Cognitive analytic therapy helps you relate better to others so you feel less alone and more understood. 

Couch used in Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Updated Jan 20, 2022 by Dr. Sheri Jacobson Dr Sheri Jacobson

Cognitive Analytic Therapy in London

Want a tailored therapy that helps you relate to others better? 

Are you looking for a shorter-term therapy, but at the same time want something that goes more deeply into your past experiences than other time-limited psychotherapy, and feels a bit more personal? 

And do your relationships with loved ones and colleagues tend to cause you stress? You might even sense that you are stuck in patterns you can't break - but wish you could. 

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) might be for you. A time-limited psychotherapy tailored to your needs, its focus is on looking at your patterns of relating to others, and how such patterns affect not just your relationships but your life as a whole. 

What is cognitive analytic therapy and how is it effective?

As its name implies, cognitive analytic therapy uses elements of cognitive therapy and psychoanalytical therapy. This means it focuses on recognising and changing your patterns of thinking and behaving in your daily life, much like CBT, but then also looks to your past to see how these patterns developed in the first place.

Cognitive analytic therapy's main focus in on the way you relate to others, including your family, friends, and colleagues. CAT is interested in the way your habitual responses to others affect your life, your self-esteem, and your wellbeing. 

Cognitive analytic therapy is structured, but at the same time it aims to be more collaborative and flexible than other forms of talk therapy. This means that your therapist sees you as a driving force in the way your therapy moves forward, and works to make sure that your therapy is progressing in a way that matches your unique needs.

The relationship between you and your therapist is seen as an important tool of change in cognitive analytic therapy. It's a chance for you to develop new self-awareness about how you relate to someone else, then try new ways of interacting in a safe and friendly environment. 

How many CAT sessions do I need?

Cognitive anlaytical therapy is usually offered in courses of between 16 and 24 sessions held weekly. Your therapist will discuss this with you and together you can decide the number of sessions that is right for you.

What issues does it help with? 

CAT is evidence-based (proven by research to be effective) and is also recommended by the National Instititute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as helpful for both eating disorders and borderline personality disorder.



Cognitive analytic therapy can also prove helpful if you have difficulties with your relationships, struggle with self-esteem, deal with anxiety and depression, have anger management issues, struggle with addicitons, or simply feel like you aren't moving forward in life in ways that you'd like to.  

What results can I expect from attending CAT sessions? 

The benefits of attending cognitive analytical therapy can include the following:  

  • learn to trust yourself and others
  • improve your relationships
  • understand your issues and how they came into being
  • recognise the patterns and behaviours that hold you back
  • understand your past and how it made you who you are today
  • feel better about yourself and recognise your strengths
  • laern to make more positive choices in life  

Make better choices for yourself – the Harley Therapy™ approach

Your Harley Therapy™ CAT practioner will help you identify both what is working in your life and what is not going the way you want. They will then support you in making your own goals for both your therapy and your future.  

The focus will then turn to identifying the patterns that are keeping you stuck in life. Together you will look at your present, past, and also the way you are interacting in the therapy room itself.  Your cognitive analytic therapist will be very up front and honest with you during your sessions– CAT therapy is a collaboration and it's important both you and your therapist are open with each other.  

Find a cognitive analytic therapist at Harley Therapy™ London

All of our practitioners have trained at top UK institutions and come with a minimum of five years postgraduate experience. They are committed to creating a warm and trusting environment for you. 

If you are thinking about embarking on a course of CAT sessions in London, then contact us now for more information on how we can help you, or to book an initial consultation at one of our clinics in the City of London, London Bridge, or in Harley Street.

We look forward to helping you.

Further reading


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The UK Council for Psychotherapy

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The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

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Turning Point is a UK charity and social enterprise which works in the mental health, learning disabilities, substance abuse, criminal justice and employment areas.

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Harley Therapy Ltd. “Cognitive Analytic Therapy in London • Harley Therapy™”. Harley Therapy, 20 Jan. 2022, Accessed 22 May. 2022.


Harley Therapy Ltd. (2022, January 20). Cognitive Analytic Therapy in London • Harley Therapy™. Retrieved from


Harley Therapy Ltd. "Cognitive Analytic Therapy in London • Harley Therapy™." Last modified January 20, 2022. Accessed May 22, 2022.

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Cognitive Analytic Therapy in London

Is CAT a form of CBT?

No, it isn't. While they both are influenced by the 'cognitive approach', meaning that you will examine how your thoughts affect your behaviours, they are very different therapies. 

Is CAT psychodynamic?

It's influenced by the psychodynamic school of thought, which believes in looking to the past to find solutions for present-day issues. This is what makes CAT different to CBT therapy. While both CAT and CBT use a 'cognitive' approach, troubleshooting how your thinking is affecting your behaviours, CAT does look at the past while CBT generally doesn't. 

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