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Using an integrative, Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) approach to treat intimate partner violence risk

Ruth J. Tully (Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK) (Tully Forensic Psychology Ltd, Nottingham, UK)
Alex Barrow (Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




There is limited research on Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) in forensic contexts; this case study therefore significantly contributes to the knowledge base. The purpose of this paper is to present the assessment and treatment of an adult male offender with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The client’s offence involved intimate partner violence and was committed at a time of acute psychiatric relapse.


In total, 12 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy and CAT informed treatment were individually designed to meet the needs of the client, delivered in an in-patient setting in the UK. The client’s progress was assessed using psychometric, observational, and narrative/descriptive methods.


Psychometric evidence was limited by distorted responding. However, narrative/descriptive assessment indicated that progress had been made in some areas. Recommendations for further treatment were made.

Practical implications

In total, 12 sessions did not meet all of the client’s needs. The use of CAT as a model that his team could use in understanding his violence was conducive to risk management. Overall, insight gained through CAT-based psychological intervention contributed to risk reduction.


This case study demonstrates the applicability of CAT to forensic settings.



Tully, R.J. and Barrow, A. (2017), "Using an integrative, Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) approach to treat intimate partner violence risk", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 128-140.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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