Kia ora koutou,
Greetings from New Zealand. I am Christina Baird, a psychologist based in Auckland.
From when I began studying psychology in 1989, I have been determined to focus on using psychology to help people grow and flourish. This meant that I didn’t take the straightforward path of becoming a clinical psychologist and working in the area of mental illness. Rather I developed a complex and diverse base that included developmental, educational, social, organisational psychology and some studies in theology. I became fascinated by the development of positive psychology and informally (no formal opportunities were available in New Zealand) took every opportunity I could to learn more about it. When I returned to university in 2019 to finally complete the requirements to register as a psychologist, the process involved trying to bring coherence to my diverse background, experiences and studies. I was introduced to Adlerian psychology and began to use it as a framework to pull all the pieces together. Although I was still adding new pieces as my internship placement was in the hospice environment, and it was there that I began learning about existential and meaning-centred approaches. My supervisor introduced me to Adlerian psychology and it was useful to use as a framework to pull all the pieces together
The current focus of my work is providing training, coaching, therapeutic support and supervision to those in health, education, pastoral ministry and social services. With these clients, purpose, values and meaning are a core component of my work. I am passionate about researching and teaching wisdom; my goal is to equip people to be wise. As we enter this post-covid era, we are awash with information but in many cases lack wisdom. Yet I believe it is the key skill we need to rebuild, recreate and reconnect our communities. As I continue the process of putting my diverse experiences into a coherent framework that informs and structures my work, I was excited to discover the work of the INPM, as it resonates with so much of my own journey. I am looking forward to learning from and with this community as we seek to give psychology away so that people may live psychologically rich and vital lives.