CONTEMPLATING LIFE IN AOTEAROA

A. Roy Bowden

An Introduction

Kia ora tatou. I whanau ahau ko Devonport, ki Tamaki Makaurau.  No Ingarangi, ki Irirangi oku tupuna. Ko takarunga taku maunga, me Puketapapa taku maunga . Ko Waitemata taku moana. Matou  e noho ana Pukerua Bay, Porirua.

Greetings to you. My birth place was Devonport in Auckland. My ancestors are from England and Ireland. My mountain, near where I was born, is Takarunga. The mountain near where I was raised, is Puketapapa (Mt Roskill).  My harbour is Waitemata. I live in Pukerua Bay, Porirua.

My professional life included being a university teacher in continuing adult education and in social work, a psychotherapist, a former clergyperson, and the director of a family counselling and social service agency. As head of the School of Health Sciences in a tertiary institute I became aware of the complex nature of systems and their effect on people. Teaching therapists and counsellors in degree programmes taught me to give priority to relationship skills whilst also acknowledging insights from theory.

From 1998 to 2000 I was privileged to serve as president of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists, Te Rōpū Whakaora Hinengaro. With wisdom and support offered by therapists who are Māori I was able to advocate for cultural belonging to be the primary focus in therapy. Representing Aotearoa on the board of the World Council for Psychotherapy convinced me personal assistance needs to be grounded in indigenous cultures and in initiatives which focus on the people who are most in need.

When I worked with people in private practice, prisons, hospitals, a community mental health facility and as staff mediator - counsellor in a health related industry, I learnt to wait patiently for meanings to emerge before offering guidance. Employment as a clerk, salesperson and heavy vehicle driver in earlier days introduced me to the crucial issues people face when life is difficult.

Our loving family of three sons, their partners and eight grandchildren are the centre of our lives in so many ways. Carol and I enjoy singing in choirs together, supervising health and education professionals and living in a seaside village. 

PublicationsFor sale details see the page: 'Roy's Books' 

Bowden A. Roy (2001) ‘A Psychotherapist Sings in Aoteaora’, Caroy Publications, Plimmerton. (Loan copies)

Bowden A. Roy (2018) ‘Psych-O-Therapy Aotearoa – New Zealand Psychotherapists tell their stories’, Resource Books, Auckland www.resourcebooks.co.nz  (Sale copies) 

Enquiries: mailto:roybowden@healththerapylife.com