Dr Karen Zelas

Dr. Karen Zelas M.B.Ch.B., D.P.M., M.R.C.Psych., F.R.A.N.Z.C.P., M.N.Z.A.P., Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist Karen has been a member of NZAP since 1975. Over the last six years, during her time of office bearing, she has made a particularly significant contribution to the running of the Association. She was elected to Council and the position of Honorary Secretary in February 1998, having acted in this capacity prior to her election. For three years Karen was Acting Chair of the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee. It was during this time that she spearheaded the revision of the Code of Ethics, with a currency of five years. Although this was a long and difficult process, Karen was always vigilant of the need for consultation with the member-ship and her attention to detail and collective accountability was always evident.

As a member of the Admission Committee for a number of years, Karen has made a tremendous contribution, culminating in the publication of the Assessment Policy and Procedures booklet. This has clarified the structure and hence the standard and consistency of the process of admission to the Association. Following the change of status of Applicants for Membership to Provisional Members, Karen was instrumental in compiling the revised NZAP Constitution and Rules. She also introduced the Provisional Practising Certificate for Provisional Members, issued for the first time in 2002.

Karen was aware of the need to clarify issues surrounding members’ retirement from the Association and recognition of service. To this end she established the criteria for conferring Life Membership and introduced the Distinguished Service Award, writing the Terms of Reference. She also wrote “Clarification of Retired Membership, Provisional Membership and Correspondent Status”, a leaflet setting out clarification of these membership categories, options available and procedural requirements.

Karen has a strong belief that psychotherapy needs structure, standards and consistency. She has given very generously of her time and expertise to develop, refine and record procedures, protocols and structures in order to establish a solid, well-considered foundation of predictable and consistent practices. Karen is a staunch advocate for professionalism and individual and collective accountability. She is widely respected for her knowledge, expertise and clarity of thought and her consultative practices within the membership.