John Farnsworth

The Otago/Southland Branch of NZAP is pleased to present John Farnsworth with a Distinguished Service Award for his work for psychotherapy and the Association.

John came to psychotherapy from a background in research, film and media, organisational issues and industry training. He has brought this into his work as a psychotherapist and has made it available to NZAP.

John has made a considerable contribution to the ACP Committee. He began working as a marker in 2010 and then as a moderator, joining the Committee in 2012. He has offered several workshops for candidates, supervisors and therapists, focused on thinking about their work through the lens of the ACP. These have been well received and a paper has been published in the Ata Journal. On the ACP Committee his ever-enquiring, thoughtful and creative mind has had a huge impact. He put a great deal of work into a paper written to challenge the thinking of PBANZ about a Professional Development Pathway. This paper will be pivotal in discussions with the Board.

John served for 4 years on NZAP Council where his ability to think through issues, to envision possible consequences, to express ideas and to find creative solutions was immensely valuable. He was part of a working group that set the parameters for revising the committee structures of NZAP. He has been part of one of the review committees and continues to be available for consultation.

He served on the Online Committee for a number of years until it was disbanded in 2017. He joined the Editorial Advisory Board of the Ata Journal in 2015 and has been responsible for getting Ata online via the NZAP website.

From his early involvement with the Cameron Centre in Dunedin and later its foodbank, John has had an active concern for mental health in the community, the impact of poverty and the contribution of psychotherapy. He was actively involved in compiling Presbyterian Support’s report, “Voices of Poverty in Dunedin 2008”. For the last 7 years he has run a successful group for people working with community groups. He has often been called on to do debriefing for staff at the Otago DHB. He is still associated with an Otago University Department, actively publishing and managing an academic journal. In his academic work he is extending psychoanalytic thinking into new spheres.

John Farnsworth has brought many gifts to psychotherapy and to NZAP. We have benefitted from these. They have been shared with wisdom, moderation, good nature, humour and a high degree of self-giving. This award acknowledges all of these.