Letter from the Editors

Kimber-Rogal, N., Yorke, L., 2015. Letter from the Editors. Reformulation, Winter, p.4.


As we write this editorial for the Winter 2015 edition of Reformulation, as the seasons mix and meld from Summer to Autumn, there is a sense of the inexorable and powerful dialogical nature of change: as new editors, we are part of natural processes of change. We aim to embrace progress and build upon the strong foundations laid by the most recent editors, Julie Lloyd and Rachel Pollard and the editors before them. Change has been a theme in our CAT journey in recent times. Developments in CAT were reflected on at the ACAT Conference in Liverpool in 2014 “Celebrating 30 years of CAT” and voiced at the ACAT Conference at Birkbeck College, University of London in 2015. The latter considered how CAT is used in health settings and also reflected on the ‘health of the CAT model’ for use in modern health care settings. At these fora CAT has continued to make use of the observing eye and of its own reformulation, recognition and revision process to inform progression and diversity in modes of therapy and training. Examples of these developments include the introduction of a one-year pilot CAT training for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme and potential for CAT to become an embedded element in the training of clinical psychologists by extending the number and repertoire of CAT supervisors and researchers in clinical and university settings. The call for expressions of interest in this process was circulated from ACAT by e-mail during the summer. Further information about these and other opportunities and developments for CAT on the national and international stage is described in Jason Hepple’s Letter from the Chair.

The articles published in this edition of Reformulation echo themes of the papers presented at the 2015 CAT Conference at Birkbeck, including those of physical health, working with clients with complex presentations and ways that the CAT model can be adapted and extended, leading to new and more effective ways of working. We hope that you enjoy these articles: topics include reflections from authors and clients on CAT in Bariatric Services, (Laura Hill); using CAT in multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and in 1:1 contexts in a Forensic setting (Lauren Moon); developments in and demonstrations of how to run CAT in Groups (Scott Bowdrey and Jason Hepple; John Mulhall) and; audit predicting dropout (Kerrie Channer and Alison Jenaway). In this Winter 2015 edition, there is also the first of a series of papers from Nick Barnes who reflects upon his journey from CAT trainee to practitioner and on how his work using CAT in Outreach and CAMHS settings has led to a model of micro-teaching of CAT to non- CAT practitioners. By this means the reach of the clinical and cultural CAT message has been extended. Nick’s paper therefore signposts, as do other articles in this edition, diversity, strength and developments in CAT; how CAT can be a powerful method of therapeutic change for individuals and groups and shows how flexible the model can be, so that it can evolve to meet the ever challenging criteria of healthcare settings, while retaining theoretical integrity and allowing clinical creativity. The question that is now being asked of ACAT, commissioners, therapist and client appears to mirror the question at the Summer Conference this year: ‘Is CAT fit? Is it helpful, hopeful and meaningful and if not, what improvements and developments can be made?’

There are many articles in this edition and this means that some regular features, such as the 16+ article, are missing but will return in future editions. Thanks go to the authors who have provided papers for this edition. When talking about the editor role, Jason put it succinctly: “you only have to edit the articles; you don’t have to write them”. This aphorism is of course true. Our work as editors is only possible when you send us articles. We continue to thank those authors who take the time and energy to be in dialogue with the CAT community about the inspiring work that they do. To encourage more of the same from all of the ACAT membership we recently made a call for papers. That call is printed in this edition and is also available on the ACAT website. The next submission date is 7th March 2016 We look forward to receiving your contribution.

The importance of every contributor to Reformulation, to ACAT and the clients we work with is not underestimated. The philosopher Bakhtin, whose dialogical thinking informs the CAT model, insisted upon the uniqueness and irreplaceable nature of each person. Bakhtin described this uniqueness as a ‘given’ (we are unique by the very nature of being), but also as a quality that has to be actualised by each of us through our life. He also described how we make sense of the events in our lives by assigning them meaning. However, because meaning is (subjectively) made, a person also cannot be fully revealed to or known in the world, because in CAT terms - of the inherent ‘unfinalisablity’ of the dialogical task. The meaning of those words resonate in this edition of Reformulation in the Tribute written by Jeanette McLoughlin and Bill Bell to Inigo Toloso, a man who was loving, creative, courageous and inspirational to his family, friends and clients, who died suddenly earlier this year. For those who knew him, connections were made and are maintained with Inigo; for others of us we live with and remember similar relationships of joy and sadness with family, friends and colleagues.

This is the Winter edition of Reformulation, however, now, in this context of loss and mourning, should the team at Reformulation send you good wishes for the festive season and wish you a happy, healthy and productive New Year? The answer is yes; both the theoretical and human context in which we work and Inigo’s motto, ‘Carpe Diem,’ suggests that there is nothing else that we can do. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you dear friends: take forward in to 2016 these themes of connection and continuation amid times of constant change, themes that are echoed in some of the verses quoted here from Auden’s poem As I Walked Out One Evening:

As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
‘Love has no ending.
It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.

Full Reference

Kimber-Rogal, N., Yorke, L., 2015. Letter from the Editors. Reformulation, Winter, p.4.

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Reaching Out – A Journey Within and Alongside CAT
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