Letter from the Chair of ACAT

Potter, S., 2003. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Autumn, pp.33-34.


I am writing to keep you up to date with bits of news from ACAT council in what has proved to be yet another busy year for ACAT. Council usually meets five times a year and along with general business hears reports from the training committee, research committee, ethics panel, conference planning and events organizers, the newsletter and so forth. I shall be standing down as Chair in November and Council very much welcomes people to come forward and take a role in the continuing co ordination and development of the association. A great many members are active in ACAT in some way as trainers, supervisors or contributing to committees etc. As detailed below in describing important developments to the website we rely on being a network organization and there really is a need for lots of different contributions to promote and develop the work of ACAT. If you want to make a contribution or have ideas about what needs doing don't hesitate to contact council through the ACAT office.

There have been two successful ACAT inspired conferences this year. Firstly the annual conference in London in March attracted the largest turn out ever to an ACAT conference. Thanks to Jackie Baker, Shirley Akgun and Jonathan Lopez Real for a great job in organizing the conference. Details of next year's conference are below.

Our first International conference held in June in Finland was a highly significant and stimulating event for the 100 plus people who attended. About thirty of us went from the UK and there was representation from a surprising variety of countries including a strong representation from our hosts in Finland. Many thanks go to Mikael Leiman and the organizers at the Valamo Monestary for creating such 'dialogical' setting for the conference. It offered a chance to see the emerging variety in applications and understandings of CAT from afar through international eyes. The coherence of both the model and method seemed in good shape with its dialogical, procedural, humanistic and integrative voices managing to be both different and harmonic at the same time.

At the final plenary meeting there was a strong call to sustain and foster the international feel of CAT and ACAT. The next international conference will be in two or three years time and provisionally the CAT group in Dublin have come forward to offer to host it. In the interim ACAT Council have nominated Debby Pickvance, Annalee Curran and Eva Burns Lundgren from the UK to join with others internationally to encourage and promote international links for the development of CAT. If you have international links with people interested in CAT let the office know of their contact details. Suggestions included a two day introductory course in mainland Europe. We hope the improved version of our website as detailed below will contribute to developing international membership of ACAT and links with embryonic groups and associations in other countries.

Membership
Our current membership stands at 300 full members and 200 trainee members. There are ten Practitioner training courses around the UK and two in the Republic of Ireland. There is great scope for innovations and developments in training. It was impressive to hear in Finland of the dialogical counseling model of using CAT. In the UK there are developments in short intensive training for community mental health teams and the introductory training courses are as ever attracting interest whenever they are put on. ACAT has supported supervision and good links with the developing CAT group in Melbourne and following the first international conference we hope there will scope for international research collaboration and joint training through distance or distributed learning means.

ACATonline
Jon Sloper who has developed and maintained our current website is now developing a highly sophisticated virtual office called ACAT Online to replace this. This is an imaginative, ground breaking and It will allow much more immediate interaction for members. It will be ready for launch towards the end of this year and promises to make a great positive contribution to our ways of interacting with each other.

AGM
This year the AGM is on Saturday November 22nd from 10.30-1.00 at St Thomas' Hospital. It is an important meeting for ACAT when we have the opportunity receive reports upon the work of the year and the progress of the organization. It is a very important opportunity for the ACAT community to come together and discuss issues relating to the future direction of the Association. We very much hope to see you there. All ACAT members are welcome. Please make every effort to attend but voting members do note that if you cannot attend you can fill in a proxy voting form to empower someone who is attending to have your vote and to use their discretion to vote on your behalf.

Conference 2004
Next year's conference organizers are Jackie Baker and Miranda Buckley. The conference theme this year is diversity and difference in CAT theory and applications. The conference title is "Dialogue Internal and External: 'Voices' in CAT" The Conference will be on Friday 5th March 2004 9.45 am to 6 pm (including wine reception) and Saturday, 6th March 2004 10.00 am to 4.30 pm. Please put these dates in your diaries. Please see the attached invitation to offer to contribute a workshop. Conference booking details and programme will be circulated in November. ACAT will be going to a new venue for the conference as it will take place at the new British Library Conference Centre which is adjacent to the Library itself which is on Euston Road between Euston and Kings Cross Station in London.

Please let us have your ideas and suggestions and keep in touch through the ACAT office or through the Website at www.acat.org.uk

Warm regards on my own and council's behalf

Steve Potter

Chair of ACAT Council

Full Reference

Potter, S., 2003. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Autumn, pp.33-34.

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