Integrated Coping Awareness Therapy (I-CAT)

Integrated Coping Awareness Therapy (ICAT)

Integrated Coping Awareness Therapy (I-CAT) was originally developed by MNCAMH Director, Piper Meyer-Kalos, PhD, LP, David Penn, PhD and Diana O. Perkins, MD, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to aid recovery for people who had experienced their first episode of psychosis. Often psychotic symptoms will dissipate with time after an initial episode, but patients are left vulnerable to future difficulties including relapse and decreased social and vocational functioning. I-CAT targets heightened stress reactivity with mindfulness strategies and coping skills informed by positive psychology. Together, these skills are aimed at helping patients handle day-to-day stress more effectively and engage in meaningful, positive experiences to build a sense of meaning and purpose in life. In collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry, MNCAMH and its research team are piloting I-CAT with 6-8 individuals in the Twin Cities. We hope to contribute to evidence in support of a novel intervention meant to intervene in a potentially devastating trajectory of more severe psychotic disorders including schizophrenia.