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#SamTweetsCAT: Introducing @HartleySamantha as a Catalyse Tweeter

In this, her debut blog, Sam Hartley introduces herself in her new role as a Catalyse tweeter.  She ‘ll be keeping Rhona Brown company in @CatalyseC tweets, but read on to find out more about the particular topics and interests she’ll be tweeting about.  And how we’ll know it’s her…..

My own hashtag, imagine that?! A long way from when I reluctantly joined Twitter in 2011.  I then had a long hiatus while I completed the not so small tasks of two doctorates one straight after another.  (This is where the slightly tongue in cheek Dr2 comes in to my bio.) After qualifying as a clinical psychologist in 2015, I spent a couple of years in practice.  Then I came upon the opportunity to start an NIHR/HEE clinical lectureship.  This allowed me to do research alongside developing my clinical skills and continuing to practice in my role working with young people within inpatient mental health services.

Combining clinical and research work is something I’d always aspired to. I’m passionate about each informing and moulding the other. They “keep each other honest” as @PimlottBrenda once so eloquently put it. I believe research should be driven by clinical need and produced in ways that allow it to influence practice meaningfully. My fellowship has allowed me to explore the nature and development of therapeutic relationships within inpatient CAMHS, while working on methods to improve them.  This has taken place alongside my partners at @HealthyYM @PennineCareNHS and @FBMH_UoM. It was my clinical mentor on the fellowship, @rachelchin91, that encouraged me to give Twitter another chance.  It’s a  way to make connections in both the research and clinical world to allow me to learn what was already out there.  Importantly, it’s a means to disseminate my work and engage in ways that break down the usual barriers.

My @NIHRresearch funding also gave me the means to train in Cognitive Analytic Therapy.  CAT fits so well with both my research focus on therapeutic relationships and my clinical role.  I work within a complex multidisciplinary team supporting young people with difficulties in relationships and across a wide range of problem areas. Thus I embarked on a two year juggling act.  Not two doctorates this time; instead, a mix of clinical work and skill development, personal therapy, research programme delivery, mentoring and supervision. You might guess I have a strong tendency for busyness!

Starting CAT training with @CatalyseC in the autumn of 2018 coincided with a flurry of tweeting for me, as I started to share my reflections, ideas and frustrations.  A retreat to Twitter was often when holed up (procrastinating!) in my research office rather than in the familiar hustle and bustle of a busy inpatient ward. Navigating through the #CatalysePT18 training days, seminar groups and reading materials, I found myself struck by the meaning, utility and personal resonance of the ideas. The dialogic self, the observer stance, the holding vessel of the therapeutic relationship. It made sense, it fitted with my experiences and felt like home. I wanted to share those ideas with others and the parsimony of CAT translated well into 280 characters. I enjoyed the process of reflecting, sharing and connecting amongst the CAT community and beyond.

So, here I am. I’ll be continuing to share some thoughts, questions and opportunities related to CAT with you, from the Catalyse account. This has been run to date by Rhona Brown @unfinalised.  Rhona will continue to tweet too, but our plan is that I’ll add a focus on the areas I know well.  Watch out for tweets from me on clinical research, practitioner trainee experiences, and uses of metaphors and signs. I’d really like to hear how others experience these and build our network of those practising CAT and those intrigued by the ideas.

You’ll know it’s me because you’ll see #SamTweetsCAT, and there might even be a GIF or two (inspired by @TomJewell17). If you have any ideas, queries or feedback, I’d love to hear from you.

See you in the Twittersphere!

Sam @HartleySamantha