Cognitive Analytic Therapy
Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) was pioneered in the UK by Anthony Ryle as a time-limited, relationally-driven psychotherapeutic approach. With an impressive evidence base and widespread practice within the NHS, CAT is now widely prescribed.
Cognitive analysis was originally developed as a treatment for neurotic symptoms, but eventually extended its application to include personality-related difficulties as well. Although initially successful with these patients, more severe personality disorders proved challenging to handle. To address this challenge, Ryle developed his theory of reciprocal roles which eventually led to more comprehensive case formulation approaches.
During the initial session, the therapist will gather relevant history information. This is then used to formulate target problems which are usually based on past behaviors and feelings as well as draw from present-day realities. At subsequent sessions, progress will be made toward this list; some clients may even be asked to keep a diary that tracks progress towards these objectives each week.
Clients are encouraged to be actively engaged in the therapy process and consciously explore their relationship with the therapist during sessions. This is a crucial aspect of therapy. Furthermore, it’s essential that clients feel safe during this time together.
This can be accomplished through the formation of a trusting and collaborative relationship between the therapist and client. This is an integral component of therapy, with CAT stressing that the therapeutic relationship is the most significant factor in its success.
It is essential for the therapist to be able to express their experience of therapy with clients. They can do this through various techniques such as transference techniques or creating a map.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CAT) has been widely utilized to address a variety of issues, from anxiety and depression to eating disorders. With its strong evidence-based practice, CAT is now included in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines for Borderline personality disorder and eating disorders.
The CAT model is a transdiagnostic approach, drawing elements from different fields of psychology. These include George Kelly’s repertory grid, Jerome Frank’s common factors, Melanie Klein’s object relations and Donald Winnicott’s developmental psychology.
These methods are combined to form the CAT model, which involves a collaborative and interactive relationship between therapist and patient. The therapist’s purpose is to assist their patient in developing an intimate understanding of their issues and causes, so that they can make changes that lead to greater satisfaction with life.
The CAT model has been successfully applied in a range of contexts, from hospitals and hospices to residential facilities. In some instances, CAT is combined with other psychotherapies for more comprehensive support. Recent evidence indicates that patients receiving structured CAT therapy as part of an overall program can experience improvements in global functioning, interpersonal problems and depression.