Welcome, Haere mai!
Piki mai, kake mai, nau mai, haere mai
We are the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists, Te Rōpū Whakaora Hinengaro, a professional organisation dedicated to the advancement of all forms of psychotherapy.
We aim to facilitate excellence in the practice of psychotherapy and to nurture and link psychotherapists across the country.
As NZAP psychotherapists, we agree to uphold the values and ethics (PDF) of our Association, to seek regular supervision as well as personal psychotherapy as needed, and to take opportunities to further learn and develop as practitioners.
Our members participate in professional enrichment, whanaungatanga and collegial connection through:
- Professional Development events
- Ata Journal of Psychotherapy of Aotearoa New Zealandse
- Advanced Clinical Practice training (ACP)
- Regional branch meetings (PDF)
- Email discussion groups
We are a voice for the value of psychotherapy as a key treatment for psychological and emotional distress and recognise that all health and wellbeing is shaped by wider social, political and economic realities. Through Public Issues we advocate for greater access to psychotherapeutic services and for social justice and equality.
We welcome new enquiries from applicants for membership. For further information please contact our Executive Officer. We are potentially able to manaaki suitably qualified people into a pathway towards provisional membership and/or full membership. The three possible routes to membership are: the Advanced Clinical Practice training (ACP), He Ara Maori ACP (further information coming soon) and via registration with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ). Student membership is also available, for people who are on a recognised psychotherapy training course.
A Code of Ethics (PDF) guides the practice of our members. The public are also safeguarded by the NZAP Complaints Procedure and professional practice reviews. NZAP’s structure was established by a Constitution (PDF) and is maintained by members in regional branches (PDF), and at national level by an elected President and Council with committees. An Executive Officer provides administration services.
NZAP regards supervision as essential for all psychotherapists throughout their working life. Supervision offers the opportunity to discuss and reflect on all aspects of clinical work, including the clinician’s own unconscious contributions to difficulties. It also offers an opportunity for development and support for what can be lonely and difficult work.
For Full Members there is no oversight or requirements about frequency or type of supervision or who your supervisor is. It is expected that members will exercise responsible judgment about their needs for their own and their clients’ safety. The Psychotherapy Board (PBANZ) has regulatory oversight of registered psychotherapists’ supervision and development.
For Provisional Members of NZAP there are supervision requirements. Those who are Provisional Members through Interim Registration need a supervision contract with an NZAP member. Those who are Provisional Members through the Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) pathway to membership need a supervision contract with an approved Training Supervisor. This supervision needs to be weekly for the duration of the training and progress is discussed at the Training Supervisors’ Group.
Psychotherapy takes place within the context of complex relationships. Sometimes psychotherapy raises boundary issues and ethical questions which are difficult for a psychotherapist and client to manage. There may be occasions when it is appropriate to complain. The psychotherapy profession is enhanced when there are pathways to address ethical breaches.
In the first instance, we encourage you to address concerns directly with your therapist, if you believe this is possible. The Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service is a free, independent service which may provide support doing so or can talk through your options for making a complaint.
A formal complaint can be made to:
- the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) about any health or disability service. The HDC may also refer your complaint to the Psychotherapy Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ) for investigation if your therapist is a Registered Psychotherapist. PBANZ is the body which, by law, is responsible for ensuring that psychotherapists are competent and fit to practice.
- Te Rōpū Whakaora Hinengaro – NZ Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP) if your therapist is a member of this professional association. NZAP provides professional support and advocacy for its members and facilitates excellence in the practice of psychotherapy. In some circumstances, NZAP may also refer your complaint to PBANZ or HDC (see above).
Te Rōpū Whakaora Hinengaro – NZ Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP) requires its complaints process to be fair, consistent, effective, and timely. The process is subject to external scrutiny and adheres to the principles of natural justice. Here you can find the Complaint Investigation Guidelines
- Complaints to NZAP can be made on the grounds of a breach of either the Association’s Code of Ethics (PDF) or its Constitution (PDF). Complaints need to:
- be in writing;
- be addressed to the Complaints Convenor;
- name the NZAP member to whom the complaint relates;
- describe the behaviour deemed to be offensive, incompetent or unethical;
- state the dates and times when the breaches occurred;
- identify any witness to the behaviour described;
- contain the full name and contact details of the person making the complaint;
- be signed.
NZAP is unable to act on any complaint which is anonymous or which relates to behaviour which occurred more than seven years ago.
Please send complaints to:
The Complaints Convenor,
Te Rōpū Whakaora Hinengaro – New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP)
PO Box 52075
You can find useful information about the Complaints Procedure in the following documents:
- Complaints received flowchart (PDF)
- Complaints Assessment Committee flowchart (PDF)
- Professional Clinical Matters Committee flowchart (PDF)
Members of the Association are supported by a professional structure that includes The Constitution and Rules, a Code of Ethics, and a Complaints Procedure (note that a complaints procedure is also available through the regulating authority, The Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand and the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner). This structure has regional and national components.
NZAP is governed by a Council of twelve representatives, six elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting, four elected by the Council itself, and two appointed by our partnership organisation, Waka Oranga. It is made up as follows:
- President (elected by Council)
- Immediate Past President or President-Elect (depending on the year – elected by Council)
- Honorary Secretary (elected by members)
- Treasurer (elected by members)
- Chair of Ethics and Professional Standards Committee (elected by Council)
- Chair of ACP Committee (elected by Council)
- Four Ordinary Members (elected by members)
- Two Waka Oranga representatives
The Executive Committee consists of the President, Past President or President-Elect, Honorary Secretary, Treasurer, Chair of the Advanced Clinical Practice, and Chair of Ethics and Professional Standards Committee.
Council meets face-to-face three times a year, and by electronic means as necessary. Any member may, upon request, attend a Council meeting, except when the Council is ‘in committee’ (needing to talk privately).
There are several permanent and temporary committees. The main ones are:
- ACP (Advanced Clinical Practice – a qualification offered by NZAP which is sufficient for registration with PBANZ) Committee oversees and administers the admission of Provisional Members on the ACP pathway, and their training, including the written and oral assessments that lead to Full Membership and the awarding of the ACP certificate.
- Ethics and Professional Standards Committee is concerned with the Code of Ethics and matters arising from it, including the Complaints Procedure. There is a Complaints Convener who actually deals with complaints against members of NZAP. From time to time a Professional Practice Committee, usually of three experienced members, is set up to deal with a specific complaint against a member.
- Te Tiriti Bicultural Advisory Committee has members from each region and oversees matters arising from the Treaty of Waitangi (Māori version) and biculturalism throughout the activities of NZAP. It normally has two co-Chairs, Māori and Pākehā.
- Public Issues Committee deals with NZAP influence in public policy and social issues wider than the immediate concerns of psychotherapy practice. It advises on government policy, issues press statements and monitors social policy and equity in society.
- He Ara Māori Advanced Clinical Practice Committee (HAMACP) works to develop a Māori pathway to membership, equivalent to the ACP, and administers and oversees matters relating to it.
- Education Fund Committee administers a fund to which members can apply for support for professional education.
- Professional Development and Conference Committee organises educational events.
The Chairs of the ACP and Ethics Committees sit on Council. The Chairs of Te Tiriti, Public Issues, HAMACP, Education Fund and Professional Development Committees may, but do not necessarily, sit on Council.
An Executive Officer is employed to assist in all administrative matters.
You can find contact details of the Council members and Committee Chairs on our Contact page.
Members of NZAP
- Full Members
- Provisional Members
- Retired Members
- Student Members
- Life Members
The Association has regional branches in Otago, Canterbury, Nelson-Marlborough, Wellington, Central Districts, Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty/Waikato and Northern. The branches are autonomous in the way they organise their affairs, though it is usual to have a convenor, and sometimes also a treasurer. Branches have their own finances, deriving income from various events including national conferences, which traditionally are organised by a branch. You can find their contact details on our Contact page.
Meetings are organised according to each region’s needs and wishes. Branches often host academic meetings and business meetings, and often a mixture of the two.
Each branch establishes a means to support the training and supervision of Provisional Members. Usually this is done by means of a Supervisors Training Group. The means to do this is flexible and determined at the local level. This group will liaise with the national ACP Committee. In addition, the branches each have their own rituals for welcoming new members.
Conferences and professional development
Conferences are usually organised by a branch. Currently they are two-yearly and are held in the organising region.
Workshops and other events are organised nationally as well as regionally. NZAP aims to have at least one major event – conference or workshop – each year.
- The ACP Handbook is updated as needed. It is a resource for members on the ACP pathway.
- The Newsletter, reflecting the varied viewpoints and concerns of members, is published and distributed to all members periodically, usually three times a year.
- A peer-reviewed Journal of collected papers is published twice a year. Hard copies are distributed to all members, and electronic copies are also available online.
The Public Issues Committee works to influence public policy and social issues wider than the immediate concerns of psychotherapy practice. We advise on government policy, issue press statements and monitor social policy and equity in society. We advocate for recognition of psychotherapy to the media, to other professional groups and to the community at large. We also raise awareness amongst our members of public issues that may concern their practice. Our press statements can be found on Scoop and our submissions can be read on the NZ Parliament website.
Child and Whanau Advocacy Group
Child and Whanau psychotherapists from our membership work under the umbrella of the Public Issues portfolio to organise pre-conference days dedicated to child and family work, and to advocate for early intervention, attachment informed and family inclusive services for children and young people within NZAP and through the media. We have an open access NZAP Child and Whanau Advocacy Facebook page which is a source of links to articles and opinions on therapy for children, young people and their families and opinion on social justice and wellbeing of the children of Aotearoa. We also run an email group.
NZAP members have access to subsidised indemnity insurance as part of their membership benefits.