Araceli Lubroth

What is Cognitive Analytic Therapy and how is it effective?

As its name implies, cognitive analytic therapy uses elements of cognitive therapy and psychoanalytical therapy. This means it focuses on recognising and changing your patterns of thinking and behaving in your daily life, much like CBT, but then also looks to your past to see how these patterns developed in the first place. Cognitive analytic therapy’s main focus in on the way you relate to others, including your family, friends, and colleagues. CAT is interested in the way your habitual responses to others affect your life, your self-esteem, and your wellbeing. Cognitive analytic therapy is structured, but at the same time it aims to be more collaborative and flexible than other forms of talk therapy. This means that your therapist sees you as a driving force in the way your therapy moves forward, and works to make sure that your therapy is progressing in a way that matches your unique needs. The relationship between you and your therapist is seen as an important tool of change in cognitive analytic therapy. It’s a chance for you to develop new self-awareness about how you relate to someone else, then try new ways of interacting in a safe and friendly environment.

How many CAT sessions do I need?

Cognitive anlaytical therapy is usually offered in courses of between 16 and 24 sessions held weekly. Your therapist will discuss this with you and together you can decide the number of sessions that is right for you.

What issues does cognitive analytic therapy help with?

CAT is evidence-based (proven by research to be effective) and is also recommended by the National Instititute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as helpful for both eating disorders and borderline personality disorder. Cognitive analytic therapy can also prove helpful if you have difficulties with your relationships, struggle with self-esteem, deal with anxiety and depression, have anger management issues, struggle with addicitons, or simply feel like you aren’t moving forward in life in ways that you’d like to.

What results can I expect from attending CAT sessions?

The benefits of attending cognitive analytical therapy can include the following:
  • learn to trust yourself and others
  • improve your relationships
  • understand your issues and how they came into being
  • recognise the patterns and behaviours that hold you back
  • understand your past and how it made you who you are today
  • feel better about yourself and recognise your strengths
  • laern to make more positive choices in life

Make better choices for yourself

CAT will help you identify both what is working in your life and what is not going the way you want. They will then support you in making your own goals for both your therapy and your future. The focus will then turn to identifying the patterns that are keeping you stuck in life. Together you will look at your present, past, and also the way you are interacting in the therapy room itself.  Your cognitive analytic therapist will be very up front and honest with you during your sessions– CAT therapy is a collaboration and it’s important both you and your therapist are open with each other.

Further reading on cognitive analytic therapy

¿Qué es la PCA?