Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy: Principles and Practice

Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy: Principles and Practice

Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy: Principles and Practice

Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy: Principles and Practice


This is a comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the origins, development, and practice of cognitive-analytic therapy (CAT).

Written by the founder of the method and an experienced psychiatric practitioner and lecturer, it offers a guide to the potential application and experience of CAT with a wide range of difficult clients and disorders and in a variety of hospital, community care and private practice settings.

Introducing Cognitive Analytic Therapy includes a wide range of features to aid scholars and trainees:

? Illustrative case histories and numerous case vignettes
? Chapters summaries, further reading and glossary of key terms
? Resources for use in clinical settings

Essential reading for practitioners and graduate trainees in psychotherapy, clinical psychology, psychiatry and nursing.


This book offers an updated introduction and overview of the principles and practice of cognitive analytic therapy (CAT). The last such book appeared over ten years ago and was the first systematic articulation of a new, integrative model which had been developed over a period of many years. Although there have been two specialist volumes since then (Ryle, 1995a; 1997a) it is significant that a restatement of the model and its applications is now necessary. There are many reasons for this. They include the fact that as a young, genuinely integrative model, (as acknowledged in the influential Roth and Fonagy report (1996)), it is still evolving and developing both in terms of its theoretical base and its range of applications. In this book a further exposition of the CAT model of development is given, stressing in particular an understanding of the social formation of the self based on Vygotskian activity theory and Bakhtinian 'dialogism'. We also outline an ever-expanding range of practical applications of CAT as an individual therapy as well as its application as a conceptual model for understanding different disorders and informing approaches to their management by staff teams. This trend has been described (Steve Potter) as 'using' CAT, as opposed to 'doing' it. Newer or preliminary applications of CAT reviewed here include CAT in old age, with learning disabilities, in anxietyrelated disorders, in psychotic disorders, CAT for self-harming patients presenting briefly to casualty departments, CAT with the 'difficult' patient in organisational settings and CAT in primary care. In part these also reflect theoretical developments of the model which are also reviewed. Its gradually expanding evidence base is also reviewed, along with some of the difficulties, both scientific and political, inherent in research in this area.

CAT evolved initially as a brief (usually 16-session) therapy. This was partly for pragmatic reasons and related to the search for the optimum means of delivering an effective treatment to the kind of patients being seen in underresourced health service settings. However, it also arose from consideration and evaluation of which aspects of therapy, including its duration, were actually . . .

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