Te Tipu Haere – Growing into being

Sunday 18 March 9.00-10.00

Te Tipu Haere – Growing into being

by Crispin Balfour


For many years Crispin’s practice of psychotherapy has been informed by two papers written nearly sixty years ago by Donald Winnicott: “The Capacity To Be Alone” in 1958 and “The True And False Self” in 1960.

Crispin often finds himself sitting with the experience of someone searching for themselves ‘in me’, sometimes insisting that their therapist tells them how to be themselves. It seems that the therapist is supposed to know who they are better than they do themselves. Often there is a sense of seduction associated with this experience.

Recently Crispin connected with a quote from Urie Bronfenbrenner: “In order to develop normally, a child requires activity with one or more adults who have an irrational emotional relationship with the child. Somebody’s got to be crazy about that kid. That’s number one. First, last, and always.”

In this paper Crispin will be speaking about how his patients have taught him both how to be alone with them and also be crazy about them, so they can grow themselves.


Crispin Balfour works in general practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Auckland. His background includes working as an architect, actor, accountant, engineer and inventor. Always interested in what it means to be a ‘human being’, he studied Buddhism for many years, explored psychodrama, taught at university, and directed theatre. He began his psychotherapy training with the Institute of Psychosynthesis, where he went on to teach experiential groups for ten years. In 2001 he discovered a passion for psychoanalytic theory and practice. Since then he has extensively studied psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in 2003 and a Masters in Psychoanalytic Studies in 2011. In 2006 he completed an Introductory Course in Group Analysis and has conducted psychotherapy groups since 2007.