The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview

Hepple, J., 2011. The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.55.


Jason Hepple puts the questions to the most recent past-chair of ACAT, Mark Westacott.

Mark says: I hail from the beaches of the Gower peninsular where I was born and raised. Water is still a passion for me as is psychology and psychotherapy. My career has taken me on many journeys and to many locations and I have now settled with my partner and our two Labradors on an ancient windmill site in the Cambridgeshire countryside.

  1. Welcome to the interview - how are you doing? It’s a beautiful sunny morning, so very well
  2. In another life I would have been a… ? Freud, Jung or Pavlov? It would have to be Jung. All that stuff about how his career was decided when the kitchen table suddenly split in two (a message from beyond that he should jettison a career in surgery) just gets your spine tingling.
  3. Desert island luxury? It would have to be my iphone (with Solariphone solar charger of course). I’d like to be able to say something like “the complete works of Tolstoy” or “Wagner’s Ring cycle” but I’ve got an iphone and I’m addicted; it’s hopeless.
  4. Bach, Mahler or Radiohead? It’s the spine thing again, so it’s got to be Mahler. I like Bach but there’s not enough passion, not really. Mahler runs the whole gamut of human emotions and more. It’s transcendental stuff. The dogs prefer Radiohead though, always wagging their tails to it. Mahler sends them running.
  5. Greatest hero / heroine? I think it would be Tolstoy. In many ways he paid a huge personal price for sticking to his own values and beliefs and in so doing won the admiration of a whole nation. He also attempted the ultimate integration – of all the world’s spiritual belief systems.
  6. Cat, dog or Nintendo? Woof woof
  7. Dream meal? There’s a little place I know in Wales called Fairy Hill that does a mean Lava Bread on toast.
  8. Who are you in the ‘CAT Village’? I feel like I’m in transition and that my identity is shifting; from Chair to Previous-Chair / Trustee. It’s like a move from the hussle and bussle of the town centre to a rather tranquil and attractive square where I can sit chatting and watch the world pass by.
  9. Why did you become a psychotherapist? Did you see those old Hitchock movies? Just the atmosphere of them; the crazy psychopath, the smooth and suave analyst, the long psychotic dream sequences and always the build up to the final denoument got me hooked.
  10. Who has been the biggest influence on the way you work? It would have to be Chess Denman. A supervision session with her is very much like a Hitchcock movie.
  11. Recommended reading? War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Tells you everything you need to know about being human. Also the novels of Richard Yates – tells you everything you need to avoid.
  12. What do you hope to achieve with clients? Greater richness and equanimity in life and more internal spaciousness.
  13. How do you try to achieve this? I think you have to be prepared to jump in the river with people and swim hard until you are both out. I’ve certainly noticed that when a therapy is successful something in me changes as well as in the client. I guess it’s the dialogue - the intersubjective space that shifts.
  14. What is your number one CAT concept? It has to be the reciprocal role. Once people grasp this then so much more opens up for them. It’s like someone opening the net curtains for the first time in window; everything becomes so much clearer.
  15. What do you see as a challenge for CAT in the future? There is a Darwinian landscape out there at the moment in the psychotherapy field. Therapies are defining and branding themselves. CBT particularly is integrating more and more into itself (imagery work, compassion, mindfulness, relating). CAT has a unique and very powerful model and we have to promote this. To do so means we have to be clearer about what we do in therapy. The brand has to be easily identifiable and distinguishable from other approaches.

Follow/Up: What question do you wish we had asked? You could have asked me about the single, most important event that completely changed the direction of my life as a therapist. Maybe next time 

Thank you and Goodbye!

Full Reference

Hepple, J., 2011. The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.55.

Search the Library

Related Articles

The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview
Yabsley, S., 2011. The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview. Reformulation, Winter, p.67.

The 16 + 1 interview
Wilde McCormick, L., 2012. The 16 + 1 interview. Reformulation, Winter, p.44.

The Reformulation ‘16 Plus One’ Interview
Hepple, J., Lloyd, J., 2010. The Reformulation ‘16 Plus One’ Interview. Reformulation, Winter, pp.46-47.

The 16 + 1 interview
Professor Mikael Leiman, 2013. The 16 + 1 interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.51.

The 16 + 1 interview
Petratou, V., 2012. The 16 + 1 interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.43.

Other Articles in the Same Issue

Aim and Scope of Reformulation
Hepple, J., Lloyd, J., Shea, C., 2011. Aim and Scope of Reformulation. Reformulation, Summer, p.56.

An audit of Goodbye Letters written by clients in Cognitive Analytic Therapy
McCombie, C., Petit, A., 2011. An audit of Goodbye Letters written by clients in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Reformulation, Summer, pp.42-45.

Book Review: Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Revolutions in Subjectivity
Pollard, R., 2011. Book Review: Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Revolutions in Subjectivity. Reformulation, Summer, pp.23-28.

Book Review: The Mindfulness Manifesto
Wilde McCormick, E., 2011. Book Review: The Mindfulness Manifesto. Reformulation, Summer, p.28.

CAT, Metaphor and Pictures: An exploration of the views of CAT therapists into the use of metaphor and pictorial metaphor
Turner, J., 2011. CAT, Metaphor and Pictures: An exploration of the views of CAT therapists into the use of metaphor and pictorial metaphor. Reformulation, Summer, pp.37-41.

Dear Reformulation
Hughes, R., 2011. Dear Reformulation. Reformulation, Summer, p.22.

Flowers by the Window: Imagining Moments in a Culturally and Politically Reflective CAT
Brown, R., 2011. Flowers by the Window: Imagining Moments in a Culturally and Politically Reflective CAT. Reformulation, Summer, pp.6-8.

Is CAT in danger of being squeezed out of the NHS?
Waft, Y., 2011. Is CAT in danger of being squeezed out of the NHS?. Reformulation, Summer, pp.18-21.

Is three a crowd or not? Working with Interpreters in CAT
Emilion, J., 2011. Is three a crowd or not? Working with Interpreters in CAT. Reformulation, Summer, p.9.

Letter from the Chair of ACAT
Hepple, J., 2011. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Summer, pp.4-5.

Letter from the Editors
Hepple, J., Lloyd, J. and Shea, C., 2011. Letter from the Editors. Reformulation, Summer, p.3.

Memoirs, Myths and Movies: Using Books & Film in Cognitive Analytic Therapy
Jefferis, S., 2011. Memoirs, Myths and Movies: Using Books & Film in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Reformulation, Summer, pp.29-33.

Six-Part Storymaking – a tool for CAT practitioners
Dent-Brown, K., 2011. Six-Part Storymaking – a tool for CAT practitioners. Reformulation, Summer, pp.34-36.

The Effectiveness of Standard Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) with people with mild and moderate acquired brain injury (ABI): an outcome evaluation.
Rice-Varian, C., 2011. The Effectiveness of Standard Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) with people with mild and moderate acquired brain injury (ABI): an outcome evaluation.. Reformulation, Summer, pp.49-54.

The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview
Hepple, J., 2011. The Reformulation '16 plus one' Interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.55.

Using a template to draw diagrams in Cognitive Analytic Therapy
Jenaway, Dr. A. and Rattigan, N., 2011. Using a template to draw diagrams in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Reformulation, Summer, pp.46-48.

What are the most dominant Reciprocal Roles in our society?
Ahmadi, J., 2011. What are the most dominant Reciprocal Roles in our society?. Reformulation, Summer, pp.13-17.

Please help us by completing our NEW visitor survey... it will only take 5 minutes. Thanks!