Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a time limited ‘talking treatment’ which is used widely in the NHS and is popular because it has a clear, time limited way of addressing difficulties in a way which is open and ‘makes sense’. It emphasises working together to understand patterns of thoughts, feelings and actions and identifies manageable aims for taking steps towards change.
If you are wondering if CAT might be helpful for you, you might recognise a sense of unhelpful patterns (‘why do I always end up feeling like this’ or ‘why do my relationships always seem to go this way’) or just feel somehow stuck and not sure why. We are all shaped by our individual experiences and journey in life, and CAT explores patterns that have developed over time as a result. This approach involves looking back to childhood to work out how things seem to repeat in adulthood, and to understand the unconscious elements that guide us into often unhelpful ways of behaving. Do you recognise patterns?
The range of issues CAT can help with include the common to the more complex:
- Mood swings – which may be abrupt or feel unmanageable
- Destructive self-care, including self-harm, in all its forms
- Self-care in terms of physical aspects of health
- Personal/ relationship problems – making or maintaining relationships, or managing the destructive cycles within them
- Anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and depression
- Problems with self-image, diet or weight issues
CAT takes place over 16 sessions, although in some cases a longer therapy of 24 /32 weeks may be required. It requires a commitment to weekly sessions of 50 minutes. Follow up is also arranged to review how things have changed and to reinforce the work done in the therapy.
An initial consultation meeting of up to 90 minutes is undertaken before agreeing on a mutual basis to work (weekly sessions of 50 minutes); this means considering the suitability of CAT for you and the length of therapy needed. CAT requires you to be active in the work of therapy and do tasks in-between sessions including self-monitoring or focused diary keeping in order to optimise the usefulness of the work within sessions.
Morency Therapy provide Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) for South Birmingham and Worcestershire, including Alvechurch, Barnt Green, Bromsgrove and Redditch.