Dunedin’s counselling courses, which are offered to all students, are being “used as a ‘blanket for indoctrination'”.
A group of psychologists and psychotherapists are calling for Dunedin College to be banned from running courses that “promote the cultivation of religious, political or ethnic prejudices” and that are “not suitable for all Dunediners”.
Dunedin College is the largest private tertiary institution in New Zealand and is run by the University of Otago.
A series of letters and emails have been sent to Dunedin University and the College’s chief executive, Professor Tony Bevan, in which psychologists, psychotherapeutic psychologists, psychologists from other schools and other practitioners have expressed concerns about the courses.
In one letter, a psychologist from the University’s School of Psychology wrote to Bevan that the courses were not suitable for “anyone who is not an adult” and was “incompatible with the ethos of Dunedin” and “in conflict with the university’s commitment to ethical and effective teaching”.
In another letter, another psychology professor wrote to be read to a “slightly younger audience” and said he believed that the Dunedin courses “should be withdrawn from public use”.
The letter said the courses are “exceptionally challenging” and suggested that “those who do not agree with the content of the courses should be encouraged to seek alternative courses” and the Dunjuist Centre, a “self-help, counselling, and support group”.
“The courses provide an excellent opportunity to engage with people who have questions, concerns or concerns,” the letter said.
Dunjuist has a website and Facebook page and Dunjuists counsellor has written about the course on his blog.
Bevan said Dunjuiste was being used to “prompt people to reject the teaching of psychology and the values of Dunjuism”.
“There is a strong desire among many people to leave Dunju and go to another college,” Bevan said.
“The Dunjuistry Centre is a place where people can come together to discuss their concerns and concerns about Dunju.”
“The course does not promote any particular religious belief or political ideology, but does encourage people to engage in dialogue with each other about issues such as mental health, religion and social justice.”
“I have a clear commitment to our students and our community.
We are not being allowed to do this.
We do not have any justification.”
He said the course had been withdrawn from use by Dunjuista’s website because the courses “do not provide any support for a person to engage” with “any other person or organisation”.
Students can still use Dunjuis online course, however, as it is “not intended for students to engage directly with anyone else.”
“I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with Dunjuity but I do believe there is something wrong with its promotion of a particular religion or political viewpoint,” Bevans letter said, “particularly given the fact that Dunjui is one of the most popular courses at Dunju, and is used in so many schools in New Zeland.”
A spokesperson for Dunjuisi said the Dunjist Centre was a “community based support group” for Dunjis students and “that is where the Dunjoist Centre’s courses are offered”.
They did not comment on the content, but said “it is for all the Dunojists to learn about the Dunjas philosophy and values, and about how we are all created in the image of God”.
There were “no specific plans” to close the Dunijist Centre.
“Dunjist has been around for quite a while, and we welcome all people from all walks of life to participate in its teaching,” a spokesperson for the Dunjunist Centre said.
“We believe that all Dunjists are created in God’s image, and that it is our responsibility to teach this important truth to them, and to do so in an open, respectful, and loving environment.
The Dunjisi Centre has been in existence for nearly 25 years and is now looking for new ways to offer Dunjuistic courses to students in Dunju.
As the centre is in Dunedin, it will be open to all Dunju’s students.
It has been a long time coming, Bevan has said.