Vanda McKerchar

Vanda has been a valued member of NZAP for more than 25 years during which time she has been active both at the local branch and national level. She has served on her local branch committee for many years in various roles and for five years on NZAP Council from 2005 – 2010.

From 1990-2000 she was involved with the Admissions Process and was a member of the working group led by Louise de Lambert that developed the group marking process  for the  clinical papers submitted by provisional members. She was also involved in the development of the process which became known as the “Orange Book”. During this time she was also engaged in marking case studies and serving on Assessment Panels.

The time Vanda served on Council was impressive: she was appointed by Council as Complaints’ Convener, a position she held for several years. This is a challenging role which requires a great deal of discretion and tact and a considerable amount of time.

From 2003 – 2013 she served on the Assessment Committee and held the position as Chair of Admissions from 2006-10 during the time when PBANZ was established and registration of the profession began. This was a complex time for the Council as a whole and Admissions in particular. Vanda always managed these changes with characteristic efficiency and a meticulous attention to detail.

Vanda worked alongside Waka Oranga during some of  the early discussions related to the Māori pathway to membership and  was committed to the  development of  what became known as the “Brown Book”, to document that pathway process as much as possible. She had a vision of this sitting alongside the Orange Book.

Her strong commitment to NZAP and psychotherapy has also been shown by her attendances at psychotherapy conferences, including; the first World Conference of Psychotherapy in Vienna in 1996, Conferences in Sydney and UK, and of course most of the NZAP conferences over the years.

She was treasurer for the 50th NZAP celebration conference in Christchurch, 1997, and Convener for the 2003 conference in Christchurch.

Over the years Vanda has worked with others to create opportunities for professional development for NZAP members in Christchurch including: the One Year course on various models of Psychotherapy, organised with Karen Zelas and Jenny Rockel.  She has been instrumental in organising visiting presenters such as: Michael Stadter from Washington, Caroline Andrew from Sydney and, more recently, Joyce Slochower from New York.

Vanda is also a long standing member of the Regional Supervisors’ Group and is a training supervisor for the ACP. She has a strong commitment to the value of supervision and she continues to both receive and provide supervision to psychotherapy colleagues in Christchurch.

In the early years when she was teaching secondary and tertiary, as well as developing her private practice she was encouraged and supported by colleagues at The Bealey Centre and continued to be supported by that group for over 20 years. Recently she moved her practice to Urban Eden Psychotherapy with other Christchurch psychotherapists.

Vanda recently made the comment that this year (2013) was the first for 27 years that she has not had a position of responsibility within NZAP.

Vanda has a great capacity to see the big picture and that combined with her meticulous attention to detail, her commitment, energy and integrity has meant she has made an extremely valuable contribution in the varied and complex positions she has held in NZAP over the years.

On behalf of the Association the Canterbury Branch wishes to acknowledge and honour Vanda’s considerable contribution and service to NZAP and the wider field of psychotherapy.