CAT in Scotland: SCOTCAT

Ramm, M., 2000. CAT in Scotland: SCOTCAT. Reformulation, ACAT News Spring, p.x.


In 1991 Sue Llewelyn took the ‘high road’ from the south of England to Edinburgh. This was a fateful journey as, having being involved in what is now referred to as "the early days of CAT", she was preoccupied with new ideas. Instead of resigning herself to being isolated from the southern CAT melting pot, however, she began to spread the word north of the border. She was, if you will excuse the pun, a "Catalyst".

Having found another "CAT person" in Maggie Gray, these two were joined by Paul Myatt, James Mackie, Jan Hernman and Tom Murphy to establish the first multidisciplinary supervision group. Interest spread as Cherry Boa and Sue Clarke came north to give presentations, and a few keen souls began to make regular trips to the south for introductory CAT workshops and the new ‘Annual Conferences’. I recall the excitement of attending these conferences where the delegates all seemed to know each other, and appeared to be literally making new CAT developments as they spoke during the coffee breaks.

Myself and Allison Shanks (Ridley) continued these discussions as we travelled for two years to attend the CAT North Practitioner training. (5hrs down to Sheffield and 5hrs back again on good weekend !). Although inspired, and given great support by the course organisers, you can imagine how we mixed CAT terminology with four letter expletives to cope with the traffic jams. Fortunately, this background training and Maggie Gray’s accreditation as a CAT supervisor, meant that when the "unthinkable" happened and Sue Llewelyn decided to take a new job in Oxford, there was enough CAT in place to continue with Scottish Independence.

In November 1997, an invitation to all those in Scotland who were interested in developing CAT, resulted in only a tiny meeting. However, over the last two years, there seems to have been a growing wish to explore CAT as a clinical approach. This development has been demonstrated by an expansion of supervision groups, demand for CAT presentations, and ongoing introductory teaching on Clinical Psychology courses. In this newsletter, Charlotte Nevison writes about her current CAT research, which points to another move forward. Recently in December 1999, a one-day CAT training event in Livingston was attended by 70 people from across Scotland. How fitting it seemed that Sue Llewelyn should have returned to present on ‘The use of CAT in working with survivors of CSA" at this gathering of the CAT clans.

The current groundswell of interest in CAT in Scotland means that a local "critical mass" is developing. However, instead of moving towards isolationism, it seems that there is a desire to continue forming and keeping close links with CAT colleagues elsewhere. The geographical distance continues to present a slight problem since the reality of attending a CAT meeting or training event in England can be a full day’s travel. (How good it is, to see that Dee Affleck has nobly chosen to start making those long journeys south to attend her own CAT training.) Perhaps this is a situation where the Internet will really start to come into it’s own? Alternatively, Government promises of improvement to the transport system, more air travel, and the expectation that a major CAT event will now occur in Scotland every year, may mean an increasing number of people will wish follow in Sue Llewelyn’s footsteps northwards,….at least annually.

To find out more about CAT in Scotland or to make links please contact me by email below.

Mark Ramm

Full Reference

Ramm, M., 2000. CAT in Scotland: SCOTCAT. Reformulation, ACAT News Spring, p.x.

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