CAT is a very active therapy, inviting you to be the observer of your own life and to take part in what needs change. The changes needed may be small, such as stopping being caught in a trap of avoiding things, or they may be larger, such as finding new ways of relating to other people. The first thing that happens with any human encounter is our reaction to the other person. If we feel warm and happy we are likely to feel accepted. Conversely, if we feel got at, criticised or humiliated we tend to feel hurt and misunderstood, we might respond by being angry and defensive or give up trying and get depressed and isolated. Many of our automatic responses to other people stem from patterns of relating in early life.
For example, if you had learned in your childhood that you only received love and care by pleasing others you might have the belief: ‘Only if I always do what others want will I be liked’ which puts you in a trap of pleasing others, and can lead to you feeling used and abused. When you realise you have got used to being in this trap you can start to notice how often it catches you and can begin to change what you do and learn to find other more useful ways of standing up for yourself and relating to others. CAT shows you the way to change your learned attitudes and beliefs about yourself and others, and helps you focus on ways to make better choices.
CAT shows you the way to change your learned attitudes and beliefs about yourself and others, and helps you focus on ways to make better choices.
The process of a CAT therapy is to help us look at patterns of relating, and the effect these patterns are having on our relationships, our work and the way we are with ourselves. Together with your therapist, in the safety of the therapeutic relationship you will gradually develop an understanding of the ways in which you have learned to cope with what has happened in your life. Often people who have been through abuse, neglect or trauma feel bad about themselves and this can affect self-confidence. The active part of CAT helps you to take part in the process of change in your own way. CAT is a very creative therapy and the process of understanding and self discovery may involve painting as well as writing, movement , self-reflection and learning to self-monitor through journal keeping.