John Farnsworth

John received a Distinguished Service Award in 2018 for his service to psychotherapy and to the association. Since then, his contribution has continued. That award cited the way John brought his background in research, film and media, organisational issues and industry training into his work and made it available to NZAP.

It noted John’s considerable contribution to the ACP committee on which her served for many years as both a marker and a moderator. He also offered workshops for candidates, supervisors and psychotherapists to help focus their thinking about their work through the lens of the ACP.

John has been pivotal in negotiations with PBANZ regarding a professional development pathway. He has contributed substantially to the NZAP strategies and responses to changes of criteria for qualification announced by PBANZ.

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

John has had a long term concern for mental health in the community and the impact of poverty on mental health. He was actively involved in compiling Presbyterian Support’s report ‘ Voices of Poverty ‘in Dunedin in 2008. He has been called upon to do trauma debriefing for a number of agencies. He reads and publishes widely in academic journals extending psychoanalytic thinking into new spheres.

For the past ten years John started and voluntarily facilitated a support group for people who work in the community. It provides an opportunity for people who do not always have access to good supervision and is much appreciated by its participants.

John served on NZAP Council for four years from 2012-2016 and has currently returned to council this year.  He was part of the working group that set the parameters for revising the committee structure of NZAP and using critical reviews for the portfolios, committees and council itself. He chaired the Public Issues Portfolio for a number of years and has again taken this up in 2020.

Together, with Lynne Holdem, he wrote a huge submission to The Ministry of Health on mental health and addictions. Since then, he has chaired  these meetings and met regularly since 2019-2021 with senior people from the Ministry.

A combined effort with Kyle McDonald created a  much improved website for NZAP.

In 2021 he has been present at the covid zoom meetings and involved in the writing of council’s covid policies and messages to members.

Locally, John is highly regarded as a psychotherapist and supervisor. He is a member of the ACP local supervisors group.

John has an  ever enquiring, thoughtful, creative mind which he has put to service in the interests of NZAP both locally and nationally. He consistently goes above and beyond, often to the detriment of his own time and interests. He is thoughtful and considerate in the way he works with participants, and on policies and programmes. He is often able to reduce unwieldy issues to more succinct, manageable ones. He has been very helpful to NZAP on all levels including long term strategy. There has been a strong response from the Otago / Southland branch in the wish to honour him with life membership.