Some reflections on the Malaga International CAT Conference "Mental health in a changing world"

Maria-Anne Bernard-Arbuz, 2013. Some reflections on the Malaga International CAT Conference "Mental health in a changing world". Reformulation, Winter, p.50.


Some of the speakers struck me by the way they were talking about "how they were seeing, using, the model and thereby changing it". Personally, I chose CAT in order to move away from a psychoanalytic experience. I wanted something more precise, with more of a dialogue, bringing in how we stand in relationships. But I also wanted to find a model that takes into account a person's history and life events, a model that uses tools to make sense of these events. I found all this in CAT with the 3 ‘Rs’ -reformulation, recognition and repetition with the help of diagrams and revision. I can see the power of this model for the patients I am working with.

All of a sudden, listening to speakers who were suggesting a 4th ‘R’ in the model, naming it "reception" or others who were implying that we "might forget theory" and work without certain tools made me confused - the picture became blurred. I felt worried and I started to think about CAT and what it represents for me. I discussed these questions with some colleagues at the conference. We exchanged our views on "what is CAT and what is it not" until we came to the conclusion that " CAT is a specific integration of different theories that form a coherent model” - If we call it CAT, it has to be CAT as, for example, defined by Ryle and Kerr (2002).

Full Reference

Maria-Anne Bernard-Arbuz, 2013. Some reflections on the Malaga International CAT Conference "Mental health in a changing world". Reformulation, Winter, p.50.

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