A recent article in the Bulletin (Rees, 2000) suggests that cognitive–analytic therapy (CAT) “may emerge as the preferred form of psychotherapy within the NHS”. I would question Rees' claim that CAT “uses an understandable language and straightforward techniques”. For many patients – and therapists – it is too ridden with jargon and complex diagrams. Moreover, as he admits, “formal CAT training is long [2 years for basic qualification] … this is impractical for most psychiatrists”. In addition, “research has yet to provide a robust evidence base for its effectiveness”. CAT in expert hands is an attractive and powerful model, but does not suit the needs of junior psychiatrists striving to rapidly acquire and integrate broad effective psychotherapeutic techniques. I suggest that another of the ‘newer’ therapies, interpersonal theray (IPT), would fit the bill better.
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