LLoyd, J. Pollard, R., 2014. Editorial. Reformulation, Winter, pp.2-3.
This issue of Reformulation features articles on a wide range of topics. We are very pleased with the high standard of recent submissions both in terms of subject matter and the quality of writing that refl ect the diversity, creativity and social engagement of CAT theory and practice. We would also like to thank our reviewers and others who have advised or supported us in putting together this issue.
From its inception, CAT has been an outward looking model of therapy, inclusive rather than exclusive, recognizing the importance of engaging with the wider social and political landscape and the impact this has on our own subjectivity as well as those of the people we work with. Political developments over the last few months, nationally and internationally, have been complex and disturbing, from wars on several fronts in the Middle East, to a threatened renewal of the cold war over Ukraine, the collective international failure to tackle Ebola in West Africa, the deaths of thousands of refugees from confl ict zones in Africa and the Arab world en route to Europe, the lack of international resolve to address the issues of climate change and environmental degradation, whilst in the UK, the poorest people in our society are paying the price for the failures to maintain and support public services and protect workers from exploitative employment contracts. At a time of increasing prosperity, it is a scandal that thousands of people are dependant on food banks, unable to afford decent housing, or access mental health care through the NHS. Never has it felt more important for the CAT community to engage with the multiple crises that are affecting us all: An article by two respected members of ACAT exploring ways in which ACAT could engage with issues around political campaigning was withdrawn from this issues as the Board of Trustees believed that the opinions expressed could threaten ACAT’s need to avoid political campaigning beyond its narrow charitable objects and ultimately threaten its charitable status. The Trustees have agreed to write a column in the next issue of Reformulation exploring this issue. It is important that ACAT members are aware of constraints on ACAT’s activities and whether this affects the views that can be expressed in Reformulation since ACAT became a charity.
Lawrence Welch’s article on Reciprocal Roles in the NHS, based on his workshop at the 2014 Conference, addresses the
question of psychological survival for workers contending with oppressive and anti-dialogical management practices, when
their own jobs and livelihoods are under threat. It is particularly ironic and sad that Lawrence, a founder member of ACAT, a gifted trainer, supervisor and psychotherapist learnt that he too, like other experienced CAT therapists recently, is now being made redundant himself.
A more cheering development has been the passionate and exuberant democratic participation, on both sides, in the Scottish
independence referendum debate. CAT therapists, Dee Affl eck, Jamie Kirkland and Steve Potter seized the opportunity to explore the varied meanings of ‘homeland’ for people enjoying the Edinburgh festival whether from Scotland or elsewhere. Another contribution from Scotland is Maggie Gray’s original and vivid description of the use of pets in CAT inspired by her much loved dog, Matilda, in which she shows how interacting with a pet can allow for a more varied and nuanced understanding of reciprocal roles to emerge.
We have included two longer articles in this issue, which discuss aspects of CAT theory as it relates to practice. Caroline
Dower challenges the logocentric bias of psychotherapy by describing the importance of embodied communication and
its signifi cance as a mode of dialogical interaction. Drawing on her own clinical experience, she illustrates how our awareness of
our own embodied responses as well as those of our clients can enhance our clinical observations and interventions. Marianna Bobvos- Bekefi refl ects on how her prior training in philosophy infl uenced her understanding of CAT during a CAT skills course. From a hermeneutic perspective, she reconceptualises CAT practice as a process of philosophical enquiry in which an accumulation of multi -layered understandings co-created by client and therapist replaces therapist led investigation and diagnosis.
Marilyn Sher’s article focuses on the potential signifi cance of even the smallest interaction in therapy, particularly when it comes
to the ending of each session. A misunderstanding, moment of inattention or mistimed response cannot be explored or repaired
in the session and the resolution of any discomfort for client and therapist has to be postponed. Pamela Jameson describes how
Compassion Focused Therapy can complement CAT practice by helping therapists to recognize and work more effectively with
patients who are unable to accept compassion from others or feel it towards themselves. She argues that a psycho-educational
approach derived from CFT, alongside CAT interventions, could help to overcome some of the constraints of short-term
therapy in NHS settings. Simon Crowther’s useful article describes how reciprocal roles within forensic services may narrow to a focus on control so that the underlying function of problematic behaviours is missed. He looks at how we can use our CAT understanding, particularly when one of the key premises of therapy is lacking; a working therapeutic alliance.
We are looking forward to the next edition, on Sexual and Gender Diversity, which is part of our series focusing on special
topics. The closing date for submissions is 3rd March 2015. We do recommend that potential authors read through the Aims
& Scope of Reformulation.
Julie Lloyd & Rachel Pollard
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A New Concept of Understanding CAT and Hermeneutics
Bobvos-Bekefi, M., 2014. A New Concept of Understanding CAT and Hermeneutics. Reformulation, Winter, pp.22-32.
CAT and CFT - Complementary in the treatment of shame?
Jameson, P., 2014. CAT and CFT - Complementary in the treatment of shame?. Reformulation, Winter, pp.37-40.
Helping service users understand and manage the risk: Are we part of the problem?
Crowther, S., 2014. Helping service users understand and manage the risk: Are we part of the problem?. Reformulation, Winter, pp.41-44.
Words and Rituals: The significance of 'smaller' endings
Sher, M., 2014. Words and Rituals: The significance of 'smaller' endings. Reformulation, Winter, pp.33-36.
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