Letter from the Chair of ACAT

Hepple, J., 2014. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Summer, p.5.


As I write, March has begun and this is, according to the Met Office, the first month of spring. Having spent two weeks in a holiday cottage on a high blown ridge above the North Cornwall coast in January (including a lightning strike on the house!), I had wondered if the future of the human race was in becoming amphibious and evolving a ‘Gore-Tex’ outer-covering. Now, on the train to London, the water is gradually draining away and everything looks especially green and ready for warmth and growth. I am going to London as I have been invited (for the first time) to the IAPT SMI Training and Education Group and this perhaps marks the fact that CAT has finally gained a place at the table of recognised and respected therapies in the context of primary and secondary NHS care for people with personality disorder. This is good news and I will keep you informed.

The ACAT Training committee has been working on a new training strategy to take us forward over the next few years, and my thanks particularly to Anna Jellema and Dawn Bennett for their work on this. The proposals are out with you for consultation but the thrust is to make our trainings more accessible and flexible without sacrificing standards of supervision and training. This includes providing a model for a ‘Foundation year’ CAT training for High Intensity IAPT therapists as part of the IAPT SMI developments. Liz Fawkes (who is now the IAPT-lead on the ACAT Training Committee) and myself are Letter from the Chair of ACAT Jason Hepple seeking to pilot this new-style course later in the year in Somerset. I hope that other sites will come forward to take early advantage of what is a key development for CAT.

We have advertised for the replacement ACAT Projects and Liaison Officer post after consultation with the membership and hope to be interviewing applicants in the next few weeks. A key project for the new post-holder will be to work on our application for PSA Accreditation, which will allow both practitioners and psychotherapist members of ACAT the benefit of PSA accreditation.

I am also pleased to announce that ACAT has appointed an ambassador to help raise the profile of CAT. Rosie Cooper is an MP who sits on the Health Select Committee and is a former mayor of Liverpool. She is an eloquent advocate for CAT and the trustees had the pleasure of meeting her last autumn. She agreed to contribute to our annual conference in Liverpool in July, where I hope you will be able to meet her. The conference is being held at the appropriately named Hope University and the programme is looking very strong, based on the theme of culture and identity. I understand that Professor Colwyn Trevarthen has confirmed as a keynote speaker and I am sure that those of you who heard him speak in Dublin a decade ago will be pleased he is returning to a CAT conference. Please book as early as you can so that we don’t have to go through the usual anxiety of waiting for the late wave of bookings!

Finally, I would like to give huge thanks to Catherine McCarter who is retiring from the role of Chair of ACAT’s Ethics Panel in April this year. Catherine has given many, many hours of her time freely to ACAT over the last few years and has led on a revised complaints procedure and code of ethics that will be brought to the AGM of this year’s conference in July.

I look forward to seeing many of you again at the conference. I am hoping for long, warm nights sitting outside and talking with colleagues again, but I will bring an umbrella just in case.

Full Reference

Hepple, J., 2014. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Summer, p.5.

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