The Inuka Method™
Where empathy meets science
An evidence-based coaching method to help people in a tough place bounce back quickly.
How it works
Every session follows these 3 steps for personalized support
The wellbeing scan helps you monitor progress in between sessions
Coaching sessions led by real people, trained by us
Feedback from coaching sessions
Why is the Inuka Method™ so effective?
Laser focused coaching with fast results
Based on our pilot of 63 participants in a 4-session program: 82% felt better and 96% of participants felt they dealt with problems more effectively. 91% would ‘definitely’ come back for more coaching.
Based on the latest science on behavior change
The Inuka Method™ is based on Problem Solving Therapy (PST), a highly regarded cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people become more resilient in dealing with their problems in healthy, positive ways.
Inuka co-founder Prof. Chibanda co-founder is a psychiatrist and a professor in London and developed the InukaMethod™. He was one of 12 psychiatrists in Zimbabwe, a country of 16 million. He went radical by training grandmothers to make mental support available widely.
Now, by training coaches across Africa he helps 100.000 people each year, with problems ranging from depression, trauma, to stress.
Problems are a normal, predictable part of life and negative emotional and physical symptoms are cues for change.
The Inuka Method is focused on changing how you feel, by helping you change what they do to help you enact sustainable, positive behavioral changes.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience working with an Inuka coach:
- Improve your ability to identify what’s triggering you, what problems are causing you the most emotional distress
- Improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress
- Helps you cope with difficulties by teaching you how to proactively solve problems
- Directly work on life’s challenges by taking small steps and actions.
- Helps with a wide range of problems like reducing depression, managing anxiety and stress and solving work and life relationship problems
- Manage negative effects of stressful events: overwhelm, inadequate coping skills, lack of self-efficacy
- Helps you reach personal goals, like losing weight, running a marathon
Inuka is the only intervention designed for the people who need it before it is too late – by keeping it simple.
Coaches go through the Inuka Academy, a 300 hour rigorous training to get certified, and then supervised by a team of therapists and psychiatrists.
The Inuka Method is delivered by real people, hand picked and vetted by Inuka. They come from diverse backgrounds and can relate to the life struggles and challenges of your employees. Each coach has gone through rigorous training and a certification process. They receive over 300 hours of education and training. This results in a certification by AMREF. Coaches are continuously supervised and supported by licensed therapists.
Feeling listened to and understood by an objective, highly trained coach that can relate to your challenges is often the first step to feeling better. All our coaches go through our rigorous Inuka Academy where they are trained and certified in the InukaMethod,™ a scientifically validated method based on ten years of research and shown to be effective for a wide range of issues — including depression, anxiety, work stress, loneliness and more.
Good question! We have 5 ingredients to ensure good quality, consistent service from our coaches:
Training – All coaches have completed an in-depth training on a proven problem solving method by AMREF Health Africa, a trusted leader in the field of healthcare training.
Strict quality control – A clinical professional supervises all coaches and all clients are asked to provide regular feedback on their coach.
Careful selection – Our coaches are carefully screened and selected by us. They have to have a CV that shows social engagement and they have to pass a test after completing their training.
Guidance method – Coaches are trained on a proven problem solving method, which builds your skills to effectively deal with challenges or stressful events you face in life. As opposed to many offers of therapists or counsellors, on the Inuka service all coaches work with the same method to ensure you get a similar high quality service, every session.
Solid research & development – We have tested the quality of our coaches’ problem solving method by tracking the progress and feedback of 63 people who received 4 chat-sessions on our Inuka app. We saw great results: for 81% of participants, mental distress symptoms went down with 42% and 91% of participants reported they ‘definitely’ would come back if they would seek help again.
Note that we used an earlier prototype. Results may differ with the current solution, and it depends per type of challenge how many sessions are needed for results.
Each session lasts between 60-90 minutes.
Your coach is there to listen to you and help you feel comfortable to genuinely share whats on your mind. With your coach, you will systematically identify your stressors and build the coping skills and strategies to manage them in healthy, positive ways on your own.
Here’s what else you can expect:
- A personalized wellbeing plan for you to follow between sessions
- Quick referral in case additional care is required.
Each session takes the following format:
- Map out your life across all areas to help you identify all your problems and opportunities for change
Every session begins with the coach listening to you and what you’re going through in the context of your daily lives — your problems, your mindset, your stressors — whether it is related to work, emotional, relationship, financial, physical or spiritually related. Together, you’ll come up with a ¨things to tackle list.¨
If it is a return session, the session begins with evaluating whether the action plan worked.
- Focus on one specific problem & goal
The coach then helps you find out the most pressing issue on the list and helps them focus on what they can influence. Together, you pick a problem that is important and also feasible to be addressed.
- Make a plan
Together, you and your coach set a goal. This is the first moment you’ll get pulled towards positive thinking, and behavioral change. Together you brainstorm a range of possible and impossible solutions, pick a solution and make a SMART action plan. The session ends with a short scheduling of the next session.
Each person reacts differently to this support, depending on the issues they face, but we have two reasons to believe this can work for you:
1. Evidence-based guidance method. All Inuka guides are trained in a method which is grounded in problem solving therapy. This method has been found to be effective for a range of problems people face.
2. We tested it. 63 people received 4 guidance sessions from Inuka guides, trained in our problem solving method and saw the following results:
a) For 81% of participants, mental distress symptoms go down by an average of 42% (mean from M=12 to 7 out of 20 on screener for depression, anxiety, stress and sleep challenges)
b) 69% said Inuka helped very much in dealing better with their life’s challenges
c)The quality of the program was rated by 67% as ‘excellent’
d)If a friend was in need, 84% would ‘definitely’ recommend Inuka
e)In circumstances where they may need help again, 91% would ‘definitely’ come back to Inuka
Based on a study with a prototype. Results may differ with the current solution. Different life challenges may require varying numbers of sessions. Typically, 4-8 sessions are needed.
We wrote a great blog about this; 9 Lessons Learned from Supporting Remote Workers through Covid-19.
Counselling and psychotherapy are services offered by medical experts. Counselors and psychotherapists go through extensive training in understanding human behavior through scientific methods and a range of different types of therapies in order to identify problems and help people improve their sense of well-being. These experts treat people who face various challenges in their lives, whether it is being unable to sleep or get to work every day, or more serious problems with substance abuse and mental health disorders.
In contrast, our guides are trained in a specific method which is grounded in ‘problem-solving therapy’. Created by leading experts, it uses methods common to counselling and psychotherapy (known as ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’) but in such a way that that people without a medical background can deliver the service because it only focuses on building your skills to deal with challenges, not on deeper underlying issues. You can find more information on the history of this method here.
An additional advantage of Inuka is that it is made available via chat: allowing us to continuously check and improve the quality of support you receive.
It is important to note that although this service is designed to help you cope with a range of issues you face in life, Inuka is not a medical service. If you feel you are in crisis, or you may hurt yourself or others, you should seek professional help. Please scroll down to find resources for professional help
Sessions are available in the following languages. We are constantly adding new languages, as they are requested.
English – French – Spanish – German – Hindi – Dutch – Romanian – Kiswahili – Shona
"The Inuka team is genuinely interested in real impact, not just to sell their product."
Get in touch with us!
Robin van Dalen
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Business Development
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