“Resilience in the Face of Change”

Nicola Kimber-Rogal and Louise Yorke, 2016. “Resilience in the Face of Change”. Reformulation, Winter, p.34.


The Exeter conference was a pleasure to attend: in beautiful surroundings, we heard stimulating and progressive talks from innovative, CAT and non CAT-centred speakers who promoted reflection and facilitated dialogue in diversity, change, resilience and most importantly, hope and will. 

Definitions of resilience include “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”, “toughness”, “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape” and “elasticity”  - three concepts that pose quite a challenge, with ostensibly contradictory messages - whilst change remains quite simple: “to make or become different”.  

CAT’s notion of ‘Change for the Better’ is a central and underpinning notion which has traditionally been seen as changing or adapting our internal selves through interaction and dialogue with ourselves and others.  However, as this conference underlined, we are not only involved in changing ourselves whilst external factors remain stable, but we are always, and increasingly so nowadays, coping with and adapting to shifting and changeable external landscapes; for example,  socio-economic and political. In the early hours of the penultimate day of the conference, the outcome of the vote on  Brexit was announced.

So far as CAT theory and practice is concerned, we were presented with a plethora of developments on the fundamental CAT paradigm: these included the interlocution of music therapy, EMDR, neuroplasticity, metaphysical and spiritual forces, Jungian archetypes, tapping, mindfulness and psychoanalytic theories of narcissism, to name but a few.  The diversity of approaches promoted individual resilience, whilst the anxiety inherent to the inevitable and uncontrollable external political changes ran its course.  The resilience of CAT theory and its ability to amalgamate these theories and practices gave a freshness to the audience and generated adherence to CAT in the face of diverse theoretical and practical developments.  The possibility of toughness, elasticity and potency became non-contradictory and exciting goals, which CAT therapists could aspire to with hope and conviction whilst engaging in their own specialisms and client-groups. It was inspiring to see the well constructed conference programme unfold and to listen to the conversations of the grandees and the trainees in dialogue together.  In future, we hope to engage more CAT members to attend conferences and to encourage further the developments in CAT, to promote resilience and attain equality in opportunities for change and enrichment to a wider population.  

Full Reference

Nicola Kimber-Rogal and Louise Yorke, 2016. “Resilience in the Face of Change”. Reformulation, Winter, p.34.

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“Resilience in the Face of Change”
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