Using a cognitive analytic approach to formulate a complex sexual and violent offender to inform multi-agency working: developing a shared understanding
Jamie Kirkland & Emily Baron
Journal of Sexual Aggression: An international, interdisciplinary forum for research, theory and practice
August 14, 2014
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a collaborative time-limited psychotherapy developed by Ryle. The approach aims to formulate how early experiences influence the development of unhelpful patterns that maintain a person's current difficult experiences. Within the UK, forensic services personnel are increasing their uses of CAT approaches within contextual, i.e. treatment teams, settings. Offending behaviour is relational (perpetrator to victim), and CAT is a relational model. Within the context of National Health Service consultation service (Serious Offender Liaison Service) working with the Police and Criminal Justice Social Work to assess, formulate and give advice regarding working with serious sexual and violent offenders, often with personality disorders, a case example is presented. The paper suggests that utilising a relational model, such as CAT, and applying one of the main the tools of this approach, through diagrammatic representations (maps) of the formulation, can enable agencies working with an individual to share a common formulation and language.