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The future of psychotherapy: reflecting the way we live in our land.

Roy A Bowden

It is possible to honour tradition as well as contemplate a radical review of practice enabling all our clients to enhance their lives. In New Zealand the impact of geographical and social environments, culturally based principles and spiritual beliefs has led us to ask crucial questions regarding ways to assist people. Our sensitivity to those who were born in our land, the importance of indigenous culture and the needs of those who immigrate to New Zealand is helping us build new language, new concepts and new expectations for psychotherapeutic process. The process of adding to psychotherapeutic knowledge by reviewing practice which has served us well has led to the development of new ways of working. We have found some basic principles which guide exploration and creative thinking and some of us have controversial ideas which challenge current definitions of psychotherapy. When we open ourselves to new imagery, expand beyond defined psychologically based narratives and perceive each element as interconnected we find innovative ways to connect. As psychotherapy changes in New Zealand it is more inclusive of allied health professions and establishes closer links with people who are disenfranchised or excluded from the opportunities more accessible to others. This paper suggests new perspectives and highlights pathways practitioners in other countries might find useful to contemplate.

24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
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Roy A Bowden
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Roy A Bowden

Roy A.  Bowden is a former president of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists and a board member on the World Council for Psychotherapy. He has been a keynote speaker at World Council conferences focusing on the way psychotherapy meets the needs of people in different cultures and the relevance of modality based psychotherapies in ever changing global environments. His book, A Psychotherapist Sings in Aotearoa, challenges traditional psychodynamic views in New Zealand. His published works call for psychotherapy theory and practice to be built from within cultural settings. Roy has been a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy at Massey University, the Head of School for Counselling degree programmes at the Wellington Institute of Technology, a national trainer for couple therapists in Relationship Services, a former clergyman and a trained social auditor. Since establishing the first university based Certificate in Social Work Supervision Roy has maintained an interest in mentoring health professionals in a variety of practice settings. Roy is currently on the professional practice ethics committee for the New Zealand Psychotherapy Association, in private practice as a couples counsellor, a consultant to social agencies and a trainer for practitioners in health and welfare organisations.

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