Psychological Digs in Paradise

    By Drs John & Esther Roodenburg | ISBN 9780645371482

    Overcoming the traumas of the past in pursuit of an elusive ideal.

    This book is intended to appeal to both Christians as well as non-believing serious thinkers interested in seeing how Christian faith builds resilience when dealing with life’s inevitable curved balls.

    As a teaching novel, it has been specifically written in an unapologetic but non-preachy narrative style. The story involves an enjoyable expedition on to an island called Rustenberg, where its characters mainly inhabit the town affectionately known as KP – Kleine Paradijs. In a tranquil tropical setting the reader is introduced to further psychological insights about several people and their oft misunderstood behaviours and reactions. A seeming simple year’s research trip investigating coffee morphs into unexpected intrusions from the visitors’ troubled pasts, as well as their becoming part of a tragic event that spoils the deceptively safe tranquillity of the island experience.

    Written by two retired psychologists, the journey allows a broad range of readers to appreciate the very real limitations of believing in the idea of paradise on earth.


    John and Esther have devoted many years towards helping folk discover the vibrant life God intends for all of us. In this book is the heartbeat of this same calling, where distilled biblical wisdom, discernment, and authenticity, come to life through the characters and the challenges they face. A book which engages the reader on a number of levels.
    Bruce Park, Maths/Science and Design & Technology Teacher, Past Anglican Parish Warden

    In this book John and Esther bring a lifetime of both academic and practitioner experience to their writing. Through the deployment of narrative, they draw the reader into discovering insights into psychology and faith that impact the human condition.
    George Savvides, AM, FAICD, Chair SBS, past Managing Director Medibank Private.

    About the authors
    John Roodenburg’s primary school teaching experience was followed by many years as a practicing developmental psychologist in country Victoria, Australia, and then a mid-career quantitative PhD from The University of Melbourne saw him return to his passion of teaching but this time at post-graduate level. John was awarded the 2020 Australian Psychological Society’s National Award of Distinction in recognition of his work at Monash University leading the Graduate E&D course and directorship of the Krongold Clinic, as well as four years as National Chair of the College of E&D. With his wife and colleague Esther, his research passion has been modelling individual differences in thinking.

    Esther Roodenburg’s initial secondary teaching experience, followed by raising 5 children with her husband John, and many years as a community-based psychologist was then further explored within her own more qualitative PhD, into individual differences in ways of thinking. She joined John in the University setting, facilitating the education of less experienced psychologists into a broad case-based range of therapeutic approaches, with a practical application of well-developed theory-based psychological understandings. These are evident in this book.


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