Letter from the Chair of ACAT

Hepple, J, 2014. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Winter, pp.4-5.

I am delighted to be able to address you again following my re-election as Chair of ACAT for a second and fi nal three year
term. It is a privilege to be able to see some of the projects we are involved in through, hopefully, to completion. I am delighted to announce that Penny Waheed is now the ACAT Projects and Liaison Offi cer and we have a number of projects on the ‘priority’ list, notably: The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) application to get ACAT onto their voluntary register, revitalising ACAT’s CPD programme and continuing our marketing strategy at a national level to involve private insurers and government bodies and agencies like NICE and IAPT.

The Board of Trustees has also seen some changes, with Virginia West standing down after so many years of excellent service to ACAT and also the very sad news of the death of another ACAT trustee, Norma Maple. Philippa Gardner has kindly prepared an obituary for Norma that is printed in this issue of Reformulation. Norma will be greatly and sadly missed by myself and many of you, I know.

It is good to be writing to you at the end of a fabulous summer;
Letter from the Chair of ACAT Jason Hepple such a contrast to the fl oods and storms of six months ago. We were lucky to have great weather for the conference at Hope University in Liverpool in July and were pleased to introduce our new ACAT ambassador, Rosie Cooper MP, to you.

The conference was a great success and a real celebration of CAT at 30. It opened with a performance by the Mossely Hill
Writing Project who gave readings and a narrative history relating to the First World War which was very moving and focussed on the human experience of the war and the oral history relating to it. Many thanks to all those involved in the project and thanks also to Ruth, Uma and Karen for organising the programme and entertainment so carefully and to Maria and Sue for their usual effi ciency and fl air! The atmosphere of the conference seemed more forward looking and optimistic compared to the previous one in the snowy countryside at Wakefield Park.

Numbers at the conference were a bit down on previous peaks but that may refl ect the economic situation both for those in private practice and those in the public sector. I hope more of you will be able to come to our next conference which will be a two day event in early summer in London.

I was recently asked to respond to NICE, on behalf of ACAT, about the scope of the existing guidelines for personality disorder, notably BPD and Anti-social PD. On thinking about how to respond I realised the CAT may be one of the few therapies left in the NHS that gives clients an opportunity to really tell their story and to have it listened to and refl ected upon. This seems particularly pertinent in light of the large numbers of survivors of historic sexual abuse that are coming forward following a number of high-profi le cases that you will have heard about. A survivor was on Radio 4 talking about the need to have the narrative of the abuse witnessed and taken seriously as in many cases it has been buried or ‘forgotten’ for many
years. This was followed by an announcement that £40 million had been made available via the Home Offi ce to support survivors of historic abuse and I have asked Rosie Cooper about this and she has written to the Home Secretary. CAT does seem well positioned to deliver acceptable and evidence based therapy for this group of clients. I will keep you informed of developments.

There is excellent progress on the issue of the grand-parenting of ACAT supervisors onto the UKCP register of supervisors. We have now reached a fi nal agreement with HIPC that will allow all ACAT psychotherapist supervisors to be grand-parented as Recognised Training Supervisors to the central UKCP register and for ACAT practitioner supervisors to be recognised as training supervisors for ACAT training via a list held by HIPC. By the time this is going to press, I hope to have written to you with more details about the export of our supervisor registers to HIPC and UKCP.

Another date for 2015 is the ICATA conference which is now set for Patras in Greece between 25th and 27th of September. I understand that the hotel has a wonderful beach location and I hope that a good UK contingent will go out to support the Greek group who have been great supporters of ICATA and ACAT conferences in the past. ACAT will look at the possibility of making group travel arrangements from the UK to make it easier for members to travel together. At the last ICATA conference in Malaga there were more Finns than UK delegates so we have national pride at stake!

Finally, to celebrate CAT’s 30th birthday, the Honorary President and Board of Trustees of ACAT awarded Life Membership of ACAT to the following for their service to ACAT: Hilary Beard, Annalee Curran, Mary Dunn, Jason Hepple, Liz McCormick, Steve Potter, Virginia West and Mark Westacott. It is a great honour to be included in this list and my personal thanks to the new Life Members for making ACAT the successful organisation it is today. I look forward to CAT’s position being strengthened over the next three years so that we can go on doing our best for the clients who come to use for help, using this extraordinary model devised by Tony Ryle.

Jason Hepple
Chair of ACAT

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Full Reference

Hepple, J, 2014. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Winter, pp.4-5.

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