CAT is a collaborative process looking at the way a person thinks, feels and acts, and the events and relationships that underlie these experiences. These experiences often have originated in childhood or earlier parts of the person's life.
CAT is a programme of therapy that is tailored to a person’s individual needs and to his or her own manageable goals for change. It is a time-limited therapy - between 4 and 24 weeks, but typically 16.
CAT tries to focus 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 has been widely used to help people who have experienced childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect and trauma, including people who self-harm. CAT is also used with people with eating disorders, addiction problems (like drugs and alcohol), obsessional problems, anxiety, depression, phobias, psychosis and bipolar illness. CAT therapists also work with adolescents, older people and people with learning difficulties, and in forensic settings.
CAT is mostly offered to individuals, but it can also be used effectively with couples, in groups and to help teams understand the ‘system’ in which they work – an approach called ‘contextual reformulation’. http://www.acat.me.uk/