CAT and the Media

McCormick, L., 2008. CAT and the Media. Reformulation, Winter, p.6.

Since the launch of the third edition of Change for the Better in January 2008, several colleagues have approached me to pursue some ideas for presenting CAT in a ‘user-friendly’ way to the public via the media.

At a recent supervisor and trainers meeting (September 26/27) I presented some of the ideas from discussions I have had during this year with different people working in radio and media.

My original proposal was for four, forty minute programmes introducing CAT, with the first half explaining concepts such as trap, dilemma, snag and unstable states, reciprocal roles, and giving examples; and the second half as a phone in. The programme would have to be flagged up in advance indicating that those who were interested could download the psychotherapy file from the ACAT website and begin their own self monitoring.

Website Enhancements

But what has emerged from my discussions is the suggestion of a first step of developing the ACAT website to have a more ‘user friendly’ approach for the general public. Then, the website could be a resource to be referred to by any future media interest.
There are already excellent sections on ‘what’s it like…’ but we could develop this more and give examples, and we could extend this section particularly for the general public with leads from servers to titles such as ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’.  This would be developing more ideas for the ‘market’ outside therapists and training. I have had a very good discussion with Jon Sloper on this subject and how it might be managed and structured, and I presented some ideas to the meeting in September. 

The following was agreed:
I am working on writing a draft for some new sections for the general public such as :

Question and Answer: 
e.g. “I feel anxious all the time how can CAT help?”
Can CAT work with agoraphobia?

ACAT may be seeking charitable status at some point and part of this will involve offering a service to the public. Developing ways to offer this service and of bringing CAT more into public view (most people have heard of CBT) is what seems important for future development.

Press Officer for CAT?

The discussions also raised the issue of CAT needing a press officer so that when there are news events involving mental health or requiring a comment on things like ‘stress’ or ‘redundancy and depression’ (George Osborne said last week that the recession would create more mental illness!!) we have someone ready to offer a ‘sound bite’ bringing in CAT’s approach!

Special Interest Group

There is now a small special interest group for ‘CAT and the media’: Sally Anne Ennis, Annalee Curran, Irene Elia, Jason Hepple, Liz McCormick, and Annie Nehmad.

But if anyone has any bright ideas for the website, for ways in which CAT could be offered to the public or any media contacts please contact me.

Liz McCormick

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Full Reference

McCormick, L., 2008. CAT and the Media. Reformulation, Winter, p.6.

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