So What's Wrong With CAT?

Ryle, A., 1993. So What's Wrong With CAT?. Reformulation, ACAT News Winter, p.x.


So What's Wrong With CAT?

Tony Ryle

This, I gather, is the unanswerable question being raised at workshops. We cannot direct questioners to a file of critical reviews of CAT practice or theory, for most of such notice as we have been accorded has been friendly. This is likely to change as the influence of CAT spreads and as my more polemical pieces appear (e.g. my Critique of a Kleinian case history due in the 4th number (1992) of the British Journal of Medical Psychology). But meanwhile perhaps we should attend to the critical task ourselves.

I am the last person to do this objectively, but one of the better equipped. So here, hopefully to provoke some comments, is my list:

1. We have failed to establish a firm research base. O.K., we do more than most in this respect, but excuses do not clarify issues or convince others that C.A.T. works.

2. Service pressures and the paucity of other resources have meant that the limits of C.A.T. and the modifications required when applied to longer term, couples or group work have not been systematically studied. (Individual C.A.T. is still, in my view, a safe first intervention for anyone).

3. The different needs of C.A.T. trainees have been inadequately identified. Judging from the taped therapy audit, this is reflected in very uneven skills in practice. Any suggestions?

4. The number of people involved in the development of C.A.T. theory can be counted on the fingers of the hand of a careless chainsaw operator. Many practitioners came to C.A.T. with strong practical and theoretical backgrounds of their own. We need to hear from more critics, doubters, inventors, and introduce some debate.

Tony Ryle

Full Reference

Ryle, A., 1993. So What's Wrong With CAT?. Reformulation, ACAT News Winter, p.x.

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