Brian Broom has been described as a ‘philosopher physician’, with a passion for ‘whole person’ approaches to physical illness and disease. His journey in integrating philosophy, spirituality and bodied, whole person experience with the practice of interpersonal healing through psychotherapy has made him an innovative, highly attuned senior practitioner and as such is one of our treasures.
Brian has been involved in the practice and promotion of psychotherapy since 1986, following his training in psychiatry and psychotherapy. The integrative nature of his practice demonstrates the way a whole person approach is achievable and he has been committed to bringing this approach to clients, other psychotherapists, and health practitioners, and to educate the public that this is a possible way of working.
Brian has made a significant contribution to psychotherapy, both in New Zealand and internationally. He is a highly sought after speaker with accolades too numerous to mention here. In 1987 he set up a multidisciplinary centre in Christchurch as part of his commitment to developing practitioners and providing public access to better treatment options that included a psychotherapeutic approach. It is oriented to whole person care and is still going. In 2006 he became an Adjunct Professor in MindBody Health care at AUT University and taught multidisciplinary groups of students the value of interpersonal healing practice. He has been an advocate for psychotherapy where many have not dared or wanted to go. He brought psychotherapy into the public sector, working as a psychotherapist/physician in hospitals and in areas where psychotherapy has not normally been accepted as a valid therapeutic option. This is no mean feat as it is pioneering and can be lonely. He has done this through his own psychotherapeutic work and the results that his co-workers have been able to see, as well as through innumerable workshops, conferences and consultations both in New Zealand and internationally, along with his publications in journals, books and electronic media. He developed a website in 2015 as a resource for clinicians and the public which is widely used.
Brian is a renaissance man who describes his interests and preoccupations as including family, boating, planting the garden, reading indigestible books, walking, the companionship of young and not so young colleagues (variably) interested in ‘whole person’ approaches, the rich mystery of life in all its bright and dark hues, deep-ish conversations with like-minded colleagues and friends, and the power of love, astute listening, compassion, warm relationship, intimate and authentic dialogue, good intention, openness, willingness to go near the edge, and serendipitous, mysterious and spiritual happenings, to not only make that special difference to daily life but also to heal the sick.