Roy Bowden is honoured by the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists for his service to the Association and to the psychotherapeutic community in Aotearoa New Zealand. We also recognise his influence in the international arena as New Zealand representative on the Board of the World Council for Psychotherapy and co-leader of the Organising Committee for the World Congress of Psychotherapy in Sydney in 2011.
Roy’s journey towards psychotherapy started with theological training as a Methodist Minister, which included a thorough grounding in Rogerian Counselling, and continued with qualifying as a Social Worker. He has been a trailblazer in many areas. He was Director of the first Family Counselling Centre in Palmerston North, and also worked as an associate therapist at the local psychiatric unit. He then moved into University teaching in the social sciences, and in the early 1980s established the first University based programme in Social Service Supervision, a course which greatly inspired at least one NZAP colleague in her future work as a supervisor.
Roy was accepted as a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists in 1984., and in 1986 he established the first psychotherapy practice in Palmerston North. He has contributed greatly to NZAP both regionally and nationally. He was a foundation member of the Manawatu – Hawkes Bay supervisors’ group and helped establish the Manawatu Branch. He was elected to the NZAP Council in 1991, served as President in 1998-2000, and completed 11 years on Council as Past President 2000-2002. While he was President Roy successfully took on the task of narrowing the gap between Council and the Membership, visiting the Branches and taking part in their meetings. He has also served the Association in many other ways, including being on the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee, a period as Complaints Convenor, and as an assessor of candidates for membership.
Roy was a primary organiser of the 1993 NZAP Conference at Flock House in Bulls. This Conference was a landmark one for the Association as it was here that we were given our Maori name, Te Roopuu Whakaora Hinengaro. Roy has consistently worked on fostering bicultural understanding. He has presented at Conferences and written extensively on the development of an approach to psychotherapy honouring the contribution of the Tangata Whenua. He has written and published a book, “A Psychotherapist Sings in Aotearoa”, exploring these ideas. Roy is a unique and independent thinker, determined to keep psychotherapy real and relevant
Much of his work has involved educating and training others. From 1990 he taught in the Certificate of Counselling programme at Central Institute of Technology and helped develop the Diploma and Bachelor of Counselling programmes, before being appointed Head of School for the Bachelor of Counselling and Bachelor of Alcohol and Drug Studies at the Wellington Institute of Technology. He has now retired from this role and is again in private practice.