The Launch of a new Special Interest Group

Jenaway, Dr A., Sachar, A. and Mangwana, S., 2011. The Launch of a new Special Interest Group. Reformulation, Winter, p.57.


CAT is increasingly being used by those who provide psychological services to the physically ill.  It provides an alternative to CBT as an individual therapy, or a possible overarching framework, and also offers a way of helping medical teams to reflect on their interactions with difficult patients through contextual reformulation.  A group of us who have been using CAT in general hospital settings decided to get together and organise a day of workshops to share some ideas and discuss the possibility of a special interest group.  The day took place on Monday 7th November in Hammersmith and 37 people attended, in fact we had to turn some people away because the room could not hold any more.  We tried to make the advert appealing both to those who regularly use CAT, and also to those who work in healthcare settings but were pretty new to CAT, so it was quite a challenge to make the presentations accessible for both those groups.

We kicked off with Steve Potter and Sonia Mangwana demonstrating “speed supervision” as a way of empowering both those that were new to CAT and those with experience to dive in at the deep end and start mapping moments of their interactions with patients.  This got the room buzzing and that seemed to continue for the rest of the day, with people excited to be meeting up with others doing similar kinds of work.  It can be quite lonely if you are the only one using CAT in a team or whole hospital!  Next Alison Jenaway talked about using CAT with medically unexplained symptoms (see an article based on her talk in this issue).  After lunch Amrit Sachar talked about using contextual reformulation in her role as Liaison psychiatrist at Charing Cross and Meherzin Das talked about her work using CAT with patients at the Dorset Pain Clinic who present with fibromyalgia.  Lastly Sonia Mangwana described the work she has done at Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, teaching relational skills to key nursing and allied staff who often have to support very distressed patients and families with little or no psychological training.

The day ended with a general discussion of how to take things forward and an agreement to form a new special interest group.  There was great enthusiasm for promoting this way of working and using other networks to try and spread the word.  Amrit Sachar has already started this by speaking to the Trainees and New Consultants in Liaison Psychiatry Group at their recent meeting in Exeter.  Iñigo Tolosa has agreed to help organise another similar day in about six months time so, if you are interested, do keep an eye on the website.  In addition, if you would like to be part of the special interest group then do email Alison Jenaway who is keeping the circulation list at the moment.

Alison Jenaway
Amrit Sachar
Sonia Mangwana

Full Reference

Jenaway, Dr A., Sachar, A. and Mangwana, S., 2011. The Launch of a new Special Interest Group. Reformulation, Winter, p.57.

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