenges and trends.
Your therapist will read to you a ‘reformulation letter' around the fourth or fifth session, which is a written description of a common understanding of your life's narrative and how some of your former events may be influencing you now. The letter will also serve as the foundation for what you hope to improve via treatment.
Following the reformulation letter, your therapist will write down the patterns in your life. This may thus be a valuable map for developing exits from existing patterns together.
CAT is a short-term therapy that typically lasts between 16 and 24 sessions. Toward the conclusion, the work focuses on endings, especially if you experienced difficult ends or losses in your childhood. The therapist will send you a 'farewell letter' just before the final session and will encourage you to do the same. A follow-up appointment is normally provided one to three months following the completion of the sessions.