Teaching Philosophy

What we believe in...

We design courses to help you uncover unconscious elements that influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour regarding life skills development; and to help support your weaknesses and build on your strengths, so that you can create the life you want most. We highly recommend our NeuroMinority students continue seeing their psychologist/ counsellor/ therapist/ pastor whilst undertaking coursework, so they have more support to process and reflect. While some activities may feel challenging, we are confident that they will teach you new skills, expand your mind and inspire you.
A person with rainbow colours behind them

Therapeutic Reflexive Learning

Core Tenets

  • SELF-KNOWLEDGE

    We encourage students to explore their world through self-awareness and curiosity. Learning is self-directed and independent, drawing on reflective activities, keeping journals, and 'action' research.

  • INCLUSIVE

    We recognize life is full of different experiences, and welcome the unique perspectives, identities and culture each person brings. Lessons are sensitive to minority and accessibility issues.

  • TRAUMA-INFORMED

    We follow a strengths-based framework that considers the impact of and response to personal trauma. Engagement with our courses promote emotional and psychological empowerment.

Why Life Skills?

For neurodiverse success...

We undertook a literature review and found that life skills are sorely lacking in NeuroMinority populations (i.e. those who are autistic, ADHD, dyslexic, Tourette's, etc). The problem this presents is significant, as quality of life diminishes when a person doesn't have the skills to cope with change or undertake socially assumed 'normal' tasks such as cooking a meal, expressing emotions, meeting deadlines, making friends or living independently. The worse a person's quality of life, the greater the chance of victimization, depression and isolation. We don't want those outcomes for our peers... So, we developed life skill courses to help you avoid the 'sharks' and be able to 'breathe' again.
A person shown underwater, with dark shark shapes around them

Meaningful Activities

Doing the 'Good' work

At Be Your Best Academy, courses have activities that challenge you to consider an alternate view point. You may reflect on a case study, or on how your childhood has shaped the person you are today.

By giving these kinds of meaningful activities to explore topics - even those as 'boring' as time management, goal-setting or professionalism - we feel the student can develop a more holistic learning experience of their world.


In addition, most of our courses offer 'homework'. While this idea may fill you with dread, a study into depression and anxiety discovered, even if completed homework lacks accuracy, when it is attempted, benefits are long-lasting and positive (Rees, McEvoy & Nathan, 2005).

Also, from our research into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other evidence-based modalities, we understand homework plays an important role in personal growth. You can learn new skills, rehearse and reflect on those skills, release emotions, and restructure ‘unfavourable’ beliefs (Mausbach, Moore, Roesch, Cardenas, & Patterson, 2010; Freeman & Rosenfield, 2002; Kazantzis, Deane & Ronan, 2000). Without therapeutic homework, individuals can struggle to put their reflections into practice, making any strides in learning  ‘useless’. 


There is indeed nothing worse than studying hard and then having no transferable skills at the end of it!


This is why we have approached the teaching, writing and researching of our courses in way we hope you will appreciate. The "voice" we use is similar to a kind therapist or friendly teacher.  We also have thought very hard about the context of the lessons and how you might be able to derive valuable knowledge that is practical (and relatable) to your daily needs.



Although many neurodiverse individuals experience setbacks in life, education is empowering. It can create positive change. We believe if you follow along with the activities and homework provided, you will become more confident in managing yourself and managing your life, no matter what challenges life may throw you.



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References

Freeman, A., & Rosenfield, B. (2002). Modifying therapeutic homework for patients with personality disorders. Journal of clinical psychology, 58(5), 513-524.

Kazantzis, N., Deane, F. P., & Ronan, K. R. (2000). Homework assignments in cognitive and behavioural therapy: A meta‐analysis. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 7(2), 189-202.

Mausbach, B. T., Moore, R., Roesch, S., Cardenas, V., & Patterson, T. L. (2010). The relationship between homework compliance and therapy outcomes: An updated meta-analysis. Cognitive therapy and research, 34(5), 429-438.

Rees, C. S., McEvoy, P., & Nathan, P. R. (2005). Relationship between homework completion and outcome in cognitive behaviour therapy. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 34(4), 242-247.