CATT, or Child Accelerated Trauma Technique, is a flexible and efficient therapy model for all mental health professionals.
From registered therapists to mental health social workers and psychiatrists, CATT provides a child-centred therapy developed specifically to engage young minds and their communicative techniques of play and creativity. This helps them to process their traumatic memories and resolve them safely and speedily.
There are many settings CATT can be applied in, and we’ll cover them in this blog.
Settings that provide frontline healthcare, like private practice, NHS children’s community mental health teams and schools, are some of the many settings where CATT can be applied effectively.
Mental health professionals working in these areas who regularly and directly see children and young people can identify PTSD and C-PTSD and apply the 12-stage protocol without onward referral to a specialist service being required.
When young people have reliable access to a known, trusted person in a primary care setting, this can ease the fear of talking and enable them to open up more readily. Mental health professionals working in these settings can quickly form positive relationships with children under their care, meaning CATT can be implemented and begin to work effectively. This can speed up the young person or child’s access to the therapy they need without having to sit on waiting lists whilst things get worse.
Using CATT in primary care settings is a practical early intervention that can prevent traumatic memories from causing increased mental health problems and difficulties as they remain unresolved. Mental health professionals trained in CATT provide fast access to therapy so desperately needed without having to join waiting lists, which is beneficial not just for the child but also for the already over-burdened specialist and tertiary mental health services.
Specialist Trauma Services
For children and young people who have been referred for help, specifically with PTSD or C-PTSD symptoms, CATT helps trained professionals working within the service to deliver enhanced care alongside the other aspects of support on offer.
These settings include specialist child trauma services, learning disability and neurodevelopmental teams, sexual violence and assault centres, and could be NHS teams, charities or non-governmental organisations.
CATT is a highly effective and fast-working therapy that works because it understands that young people do not rely on verbal communication alone. Mental health professionals working within specialist trauma services can utilise their CATT training to build trust and rapport quickly and begin working through the 12 fully flexible stages of the protocol to support children and adolescents in overcoming PTSD and Complex PTSD.
Services For Looked After Children And Young People
Looked after children and young people likely have experienced interpersonal trauma.
Their experiences and memories are inherently varied, unique and often complicated, and many professionals are often involved in their care. This can lead some children and young people to develop a strong mistrust of adults and authority, even from a young age, which can be a huge barrier to them gaining access to help for long-suffering trauma-related issues.
Utilising CATT in services for looked after children and young people reduces the need for more ‘strangers’ in their lives. Because CATT is so adaptable, the protocol can be personalised and built around the young person’s experience; this is made an easy task given the huge amount of information already held about the lives of the children in the care system.
Services for Young Offenders
It might not surprise you to read that there is a high incidence of PTSD and C-PTSD in young offenders.
A large portion of young offenders can be identified as vulnerable during childhood, and many children with emotional and behavioural difficulties who have experienced or are experiencing traumatic events can continue to come up against further problems as they get older if not treated effectively.
Working through the 12 stages of CATT supports the rehabilitation of young offenders and offers continuity of support within one setting rather than forwarding the young person to further services. Professionals working within young offenders services that train in CATT add the therapy technique to their already great understanding of issues that commonly present for these young people, a match made for fast progress.
NGOs And Services For Refugees And Asylum Seekers
CATT is easily applied with non English speakers throug the use of interpreters. It has seen proven success in different countries and numerous areas of high conflict or natural disaster where there isn’t typically easy access to mental health support.
The CATT protocol has been proven to be adaptable enough to treat children and young people from different cultures without a dip in effectiveness (Allard, Bates and Skaarbrevik 2016; Edwards 2011; Raby 2010; Raby and Edwards 2011; Rolington 2014) and has been used in areas of conflict, war and natural disaster where it works quickly for cases of acute PTSD and reduces the intensity of the symptoms associated with the traumatic experience.
The provision of trusted adults at times when things might feel hopeless speaks volumes for children and young people enduring ongoing traumatic events. Using CATT significantly reduces symptoms of acute traumatic stress and allows young people to progress in life skills and psychological adjustment as they move through the CATT programme and process their traumatic memories.
Private Practice And Adult Settings
CATT can be beneficial to those working in private practice who need specialist therapy for treating PTSD and Complex PTSD.
CATT, though developed with children and young people in mind, has been used successfully with adults, too. The protocol is so easily adaptable that any setting offering therapeutic support to adults can reap the benefits of CATT for adult patients and clients.
Adults mostly communicate verbally through language, but that doesn’t mean they cannot benefit from an adaptable, holistic trauma-focused therapy combining CBT principles with creative arts methods. CATT respects choice, promotes access to treatment, and holds the patient or client at the forefront of the therapy.
Using these approaches within the treatment expands the individual’s capacity for communication and expression to speed up the process of getting trauma that’s been stored on the inside, out.
A Trauma Therapy That Works
CATT is the only therapy designed specifically for children and young people with PTSD or C-PTSD from the roots up, but it works for everyone. No matter your profession or the setting you work in, training in CATT helps you support your clients to work through their traumatic memories, safely and quickly.
Do you work with individuals with PTSD and Complex PTSD? Are you looking for a specifically trauma-focused therapy that works quickly? See our website for more details.