The aims of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists are still substantially the same as those adopted when it was set up in 1947 at a meeting in Christchurch, called by Dr Maurice Bevan-Brown. He had worked at Guys Hospital and Harley Street in London and was aware of New Zealand’s high rate of in-patient admissions to mental hospitals compared to Britain’s, as well as the lack of recognition of the effects of war neuroses. He believed that it was a very difficult to be mentally healthy in a mentally unhealthy world, and his desire to promote an understanding of psycho analysis can be seen as part of a post-war optimism for creating a better society.

The 26 men and women attending that meeting all from related professional disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychology, social work and pastoral counselling set up the Association with the following aims:

  • The protection of the public by the maintenance of high professional standards
  • The promotion of fellowship, understanding and support among psychotherapists in New Zealand
  • The provision of training.