CAT is a program of therapy that is tailored to a person’s individual needs and to his or her own manageable goals for change. It is a time-limited therapy – between 4 and 24 weeks, but typically 16.
At the heart of the therapy is the development of an empathic relationship between the client and therapist within the therapeutic boundaries, the purpose of which is to help the client make sense of their situation and to find ways of making changes for the better.
CAT was developed in the early 1980’s by Dr Anthony Ryle at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, UK. CAT developed as a public health response to the mental health needs of a busy inner London area.
He felt it important to offer a short-term focused therapy for use in the health service; a therapy that integrated the best of different approaches to people’s problems and that could be researched and refined with the growing experience of clients and therapists.