The torchlight model of mapping in cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) reformulation: A qualitative investigation

Jefferis, S., Fantarrow, Z. and Johnston, L. (2021) The torchlight model of mapping in cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) reformulation: A qualitative investigation. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 94(S1), pp. 137-150. (PMID:33078560)

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Objectives: Despite the central role of formulation in psychological therapy, there is limited research on how formulations are constructed in clinical practice. In Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), a formulation diagram (or CAT map) is used in transforming the client’s narrative into a psychological understanding of the difficulties. The objective was to build a theoretical model of the processes involved in the early stages of CAT mapping. Design: A qualitative research design using constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) incorporating Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR) methods. Methods: CAT therapists participated in a role-play therapy session with an actor (the 'client') and made an initial attempt at formulation by mapping. A video recording then formed the basis for a semi-structured therapist interview. Following data analysis, a conceptual model and visual metaphor of the early process of CAT mapping was generated. Results: The Torchlight model conceptualizes the mapping process as a coming together of unique factors brought by client and therapist, alongside the conceptual apparatus of CAT. Each factor brings a unique light to the unfolding process of mapping and intermixes through a dialogical, collaborative process, analogous to coloured lights mixing to form new colours. The model outlines the mapping process itself as an iterative sequence of tasks, achieved through collaboration, within a growing therapeutic relationship. Conclusions: The model offers an empirical underpinning to existing accounts of CAT mapping, and a potential tool for training.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Dr Lynne
Authors: Jefferis, S., Fantarrow, Z., and Johnston, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Published Online:20 October 2020

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