Cognitive Analytic Therapy


Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) was developed in the 1980s in the UK and aims to help us analyse how we behave, think and feel. CAT also teaches the client how to cope with stressful issues and other problems such as borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and phobias, but also work related stress, learning life skills and relationship problems.

How does CAT work?

During CAT, a therapist will work with their client to understand their client’s feelings (cognitive), and look at how they behave (analytic) especially in their unconscious patterns. Behavioural patterns can be investigated by looking at past events and those in childhood to see if they have influenced the client’s current responses to situations. Furthermore CAT enables the client to have a deeper understanding of their behaviour and emotions.

Both the cognitive and analytic parts of therapy are required in order to aid the client to positively change how they respond to everyday situations. CAT usually involves weekly or fortnightly sessions in which a therapist will tailor the time around the client’s goals for therapy. Therapists will first identify the patterns of behaviour which limit the client’s daily functions and begin to address these issues over the following weeks. Both therapist and client will then work together to explore how the client can do things differently in their life to improve their emotional wellbeing.