All About Personal Reformulation

What is Personal Reformulation?

Personal reformulation (PR) is a form of personal and professional development based on cognitive analytic therapy. It is being increasingly used in a range of training contexts and with different professions.

It gives you an opportunity to meet with a therapist for an extended session. The therapist will use the relational approach of cognitive analytic therapy to identify and explore with you relationship patterns that you might get drawn into at work. The focus is negotiated collaboratively but develops from exploring your professional role with clients, colleagues and peers.

A central aim is to improve your experience of work relationships. You will develop a good understanding and a map of the likely patterns of interaction triggered for you at work. This can naturally overlap with more personal ground. If this does occur the therapist will be thoughtful with you about what can be safely explored within the time limits of the sessions. You and the therapist may decide this is something to return to. The emphasis on your professional role helps to provide focus and containment. A PR is not therapy, but it gives you useful insight into the psychology of workplace relationships. You can read a blog with some examples of common issues that prompt someone to arrange a personal reromulation in a blog by PR therapist Jenny Marshall – click here to read Jenny’s blog on PRs in the workplace.

Catalyse currently offers personal reformulation sessions to professionals who are training as clinical psychologists. We also offer PRs to those engaged in ACAT accredited training at CAT Skills Case Management and CAT Foundation levels. Other professionals interested in making use of the approach are welcome to contact us.

To arrange a Personal Reformulation:

  • look at our list of PR therapists at this link
  • contact one or more of our therapists directly to discuss anything else you want to know and to check their availability
  • confirm your booking for personal reformulation
  • NB the cost of a standard PR (two hours plus one hour follow up) is currently £260
  • If your PR is funded by your employer or training organisation, then payment can be arranged through Catalyse and the funder
  • If you are funding the PR yourself, then pay online through the PR payment page

Personal reformulation as a form of personal and professional development

An important assumption is that the client using the personal reformulation is well motivated and intends to make use of the understandings and resulting map to help themselves further with their clinical or professional practice. A follow up session has been rated as valuable.

A PR is usually a two hour session with a further one hour session as a follow up, but a single 2.5 hour session is sometimes undertaken.

All therapists offering Personal Reformulation sessions are accredited CAT practitioners or CAT psychotherapists. They are familiar with the aims and methods of the CAT personal reformulation approach. Working within this tried and tested framework, the therapist and PR client create a unique relational encounter and the collaborative mapping of relationship patterns is customised to the individual. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach

What is discussed in a PR is confidential and if you are undertaking a PR as part of training, ordinarily there is no feedback to the course about content of the sessions or about you as a trainee. All therapists adhere to ACAT’s Code of Ethics and Practice.

We routinely gather feedback about people’s experience of PRs, and this has been very positive. Trainees value the process both personally and professionally, saying that it helps them to gain insight, recognition, awareness and understanding. It identifies and names difficult roles and patterns, and improves their understanding of CAT and how it can be used. Having a PR gives them insight into what it’s like to be a client and in “the other chair”. Trainees consistently cite mapping out roles and patterns as a very helpful aspect and they rate the nature of the therapeutic relationship highly.

For more details and information

Further details about what is involved in a Personal Reformulation are available in this document which can be downloaded below.