Letter from the Chair of ACAT

Jason Hepple, 2013. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Summer, p.5.


Welcome to the spring edition of Reformulation. It is lovely to see the spring arrive – even if a little late – and I hope that, in this brief letter, I can tell you about some of the things that have been happening that may indicate that spring has fi nally started for CAT too after another sort of lengthy winter. It is a tribute to the people who believe in, practise, supervise and teach CAT that there is so much potential for growth now that conditions are beginning to improve.

ACAT’s trainings have largely survived the winter and are as numerous as ever. We were disappointed to hear that Sheffi eld Hallam University have decided not to renew the External Validation Agreement with ACAT for a further six years but we have reached a satisfactory agreement with SHU to ensure that existing students will be seen through with the dual ACAT and SHU accreditation. In terms of the future, I feel very positive that we can fi nd an alternative university provider and that this change may be an opportunity to link to a university where CAT is more embedded in its existing trainings and research portfolio. Representatives from the Training Committee are to spend a day meeting with an alternative provider at the end of May, so I hope we will have some positive news for you by the Training Committee in June.

CAT’s research profi le had possibly its best week in history when Sue Clarke’s ‘Dorset’ RCT was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in February (202(2), 129-134) accompanied by a very positive editorial by Roger Mulder and Andrew Chanen in the same edition. The edition is full of quotable quotes as the CAT research also gets a mention in the highlights section at the beginning and in Peter Tyrer’s editorial at the end. You may like to look through it yourself as it could really help with your discussions with commissioners and managers. To give you two quotes only: ‘Many of those receiving treatment as usual were noted by the authors to have shown signs of deterioration during the trial period, while deterioration was not seen in any of the individuals randomised to receive CAT .’ (p.A7), and: ‘In this issue we have many reminders of the importance of humanised skilled psychotherapy… by not confi ning their study to those with borderline personality disorder and by ensuring that all their therapists reached minimum levels of competence, they were setting a benchmark for the training of others.’ (p.162).

Another exciting development is that ACAT has been approached by IAPT nationally to come up with a modifi ed version of its trainings suitable for use in IAPT SMI PD (that is Serious Mental Illness – Personality Disorder). The competencies for CAT in IAPT have been published by IAPT and I was very pleased to see the name Bakhtin near the top of the fi rst page! They are comprehensive and relational and I hope that a working group that we have just set up to look at this will have something to report to the Training Committee on 7th June also. Many thanks to those who did such important behind the scenes work on establishing CAT in IAPT SMI.

We hope to have completed our application to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA: www. professionalstandards.org.uk) by the end of the calendar year which may give our practitioners and psychotherapists the opportunity for independent recognition beyond the UKCP. Finally, CAT practitioner training has been recognised by The Centre for Workforce Intelligence (www.cfwi. org.uk) as within its defi nition of a psychological therapist, which again allows practitioners some external validation beyond that provided by ACAT alone.

So, I hope all this will leave you feeling upbeat and energised to carry on ‘Talking about CAT’, leading by positive example and taking these new opportunities to grow in the sun.

Finally, it is with sadness that we marked Maddy Jevon’s retirement from the role of ACAT Liaison Offi cer in April this year. My personal thanks to her for the excellent work she has contributed over the years and I wish her a long and creative retirement.

Maybe catch up with some of you at the ICATA conference in Malaga in October. Have a good summer

Full Reference

Jason Hepple, 2013. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Summer, p.5.

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