saata VOL: 2, ISSUE: 2 - APRIL 2018 facebook

SAATA ITAA Conference-2016 team
Book: From Anxiety to CTA - Aruna Gopakumar home
Aruna-Gopakumar Aruna is a PTSTA (P), MCC (Master Certified Coach with the ICF), PGDM - 1993 (IIM, Bangalore) and Engineer - 1991 (Anna University). She is passionate about using theatre and storytelling in therapeutic settings. She founded Navgati in 1999. Today Navgati is a market leader in running creative, powerful and unique learning events.

Book Review

The title "From Anxiety to CTA" is for me an example of a bulls-eye transaction. It immediately appeals to an aspiring CTA who is more than familiar with anxiety, offers support and provides a practical roadmap. In this simple, four-chaptered, aesthetically-designed book, the author Karolina Jovanoska speaks conversationally to the reader and shares practical suggestions for the CTA written exam.

The first chapter is about all the administrative aspects that need to be attended to at the beginning of a CTA journey, in order to not get derailed midway. These include the very valuable, but oft-overlooked steps of finding a supervisor, signing the contract, having the log in place, starting recording of sessions, becoming familiar with the core competencies etc. These ensure that CTA aspirants start firmly and surely. She also recommends some books to start with, much needed as one can get lost in the deluge of literature available in TA.

The second chapter reads more like a self-help book. It has tips on how not to procrastinate, how to make time for writing, how to fight perfectionism etc. This chapter, while containing useful suggestions, has the limitations of a self-help book. An anxious CTA may not have the objectivity to recognize a script playing out. It will need a supervisor to confront the tendency to be perfect or to try hard.

It is the third chapter that is the heart of the book and that I see as the most valuable part. It provides step-by-step, comprehensive guidance through all the four sections of the written exam. For each of the questions in the exam, the author details what the examiners could be looking for. Against each exam question, she gives several questions for the candidate to think about. Here is one example. For the exam question: "How do you protect yourself and your clients?", the author asks the candidate to think about the following. "Think of all the things you do in the best interest of yourself and the client. Here are some questions for you to think about: Do you take regular supervision? How often? Individual or Group? Are you part of a peer supervision group? Are you in personal therapy? How often and in what form? How do you take care of yourself and protect yourself against burnout? Do you set a maximum number of clients in treatment or a maximum number of hours each day? What code of ethics do you follow? How are you extending your education? Do you have any professional insurance policies? Etc." If the candidate reads this book before commencing the CTA writing, he/she would also be guided to set up some of these processes of peer supervision, self-care etc. These questions are invaluable in helping candidates understand what is being asked for and give relevant and comprehensive answers. Particularly useful are the guidelines for the case study. The guidelines for section D of the exam are written by Keith Tudor. A very interesting element in that section is a table of TA concepts and the questions in which they could be discussed. While the book is written for CTA aspirants, this section is a guide to supervisors as well, providing a comprehensive checklist that makes it easy for them to advise their trainees.

Chapter 4 provides guidelines about citations. For many candidates, the CTA written exam is often the first time they are writing a document that requires citations. The author talks about the sources from where candidates can cite, what in-text citations are, what the guidelines for citations are, how diagrams need to be dealt with, and how references are formatted. She also provides the table of basic citation styles (APA, 2013)

Written in very simple language, the book holds the reader's attention. The clear, useful and practical guidelines make it invaluable for a CTA aspirant. I appreciate this endeavor because the CTA exam is seen as daunting by trainees. This book will encourage more people to take the exam and therefore increase the number of TA psychotherapists. Having gone through the CTA exam recently myself, I resonate with its contents. If I had had this with me before my CTA, it would have provided me with a structure that would have saved me enormous stress. The ones who have it right at the start will be luckier!

(For more details about the book, refer:

Creative Corner

arr TA Proper, Stroking & Time-Structuring
- Ambika
arr Feelings
- Aruna Kalahastri
arr From Playing Games to becoming Sportive
- Kiran Katawa
arr Personal Growth through TA
- Neena Bijoy
arr Autism
- Sapna Sajan
arr TA in South Africa
- Karen Pratt
arr Force or Source
- I.A. Mohanraj
arr A Ranty Soliloquy on Writing!
- C. Suriyaprakash
arr A Teenage Contract
- Lakshmi Prabha
arr Book: From Anxiety to CTA
- Aruna Gopakumar

Creative Corner
Depression Healing
- Jayashree Swaminathan

Art Addiction
- Vasudha Sridhar

Poem: Hope - A Prayer
- Vikrant Goyal



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