Differences between CAT and CBT

Firstly, CAT stands for cognitive analytic therapy and CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy.

Woman Struggling with Emotions

What is CAT?

  • Enables you to think about yourself differently.
  • Helps to find out what your problems and difficulties in life are. Along with how they started and how they affect you etc.
  • Recognises the importance of relationships in your life, as well as the relationship you have with yourself.

What does CAT involve?

CAT can be carried out with individuals or in groups over a period of between 16 and 24 sessions. The session time can vary depending on the counsellor that you visit, however, the average time for a cognitive analytic therapy session is around 1 hour approx.

The first few sessions out of the 16/24 will consist of the ‘reformulation phase’. This is where you are the client will have the opportunity to speak openly about anything that has historically happened in your life or any areas which you believe ‘have gone wrong’. From this, your therapist will map your feelings out on a piece of paper to help you understand the patterns in your behaviour. You will begin to recognise the patterns due to the continued therapy and your therapist will suggest ways in which you can monitor this.

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps talks about the following:

  • How you think about yourself.
  • How you think about your surroundings and the world as a whole.
  • How you think about other people.
  • How your actions affect others around you.

What does CBT involve?

Similar to CAT, you can do CBT either as an individual or as a group. You will meet with your chosen therapist either weekly or fortnightly and carried out between 5 and 20, 1-hour sessions. You will decide with the therapist what you want to focus on, and they will begin to ask you questions about your life currently, as well as your past experiences. You will create ‘homework’ for yourself to see how you can use the therapy in between your sessions to work on yourself and your thoughts/ behaviour.