Letter from the Editors

Rob Lam and Nick Barnes, 2019. Letter from the Editors. Reformulation, Winter, p.3.


Embarking upon writing our first editorial, we remain respectfully awed by the history, heritage and pedigree of writing that has become Reformulation. It seems impossible to avoid feeling rather overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility undertaken, and a struggle not to be in awe of those who have held this editorial position in the past, whilst, being unsure whether what we offer will ever feel “good enough”.

Feeling daunting by demands to pull together our first edition of Reformulation – and perhaps, more importantly, noting how much we need to learn, in a such a relatively short period of time - we acknowledge a possible dilemma that may be present for anyone considering the offer of writing for reformulation?

Thinking about themes for this issue, we’ve been conscious of seeking a balance between wanting to explore a new direction, and lay down some markers as new editors, whilst as the same time be realistic that we need to learn our craft, and understand what the readership are seeking when they open their copies of Reformulation. Perhaps we have started with finding our own “Middle Ground”.

We’re fresh from celebrating this year’s ACAT Annual conference (see review below) and AGM, which included feedback from the CAT membership survey, tipping its hat in appreciation for Reformulation. The survey results hopes for our journal to remain in dialogue with its readership; to speak of live issues and developments of practice within the CAT community, whilst keeping open our welcoming space of curiosity and warmth for those friends of ours outside of CAT theory and practice.

This issue celebrates an exploration of psychotherapy training and secondly, some reflections on Innovations in Writing.

We make no apologies for drawing members’ attention to IRRAPT training (apologies for the CAT acronyms – Ed.) programme and highlighting the surprising impact this training can have on the individual, within peer groups, and beyond. This kind of peer research articulates opportunities for robust evaluation and building of evidence within our practice that might be replicated across the wider CAT community.

Coming as no surprise to regular readers, writing becomes positioned at the core of this issue; writing from the consideration of what’s stored, and how we story it, to the innovative ways of writing and relating CAT with literature as we acknowledge the work of award winning novelist, Ali Smith, and her contribution to ICATA 2019.

Beyond training and writing this issue also draws on CAT’s recognition of the need for integration and applying integrative approaches. At one stage we are invited to revisit the dialogue with mentalisation, whilst in “The House of Self States” article, Vicky Petratou outlines a creative integrative and containing mapping technique and its application across therapies. And exploring further afield, an international context brings difference. Writings on intergenerational trauma in Cambodia represents another first for CAT.

Our community is a generous one, yet also affected by wider political and environmental upheaval. We see these moments as open opportunities for us to strive urgently for shared thinking through mutual respect of difference, and then the desire to find and connect with a negotiating voice wherever we are at.

Against this background, we’re keen to build on the great heritage of our respected previous editors of Reformulation (thank you –all of you who are out there!). We’re open to you the reader in this dialogue: share your ideas and directions. We’re open to listening – we are open to hearing of the challenges new authors have. Above all - tell us what you’d like for Reformulation. Ideas that we aspire to bring on board include a ‘peer review’ culture for some articles.

This is a collaborative journal, and a highly valued one for our community. But most importantly, our task is to be in dialogue – as Ali Smith said, “after all – it’s being in dialogue that makes us human”

Rob Lam and Nick Barnes

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Full Reference

Rob Lam and Nick Barnes, 2019. Letter from the Editors. Reformulation, Winter, p.3.

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