Becoming a member
There are several pathways to membership, each with qualifying criteria and steps to take along the way. These are described below. It can take a little while to work out which pathway is best for you. Our Executive Officer will help you clarify which to choose.
Admission as a registered psychotherapist
This path is suitable if you already have interim or full registration with The Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ).
You need to complete an application form and pay the annual fee. If you are applying for Full Membership with full registration, you will also need to meet with your local NZAP Branch (PDF). Each Branch has its own way of welcoming a new member coming in via this route. Once these steps have been completed then your membership will be ratified by the NZAP Council.
All psychotherapists with either interim or full registration are required to have a registered psychotherapist or a health practitioner approved by the Board as supervisor.
Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) qualification
This qualification is a pathway for full membership to NZAP. It is for clinicians who are qualified in psychotherapy or a related discipline. For further information on the qualification process and related documents, see the ACP page.
We encourage students who have completed at least one year of a recognised training course in psychotherapy to join NZAP as student members.
Student membership costs $35 annually and allows you to develop a relationship with NZAP and with qualified psychotherapists. For more information please contact the Executive Officer.
Benefits of NZAP membership
“There are many things I appreciate and enjoy about being a member of NZAP but most of all I value the sense of belonging to a professional community of people who are committed to assisting human healing and development.”
Clare Elizabeth, psychotherapist & psychodramatist, New Plymouth
Participation in the life of our professional Association brings fellowship, opportunities to share problems and stretch our thinking, reflect on the ethics and efficacy of our practice and a chance to get to know, and be known by, other psychotherapists.
We work in a solitary profession. This is true for those of us in private practice, and also those who are working in DHB or agency settings, amongst clinicians from other disciplines. We enjoy good company, hear stimulating presentations, enjoy debating issues and theories at Conferences and branch meetings.
“I presented a paper at the 2017 NZAP Conference. Despite the anxiety I felt regarding presenting, I found the experience a rewarding and worthwhile one. It helped me to feel a part of the profession and allowed me to articulate my work in an accepting environment of peers and colleagues.”
Emma Ellis, psychotherapist, Auckland
We are informed by research and developments in treatment through Conferences, Waka Oranga Poutama , professional development events, reading NZAP Newsletters and our journal, Ata. Hard copies of Newsletters and Ata are free with membership. NZAP sponsored seminars and Conferences offer a reduced registration rate for NZAP members.
“By attending NZAP conferences and trainings, I have gained appreciation for other models of psychotherapy and have grown the library of my mind. This enhances my capacity to think about and ‘be with’ my own experience and also that of the patient.”
Lynne Holdem, psychotherapist, Taranaki
The intense nature of relationships in psychotherapy can challenge boundaries (a phenomenon richly exploited in film and television shows). Regular supervision and staying connected and grounded in relationship with colleagues reduces the risk of unconscious enactments.
Our Code of Ethics (PDF) provides a guide to responsible and competent practice and the work of the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee ensures we are mindful of new requirements for safe and ethical practice. A complaints procedure gives a fair, effective, open and timely process to deal with conflicts. Members are also offered an opportunity to take out subsidised professional indemnity insurance to cover the costs of possible complaints.
“If someone were to complain about therapy with me, I so hope they opt for the NZAP process – knowing it was being looked at by colleagues well qualified to consider the vulnerabilities of both parties and who could draw on highly developed understandings of the complexities of the therapeutic relationship would be reassuring.”
Stephanie Forde, Auckland
Have a say
We are passionate about the potential of psychotherapy in the lives of individuals and communities and advocate on political and social issues and for psychotherapy through Public Issues. Joining together as a professional body allows a more prominent and effective voice in such matters. It is also important in the developing relationship with PBANZ that a national voice protects the interests of our members.
There are many opportunities for all members, Full, Provisional, Retired and Student, to become involved in the running of the Association at local and national levels. Service to NZAP deepens our sense of belonging, extends our friendship and referral network, and develops our skills and knowledge.