What is Cognitive Analytic Therapy?
Cognitive Analytic Therapy or (CAT) is an effective way of working together to see more clearly the way a person thinks, feels and acts, and the events and relationships that underlie these experiences (often from childhood or earlier in life). As its name suggests, it brings together ideas and understanding from different therapies - particularly CBT and Psychodynamic therapies - into one user-friendly and effective therapy.
It is a programme of therapy can be tailored to your individual needs and to your own manageable and realistic goals for change and growth. It's usually a time-limited therapy - between 4 and 24 weeks, but typically 16; however, courses of therapy can be longer, or even open-ended, depending on your needs and what you choose.
Here's a video of me giving a brief explanation of CAT:
Is CAT the right therapy for you?
Because CAT focuses on relationships - the ways in which we relate to ourselves and others - it's effective with most (if not all) types of difficulties and problems. It's particularly useful for untangling complex, knotty problems so that we can see more clearly how you've ended up where you are and where you're getting stuck - the problematic patterns of your relationships. CAT relies on a close, trusting working relationship between therapist and client so that we can recognise together and name these difficult relationship patterns as they happen in your life - and in the therapy room - so that you can begin to connect your cognitive (or ‘head’) understanding with your emotional (or ‘heart’) understanding.
The process of change comes from naming, experiencing, sharing, recognising and understanding these patterns. Developing awareness allows new, healthier relationship patterns to be born. The relationship between the client and therapist itself models this more accepting and respectful way of relating.
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, an innovative clinical treatment originated and developed by Dr Francine Shapiro in 1987. EMDR is effective in treating individuals who have experienced psychological difficulties arising from traumatic experiences, such as assault, road traffic accidents, war trauma, torture, natural or man-made disasters, sexual abuse and childhood neglect. EMDR is also increasingly used to treat symptoms which are not necessarily trauma-related, such as panic disorder, phobias, performance anxiety, self-esteem issues and other anxiety-related disorders.
I integrate EMDR into CAT therapy (or, sometimes, CAT-informed therapy). This powerful technique is often successful in producing significant shifts in the way someone responds and relates to people and situations.