Dr Dhuana (Dee) Affleck

Tel : 07989 467 469

email : dee@dhuanaafflecktherapy.co.uk

A brief overview of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

I am conscious of myself and become myself only while revealing myself for another. The most important acts constituting self-consciousness are determined by a relationship towards another consciousness (toward a thou)....not that which takes place within, but that which takes place on the boundary between one's own and someone else's consciousness, on the threshold....a person has no internal sovereign territory; he is wholly and always on the boundary; looking inside himself, he looks into the eyes of another or with the eyes of another.
Bakhtin, 1984


CAT places emphasis on understanding the relational, social and cultural development of the self. As an integrative model, drawing on concepts associated with the social formation of the self, CAT differs from traditional models of psychotherapy, as human consciousness is not viewed as developing through the act of 'representation', rather human consciousness is attributed to the inherent intersubjective nature of human beings.

In other words, CAT is based on the simple understanding that we need to be in relationships with others in order to develop our sense of self. It is often those relational, social and cultural aspects that we experienced in our earlier life that now affect the way we feel about ourselves and influence our sense of mental wellbeing.

CAT therefore pays particular attention to our early experiences, mapping out where others positioned us and as a result, defining the roles we then learn to play. CAT therefore not only tries to address the problems people bring to therapy but also tries to address the deeper patterns of relating that underlie these difficulties, helping clients to become more consciously aware. 

From this point of view CAT is less concerned with traditional psychiatric labels, acknowledging people are more than a total sum of their symptoms.  

The ethos behind the development of the model was a belief in an effective, appropriate, time-limited way, utilising the therapeutic relationship and a potential broad range of interventions to help others move forward. 

To visit the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) website CLICK HERE