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Talking Therapies

Increasing access to effective talking therapies

Talking therapies help people to understand and make changes to their thinking, behaviour and relationships in order to relieve distress and improve wellbeing.

Often called psychological therapies, talking therapies have a strong international evidence base for improving mental health and addiction outcomes (NZGG, 2008; NICE, 2009; NHS Scotland, 2011). In Rising to the Challenge, services are encouraged to introduce a stepped-care approach to meeting mental health and addiction needs.

A stepped care approach aims to match the right type and level of therapy to a person, to help them achieve the best health gain and a positive outcome. It aims to optimise the effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, of therapy through a systematic approach to meet the health and cultural needs of a person.

Let's get talking toolkit

Let’s get talking is a set of seven tools to support primary and secondary health services deliver effective talking therapies. Services can use the Let’s get talking toolkit to help determine what talking therapies are best for their communities, and the skills and knowledge needed to deliver and evaluate them. The toolkit supports the planning and delivery of talking therapies using a stepped care approach.

The tools promote:

  • easier and fair access to therapies, particularly for high need populations and different cultural groups
  • efficiently delivering therapies using a stepped care approach to meet people's needs
  • effectively practising evidence-based therapies
  • evaluating therapy interventions to support effective outcomes
  • optimising a skilled workforce mix.

Talking therapy guides

A guide to talking therapies in New Zealand provides information about what talking therapy is, the types of talking therapies used in New Zealand, and how to work with your therapist.

Our series of talking therapy guides for mental health and addiction staff support them to assist the growing diversity of people they work with. The guides are designed to assist practitioners to form effective therapeutic relationships and adapt therapies to meet the specific needs of:

The skills and competencies required to deliver talking therapies effectively are acquired through training and maintained through clinical supervision and practice (Scottish Government, 2011).

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