Annette Asher has offered an incalculable amount to the development of psychotherapy in the Northern Region. In her quiet, elegant and thoughtful way, she has been a source of great inspiration to many psychotherapists. She has great humility and dignity. Annette had training and experience in England as a psychoanalytically trained social worker and returned to New Zealand in 1976 keen to share the benefits of this.
Early in 1977 Annette became the Director of Auckland Family Counselling and Psychotherapy. In the mid 1980s she developed their first training modules in psychodynarnic psychotherapy. This training, which in the early days was entirely her own creation, has made a significant contribution to the development of psychoanalytic understandings in Auckland and beyond. Many people have had pleasure and gain from her teaching, which was and is clear and creative and passionate. She is generous and supportive both as teacher and as supervisor. She has always been respected as a therapist. She has had persistent commitment and faithfulness to psychoanalytic therapy. When new and creative therapies were exciting New Zealanders she held the psychoanalytic frame unwaveringly. When dangerous therapies threatened the reputation and practice of psychotherapy in Auckland she stood firmly for professional discipline and boundaries, in the service of clients.
She has held branch office for NZAP, participated at national level in the admissions process, initiated mini-conferences to facilitate communication in the large and disparate Northern branch of N ZAP and led the Auckland conference committee in 1998.
Annette is a true Renaissance woman – her knowledge of art, literature and psychotherapeutic writing is wide and expert. She has used all this and more in the service of psychotherapy in Aotearoa New Zealand.