About Us

Our Association
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NZ Regions

Families helped each year

years helping families

Since 1975

working professionally with children, adolescents and their families.


What to Expect from a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

You should expect Child & Adolescent Psychotherapists working in New Zealand to have either a Graduate or Post Graduate qualification in Child Psychotherapy or a Masters in Health Science or to possess an equivalent overseas qualification AND be a Full or Provisional member of NZACAP; AND to be registered with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa NZ.


The NZACAP had its beginnings in Dunedin in 1975, when a small group of therapists who were working in child mental health saw a need for collegiate support.

At that stage the profession was in its infancy but from the beginning the aims were clear, to provide psychotherapy for children by clinicians who were specifically trained to work with children and to do what was necessary to support that training.

Over almost 40 years these aims have stayed at the heart of the Association.

Children come to treatment for a range of reasons, generally their behavior has concerned either caregivers or teachers enough to seek help, in essence they are ‘conscripts not volunteers’ so establishing a good working relationship is the primary focus. Once this therapeutic alliance has been established work can begin.

Based on psychodynamic principals, psychotherapy with children and adolescents aims to help them to understand their experiences and to review the feelings and subsequent behaviors that go with these experiences.

The crucial difference between adult, and child and adolescent therapy is that this process is carried out within the context of the clients’ developmental stage and the dynamics of the family. Parents are a vital part of the process and frequently the child and the parents are seen in joint sessions.

Depending on the age of the child a range of techniques will be used, for younger children play therapy is mostly likely to be more effective whereas older children and adolescents are more able to express themselves verbally.

What Drives Us

Our Mission

To provide a forum for the advancement of the theory and practice of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy in Aotearoa New Zealand emphasising the application of psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and systems theory alongside developmental principles in diagnosis and treatment. Equally we look to promote the recognition of Child and Adolescent psychotherapy as a discipline and to act as advocates for Aotearoa New Zealand children and their whānau.


Meet our Executive

Jo Doyle


Janet brady


Victoria Clarke


Lorna Wood

Membership Convenor

Membership enquiry

All membership enquiries to Lorna Wood

Contact NZACAP

Any correspondence or requests for information can be forwarded to the Association