Cognitive Analytic Therapy

​Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is an individual therapy that focuses on what a person brings to the therapy (target problems) and the deeper patterns of relating that underlie them. It is less concerned with traditional psychiatric symptoms, syndromes or labels. CAT is an accessible therapy that makes use of letters and diagrams to make sense of peoples’ problems and to help them to notice and then to change these.

Who is it for?
CAT can be helpful to a wide range of people with a variety of problems and/or symptoms. You might have problems that have been given a name by a health worker such as depression, anxiety, phobia, or borderline personality disorder.
You might recognise that you are suffering from unmanageable stress or that you self-harm.
You may have a pattern of difficulty in looking after yourself properly or unsuccessful in relationships.

How does it work?
CAT is a very active therapy, inviting you to be the observer of your own life and to take part in what needs to change. The changes needed may be small, such as stopping being caught in a trap of avoiding things, or they may be larger, such as finding new ways of relating to other people. The first thing that happens with any human encounter is our reaction to the other person and many of our automatic responses to other people stem from patterns of relating in early life.

CAT can help you find a way to change learned attitudes and beliefs about yourself and others, and to make better choices. There is a focus on patterns of relating, and the effect these patterns are having on our relationships, our work and the way we are with ourselves. Together with your therapist and in the safety of the therapeutic relationship you can explore how you have learned to cope with what has happened in your life. The active part of CAT helps you to practise new ways of approaching change in your own way. CAT is a very creative therapy and the process of understanding and self-discovery is aided by the use of letters written by the therapist and a diagram co-created by the patient and therapist.

How long is the programme?
Individual CAT therapy usually lasts between 16 and 24 weekly sessions. In addition there are likely to be one or more review appointments after the therapy has ended.

When and where does it take place?
CAT therapy is offered at Gaskell House Psychotherapy Centre, Swinton Grove, Manchester. Usual times for weekly therapy are between 9am and 5pm although occasional out of hours slots may be available. 

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