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Letters in cognitive analytic therapy: The patient's experience

Hamill, M., Ried, M. and Reynolds, S. (2008) Letters in cognitive analytic therapy: The patient's experience. Psychotherapy Research, 18 (5). pp. 573-583. ISSN 1050-3307

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/10503300802074505


Patient perspectives on how therapeutic letters contributed to their experience of cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) were investigated. Eight patients took part in semistructured interviews. A grounded, thematic analysis of their accounts suggested four general processes. First, letters offered a tangible, lasting framework for the assimilation of a new perspective about themselves and their relationships and facilitated coping with a complex range of emotions and risks this awareness required. Second, they demonstrated therapists’ commitment to patients’ growth. Third, they helped to teach participants about the therapy process as an example of an interpersonal exchange. Fourth, they helped participants consider how they wished to share personal information. These data offer a more complex understanding of this standard CAT intervention. Although some findings are consistent with CAT theory, the range of emotional dilemmas associated with letters has not received specific attention. Clinical implications are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Charlie Waller Institute
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY)
ID Code:46258

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