Cognitive Therapies

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Analytic Therapy – CAT is short-term, problem and solution focussed psychotherapy developed in the NHS at Guys & St Thomas’s Hospitals in London. Several practitioners at Number 42 are skilled in this practice. The therapy integrates ideas from both cognitive and analytic therapies. Developing tools to manage life problems in the short term. CAT works with descriptions and maps of problematic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, bringing about change in behaviour. CAT requires work outside the session by the patient and active participation. For more information, visit the website for the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT originates with the work Aaron Beck in the USA. It focuses on what a person believes and how they think about things and the behaviours they choose as a result of their thinking and beliefs. For example, a negative belief may lead a person to solve problems and make decisions in ways that are negatively skewed – the famous ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, or self defeating decisions, which in turn can result in repeated negative outcomes and depression. Seeing these patterns clearly can allow therapist and client to orchestrate ‘experiments’ with new ways of thinking and behaving, which in turn can generate new outcomes and help to revise outworn negative beliefs. Often behaviour therapy is used to overcome fears such as phobias (for example agoraphobia – the fear of being out of doors or arachnophobia – a fear of spiders) as well as difficulties such as panic attacks. The emphasis is on changing the outcomes rather than generating a detailed understanding of the causes.

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