Compared to the UK and parts of Europe, CAT in New Zealand is in it’s infancy. However, it has a strong and growing foundation of practitioners and supervisors passionate about the model.
History of CAT in New Zealand
CAT developments in New Zealand began when Marisol Cavieres a CAT practitioner and supervisor from the United Kingdom moved to New Zealand in early 2005. In conjunction with another Auckland based CAT practitioner, Allyson Waite, they ran a series of introductory CAT workshops around New Zealand (Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington) between 2005 and 2008. In addition they provided intensive 3 day workshops to inpatient mental health staff teams for Marlborough District Health Board (South Island) and Bay of Plenty District Health Board (North Island). They also ran pre-conference and in-conference CAT workshops at national conferences in New Zealand in 2005 (New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists conference) and 2006 (National Borderline Disorder Conference).
The interest in CAT began to spread to other specialties and in April 2008, Marisol provided consultation, and training to primary care managers and GP’s using a CAT approach to formulation, to assist with their decision making process for patients seeking help. She also taught introductory level CAT to clinical psychology trainees, and counselling psychology trainees at all three Auckland Universities. Marisol continued to provide introductory and advanced workshops in CAT across New Zealand until February 2011 when she returned to live in England.
As a result of the CAT workshops, interest in developing further CAT training in New Zealand continued to grow and several clinicians have continued to develop their clinical skills in CAT through ongoing CAT supervision. “CAT tourism” has also hit New Zealand shores, with Steve Potter introducing his Versatile Therapist workshop in Auckland, in December 2006, and Therapeutic Moments workshop in 2008. In 2010 he provided teaching and mini CAT therapies to the new intake of trainees.
NZ and Australian CAT’s have formed a joint “national” association ANZACAT (Australia and New Zealand Association of CAT) and this body is responsible for supporting the development of CAT in both countries. December 2010 saw the launch of the first NZ CAT skills training course in Auckland, a course jointly run by Marisol Cavieres and Steve Potter. The first New Zealand trained practitioner was accredited in 2013.