In our work with the Dear Homeland Project, we make most use of the written and diagrammatic reformulation from Cognitive Analytic Therapy
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a relational and integrative psychotherapy which brings a range of approaches together and seeks to be empowering of, and collaborative with, the client or patient.
The tools and methods of CAT are particularly useful for mapping out an overview of how our personality and our formative experiences in life overlap with our social identities.
CAT therapists make relational maps with their clients and write letters to them as a way of shaping a time-limited therapy. The letter and the maps help draw out and link up various levels and lines of understanding. They help link the big picture to the small detail, the past to the present, the individual and the social, and the particular to the general. The letters help reach back to lost or forgotten emotions and memories that otherwise might feel too much or too fragmented to make sense.
We think talking, mapping and writing when combined with giving voice to our memories, feelings and threads of understanding can all help develop a more integrated view of ourselves in the world.
Much of our work in mental health and psychological education involves helping people (and ourselves) integrate multiple sources of identity and culture.
Just as the world has become more complex so our understanding of ourselves is more complex.
It is easier to get alongside this complexity with a map than without one.