Reading Freud: Zoom reading group


Lynne Holdem and Crispin Balfour are proposing to read The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud from beginning to end (excluding the index) and wish to invite interested professionals to join them.

The format will be as follows:

  • The reading group is open but with notice.
  • Meetings will take place on Zoom.
  • Access to the Standard Edition is required.
  • The reading will begin at 7:10 am NZT each Monday (excluding NZ public holidays) for fifty minutes.
  • There will be ten minutes at the end to reflect on the reading.
  • Participants will take it in turns to read aloud a page at a time, to the nearest full stop.
  • A secondary reader will read the footnotes in full.
  • Reading is voluntary but encouraged.
  • Readers will be rostered from the list of people attending previous Mondays.
  • There may be pause for some discussion but the primary intention is to read the text.
  • The hope is to complete reading all twenty-three volumes in about two years.
  • The group is open nationally and internationally.
  • Participant umbers will be limited to forty-nine to fit on one Zoom screen.

They are aiming to begin on 3 May.

Please email if you are interested.

Foundations in Suicide Prevention online training

FSP online training flyer (PDF)

Foundations in Suicide Prevention is a comprehensive suicide prevention training programme offered as a fully revised, upgraded and expanded version of our online training previously known as the QPR Gatekeeper programme. We’ve upgraded our online learning technology and moved our programme to a new e-learning platform that streamlines the learning process and offers a fresh, smooth learning experience.

Foundations in Suicide Prevention is an evidence-based suicide prevention training programme that is designed to increase awareness, knowledge and skills to help anyone gain confidence to identify who is at risk of suicide and how to intervene to save a life.

Online FSP Training has been carefully designed to be highly accessible and user- friendly. Taught in a clear, concise format using web-based technology, compelling graphics, video and interactive learning dynamics, the programme takes two hours to complete, including an online competency-based quiz. A printable Certificate of Course Completion is available.

FSP covers:

  • Size and scope of suicide in New Zealand
  • Risk factors for suicide
  • Relationship of mental illness to suicide
  • Current status of suicide risk assessment
  • How to identify who is at risk
  • How to have a life-saving conversation and intervene to save a life
  • How to access help and support

Work through the online FSP programme at home, at work, or anywhere there is an internet connection on any device (mobile phone, tablet, laptop) at your own pace, section by section. The training programme can be accessed and learning refreshed as often as desired during a 12-month subscription period.

To purchase, visit our website at

To request an invoice email or call 021 224 6601 or 0800 448 909

Call for help to run the 1737 support line

Kia ora,

We need help. More Kiwis are calling 1737, in response to COVID-19, and we need mental health professionals to support the community. A work from home option is available, providing support to callers of the National Telehealth Service which includes 137. We are currently seeing an increase in our service volumes and some changes in presentations. Issues callers request support for are diverse and some of the current themes we are seeing include:

  • relationship issues exacerbated by lockdown
  • increasing stress around individual and whanau financial security and jobs/careers
  • health anxiety re COVID-19 and triggered mood disorders
  • increased risk presentation (suicide, self-harm, harm to and from others including domestic violence)
  • individuals experiencing increased isolation without the social support structures/resources to be able to cope
  • changes to face-to-face support options impacting people’s ability to access/maintain treatment
  • alcohol and other drug-related issues

Ideally, any experienced registered therapist would meet the criteria (even better if you also have some telehealth experience eg Lifeline etc). If you are a good fit and meet our requirements (including experience and their IT setup) then we will on board you as quickly as possible and give you access to some online learning. The training is quick and focusses on our systems and critical processes (no focus on clinical skills training).  

Please email so we can contact you with more information.

Please click here for a factsheet.


Practising psychotherapy in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic

[As at 19 March 2020]

Although community spread of the virus has not yet happened in Aotearoa NZ, and therefore the current risk of virus transmission between ourselves and clients is extremely low, NZAP advises our members to keep informed and prepared for the possibility that COVID-19 may spread in the community.

  • Check the Ministry of Health link for updates:
  • Talk to clients and supervisees about COVID-19, your hygiene measures & precautions.
  • Make contingency plans for meeting remotely if needed – online, by phone or by email.
  • If clients or supervises are at all unwell, even with a minor cough or sore throat, or if they have returned from overseas within the last 14 days, ask that they cancel or meet remotely.
  • If you are at all unwell, even with a minor cough or sore throat, or if you have contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, cancel your appointments or meet remotely.
  • If you work remotely from home, ensure client confidentiality (such as for storage of notes), the appropriateness of the view into your home, and that the client has access to a private space from which to talk.
  • Put a poster on your door and in your waiting room:

  • Review your incapacity plan and ensure your supervisor is aware of it.
  • Ensure your supervisor or another trusted colleague can access a list and contact details of current clients.

Make hygiene changes:

  • Stay 2 metres from clients in the therapy hour.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Check soap supplies regularly.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Remove magazines from your waiting room.
  • Consider washing arrangements for cups and glasses or use paper ones.
  • Wipe surfaces such as door handles and arm rests regularly with antiseptic solution.
  • Replace shared hand towels with disposable ones in bathrooms.
  • Use bank transfers rather than handle money.
  • Maintain physical distance (at least one metre).
  • Use ‘one metre greetings’ as alternatives to handshakes and hugs, e.g. hand on heart, elbow hongi.

Suggestions made by members in other forums:

  • Prepare for the possibility of isolation, for example form a COVID-19 support circle with friends and/or neighbours.
  • If you have underlying health conditions, talk with your doctor about the appropriateness of a pneumonia and/or flu vaccination.
  • Consider avoiding crowds if you are over 60 or have underlying medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer) which leave you more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the general population.

NZAP Council

Strike by psychotherapists in Auckland and Waitemata DHBs

Psychotherapists at Waitemata and Auckland DHBs have made the painful and difficult decision to go on strike for the first time ever.

It is a challenging situation for our colleagues who have only come to this decision after the negotiated agreement was turned down by senior managers.

The terms being negotiated were for the same pay rates as agreed in the PSA meca agreement, but psychotherapists were negotiating about more suitable and relevant conditions around supervision and professional development. They believe these are crucial for professional and safe practice, as well as recruitment and retention.

NZAP supports their stand on these matters.They are represented by APEX and both groups voted unanimously to notify strike action of no client contact for 3 days later this month.

It is not hard to imagine the difficulty our colleagues will have informing vulnerable individuals and groups that the strike is going ahead. It is not easy to make this stand when it disrupts clients’ treatment.

As psychotherapists are a small group within the DHB system, it is important that they receive our encouragement and know we support their stand.

E hoa ma, kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.


Lynne Holdem

NZAP President-Elect

Oranga Tamariki and Maori Whanau Wellbeing

NZAP press release

Minister for Children, Honourable Tracey Martin, stated on RNZ recently that Oranga Tamariki would have to partner with Iwi to provide safe homes for children in state care. Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft called this “a revolution in the way the State honours Treaty obligations with Māori in respect with care of children”.

New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists Spokesperson, Lynne Holdem, said: “NZAP welcomes the direction of this morning’s announcement and Oranga Tamariki’s commitment to consult with iwi regarding the tamariki apparently in need of care and protection.”

“Psychotherapists hope that the new policies are resourced with sufficient funding to allow iwi, and other community organisations, to pay providers and clinicians skilled and knowledgeable in matauranga Māori and in family therapy, trauma resolution and attachment behaviour,” Holdem said.

“Tertiary education systems need to do better to prepare health practitioners to respond much more competently to the needs of whanau Maori, tamariki and mokopuna. Building health workforce capability begins at our training institutions.”

“Many therapists trained in Family Therapy are now at retirement age. Training institutions such as the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy training at AUT offer preparation for the kind of early intensive intervention that is needed but predominantly Pakeha graduates may still lack ability to connect with Maori and do not have the deep experience and knowledge that makes for true cultural competency. Courses like this need to be funded elsewhere in Aotearoa and young people given incentives to attend them,” said Holdem.

“A greater investment in Kaupapa Maori research, curriculum development and design to produce the workforce could bring about change and greater accountability from professionals and organisations in terms of Te Tiriti obligations and a preparedness for Maori led initiatives. When this becomes much more visible in our society perhaps then and only then will Maori be able to trust in the services provided,” stated Holdem.

“We are calling for investment in resources and training so vulnerable parents and families, are supported by psychotherapists, counsellors and social workers who have an understanding of the value of Maori tikanaga, matauranga and whakapapa to heal trauma and can also recognise the needs of each whanau and make interventions that are skilled and culturally attuned,” she continued.

“Many uplifted children, in State care, have difficult behaviours as a result of neglect and trauma so whanau or caregivers need training from child and family therapists to manage emotional escalations in order to give the child a chance to develop secure attachment. This can happen in settings where both the mother and the children are uplifted and the mother supported to address her own trauma and develop reflective capacity and the ability to respond to the needs signalled by the child. Kaupapa Maori organisations, such as Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki or Hoki ki to Rito in South Auckland, could be resourced to provide the intensive wrap around services required by these whanau,” she went on to say.

“A damaged child comes from a damaged whanau and the whole whanau needs a combination of support to enable them to address their basic needs, resolve addiction issues and heal from traumatic experiences so that they may have a greater sense of agency and whanau capability to provide safe home environments for tamariki and mokopuna,” said Holdem.

“NZAP supports the new revolution in Oranga Tamariki and recognises Māori iwi will develop their own responses to help and heal their whanau. Let us hope that government is able to provide sufficient funding for this to be the kind of early, intensive, and wrap around service that will prevent further State uplift of tamariki,” she stated.

Oranga Tamariki – the health of children

NZAP press release

The health of children depends on having safe, supportive structures around them.

In Te Ao Māori, the child is born of its parents, but belongs to the entire whānau. They are a taonga, someone to be celebrated and supported into their adulthood, where they can continue to contribute to their whānau, hapū and iwi. An uplift of a child from within their whānau severely disrupts this process.

The connection of an infant to their parents is of paramount importance. For Māori, so is the child’s ability to know and connect to their whānau, hapū and iwi, their whenua (ancestral lands), their whakapapa (ancestry), and their mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge). In line with the emphasis of holism in Te Ao Māori, these connections are vital to the development of a Māori child. When a child is uplifted and placed outside of their whanau their access to these supportive connections becomes extremely compromised.

State interference has impeded Māori whanau for over a century – the Native Schools Act (1867) and the Tohunga Suppression Act (1907) are examples of legislature which affected the way Māori lived in a rapidly changing Aotearoa. We also acknowledge the findings of Puao-te-Atatū (1988) which outlined severe deficiencies and concerns within the state’s care of children.

It is necessary that crown entities such as Oranga Tamariki think deeply about how they support tamariki within their whānau, hapū and iwi. When children experience loss and grief at an early age, this trauma often has ongoing effects on their health, wellbeing and development throughout the course of their lives. It is vital to remember that in the pursuit of safety, we not perpetuate other serious harm in the process.

Anna Fleming – Psychotherapist

Member, Waka Oranga, National Collective of Māori Psychotherapy Practitioners & NZ Association of Psychotherapists

Call to strengthen the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

NZAP Press Release, May 2019

“The New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists stand with other professional organisations to support the government’s Zero Carbon bill and the commission to monitor and set standards of greenhouse gases. We ask that the government announce a Climate Crisis and shorten the goal for Zero Carbon to 10 years.” says Lynne Holdem, of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists.

The timing and necessity of lowering carbon emissions is vital for the stabilisation of weather patterns and to sustain life on our planet. As reported by the recent United Nations, the world has approximately 12 years to limit the warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius. After this the environmental damage will be catastrophic.

“Often people are faced with overwhelming feelings when it comes to climate change, which, if left unchecked can lead to denial, inaction, and eventually despair at ever being able to change the situation. However, becoming politically active, joining an environmental organisation, making lifestyle changes are within the reach of everyone” said Holdem.

“As Psychotherapists, we are familiar with the negative effects of denial and overwhelm which are often seen in clinical situations. However, facing the truth will enable us to mobilise our anxiety in a positive way to produce change. The necessary ingredient for this to happen is being able to become aware of what is happening and talk with others about what we understand and feel. When we find connection together, we receive energy from each other. This can engage our will and create the political, social and personal change that a crisis requires” said Holdem.

“It’s good for our mental health as well as the environment to face reality and take action” she added.


Lynne Holdem

NZAP Public Issues

Ph: 027480 3523


Finding Compassion in a Dark Day – NZAP press release

15 March 2019

New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP) acknowledge the shock and grief of the Moslem communities of Aotearoa and affected communities of Christchurch.  Particularly we wish to acknowledge the suffering of the families of the forty New Zealand citizens who have had their lives cut short and the trauma of the helpers and witnesses.

“While recognising the violence of this shocking incident, and sharing in the community of grief, it is important to call on the generous and loving aspects of our humanity. Let’s hope journalists, politicians and all New Zealanders active on social media, focus on the safety and comfort of the survivors, the heroism of the police, the compassion of St Johns medics and citizens who came to help, rather than the lives and ideas of perpetrators of this crime. Copy cat crimes can be a risk following events of this kind,” said Lynne Holdem, Public Issues spokesperson for NZAP.

Guidelines prepared by the Public Affairs of the American Psychoanalytic Association show the way to reduce such risks, continued Holdem.

“Socially isolated individuals, preoccupied with resentment or hatred and wanting to gain “celebrity status” can be influenced by media coverage that gives exposure to the perpetrators and focuses on  details of the shooting.  Young men who are struggling with thoughts of suicide and homicide may use news reports and video to feed their own shadowy fantasies.” Holdem added. 

“We are generally a compassionate and peace loving people and lets hope we remain this way. When communities reach out to isolated people on our margins, they become safer as they feel more belonging and more connection to others. It is easy, when we aren’t threatened, to be kind and hold awareness of the needs of others and treat other people with respect. When under stress, or up against polarising views, it is much harder not to be reactive or retributive, and to hold to our values of good will peace and justice. 

Courageous Taranaki tangata whenua, under the severest of threats from colonising forces, remained strong and committed to non-violence. In March 1880 as the government prepared its attack on Parihaka, Te Whiti o Rongomai said  ‘Though some, in darkness of heart, seeing their land ravished, might wish to take arms and kill the aggressors, I say it must not be.’ Let’s remember Te Whiti, in these dark days. 

Lynne Holdem

Public Issues Portfolio

New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists

Mobile: 0274803523

A psychotherapist speaks from both sides of the couch

In this news article psychotherapist Lynn Charlton talks about youth suicide and her own difficult passage through depression during adolescence and early adulthood. She reveals the healing she achieved through undertaking a long term psychotherapy. Lynn makes a case for long term therapy when lifestyle changes and brief interventions do not reach the parts of us that need to be known, embraced and healed. Hope can be lost when short term interventions are seen as the only or best methodologies when a relational, psychodynamic or more holistic approach is needed.