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CAT – Cognitive Analytic Therapy

CAT can also be referred to as Relational Psychotherapy and is primarily concerned with relationship patterns and reciprocal roles. For example, the way a child is related to shapes who they are as they develop, and how they will go on to relate to others. This can be the case for any type of relationship between any number of roles – perhaps even in the workplace, making this a highly effective therapy for corporate well-being.

CAT is required when a client demonstrates repeated patterns of difficulty in the forming and keeping of positive and healthy relationships. If untreated, clients can suffer from personality disorders, but the team at JSA have had a lot of success in ensuring that our use and application of this therapy can help our clients from an early stage. In terms of course of delivery, a programme of 8, 16 or 24 sessions may be offered and, as with all of our therapies, will be both initially assessed and monitored throughout our progression. In cases where clients have significant difficulties in engaging, the programme may be longer.

For any course of duration, CAT is made up of three phases, which we refer to colloquially as The 3 Rs. Firstly, we look at Reformulation, which is the making sense of relationships, roles and situations via therapy mapping. The second phase is Recognition of behaviour patterns. The final phase is the Revision plans that we work with our clients to create in order to make positive and healthy progress. A popular and hugely progressive element of this phase is where the client is encouraged to write a letter to their JSA therapist and read it aloud in the final session. All stages are very much relationally driven and focus on the client taking note of different ways of being within their relationships.

Many clients who come to JSA for CAT choose to self-refer, though lots are referred through social services or via a court process. Where CAT can also be a pathway is for clients who perhaps cannot access any other therapies. It’s more of an adult-centred therapy and has proved effective in treating anything from eating disorders to adult services intervention – including those in prisons. CAT can also be extremely effective in corporate workplaces, as already mentioned.

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