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What is the difference between life coaching and therapy?

Honestly, I have no idea!

Actually, that isn’t quite true. Coaching tends to be a little more future focused, solving problems in order to create a new life path. Coaching is more commonly associated with lifestyle or occupational change.

Therapy, on the other hand tends to be more emotional and relationship focused, attempting to uncover and address the contributors to poor mental health. It is more commonly associated with the treatment of mental health disorders.

What I can guarantee you is you’ll probably get a different answer depending on who you ask.

Put the distinction aside for the moment though cause thanks to beyondblue, you can now have the coaching experience for free, and find out for yourself.

This is through the New Access Program. The details below are taken from the New Access website.

What is NewAccess?

NewAccess is a program developed by beyondblue that provides free and confidential support to help you tackle day-to-day pressures.

A NewAccess coach, specially trained and experienced, will support you in setting practical goals that will get you back on track.

How does NewAccess work?

The program includes six free sessions with a NewAccess coach. At your first appointment, your coach will complete an initial assessment with you and develop a program tailored to your needs.

Sessions occur over the phone or face-to-face, whichever works best for you.

Is the program right for me?

On average, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men will experience some level of depression and 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety during their lifetime.

If any of the following are causing you to feel unhappy, moody, angry or unable to concentrate or sleep this service could be right for you:

Work/study stress or uncertainty
Change in living arrangements
New parent worries
Family problems
Health concerns or uncertainty
Long-term isolation or loneliness
Financial worries

Who are the Access coaches?

Access coaches are specifically trained to help guide you through your tailored plan. They are also well connected in the community and can point you in the right direction of other supporting groups such as employment, financial, education, housing and more.

Does the program work?

A few years back, beyondblue got Ernst&Young to evaluate the program. You can access the report here.

The report is pretty ordinary, but the takeaway messages are:

  • The New Access Program is an adaptation of the IAPT program in the UK which has been shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate mental distress.
  • In three test sites, around 64-72% of clients achieved “recovery” which is essentially the movement of their depression/anxiety scores into the normal range
  • Clients were generally positive about the program. Testimonials can be found here.

It is difficult to say whether you might find the program useful, but on the basis of the findings to date, it is worth a try.

Have you got any videos that explain the program?


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External health and mental health services Mental Health Treatment Options

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