Talking therapies are a low cost, effective way to improve a person’s health and wellbeing. They can also prevent people from becoming more unwell, therefore reducing the need for more costly and intensive support in the future.  

Talking therapies can be delivered across primary and secondary services, by a range of different roles. Using a stepped care approach we can make sure people have access to the right therapy, at the right time, delivered by people with the right skills and knowledge.

“More than any other aspect of service I’ve received, talking therapies gave me a chance to tell my stories in a purposeful way – to be heard, to hear myself and with support, to start making meaning from my experiences.” - Fiona Howard, service user

Practitioners and people experiencing mental health and addiction issues want better access to talking therapies, so Te Pou has been busy working with services to develop Let’s get talking – a suite of tools and guidance to support primary and secondary services to deliver effective talking therapies. The first four tools are available on the Te Pou website

The toolkit enables services and practitioners to plan and deliver talking therapies using a stepped care approach. It promotes: 

  • easier and fair access to therapies, particularly for high need populations and 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.

Senior psychologist Karen Ramsay says talking therapies and the stepped care model offers a robust system for therapeutic outcomes to be evaluated and the level or type of intervention to be altered if needed. 

“Talking therapies improve quality of life and therapeutic outcomes for service users,” she says. 

To find out more about talking therapies and stepped care, watch our Let’s get talking: Introduction video, then access the Planning, Skills survey and Assessment tools to determine what talking therapies are best for your communities, and the skills and knowledge needed to deliver and evaluate them. 

The final three tools are set to launch later in the year. For more information visit