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Michael : Good morning Peta.
Peta : Good morning.
Michael : Delighted to speak with you this morning. To kick it off, can you give a brief introduction about yourself and give our listeners some background to what you do and also some of the experience that you have that gives you the credibility to talk about health.
Peta : Sure. I guess my official title is Dr Peta Stapleton, I’m a registered and qualified psychologist here in Australia, and have been for about fifteen years. My official job is as one of the lecturers in medicine at Griffith University which is one of the universities here in Queensland.
My specialty areas I guess, as far as health goes, is that for fifteen years I’ve worked in the areas of eating disorders, addiction, obesity – and in line with being a psychologist, I’m a certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Time-line Therapy and EFT, or the Emotional Freedom Technique.
And I’m also a member of The Health College of the Australian Psychological Society, which I guess sums up that most of my work clinically is in the health area.
Michael : What do you understand as ‘health’?
Peta : I guess for me, because I’m in the area of particularly physical health, with eating issues and obesity, health for me is all encompassing – it’s not just about health as in physical health, so how you eat, you eating habits, your physical exercise.
But to me it’s also your connection with your mind, so it’s very much about how healthy things are in between your ears – how your looking after yourself in many ways. Listening to your own body and your own needs is very high up on my list of importance – and my understanding and definition of what health is.
So it might be that it’s not only resting when you need to rest eating what your body wants to eat, drinking good water. but for me health extends into lifestyle things like finding happiness in life, or in your job or your career – it might be meditation or relaxation, it might be spending time with your family or any daily activity that suits you.
so health for me goes well beyond what we might do physically, with our bodies and what we feed ourselves, but also stretching into that area of emotionally how sound we are as well.
Michael : And building on that – What do you think are some of the characteristics of a healthy person?
Peta : For me it would encompass some of those ideas that you’d have somebody that listens to their own body physically. So they would obviously look after their nutritional needs, drink good water and make sure that those needs are being met.
But also finding some physical activity that suits them – it might not be that they join a gym to get their activity everyday, but it might be that they’re into yoga, or love walking down the beach with kids in the pram, that kind of thing.
But then again, the characteristics of a healthy person would be someone that listens to themselves emotionally. So if they need to rest they do, if they need to take time off work they do – that kind of thing, because it’s also maintaining that health in their mind and in their body, as all one unit, not two separate entities.
Michael : And why do you think that the subject of health is particularly important today?
Peta : I think because the world is changing and we’re seeing a lot of that world-wide. Certainly here as well as where you are.
The obesity crisis is probably the biggest one that we’re facing here in Australia, I know in the UK as well – our children as old as five or six years of age are being effected with their diet, and because that’s such an obvious effect that you see in children, I think that’s why the importance is increasing, certainly lots of educational programs over here are targeting schools, and things like that.
Stress is increasing in our lives, and we’re eating what we’re really not designed to eat, because of convenience foods – and I just think the importance is growing because its fuelled by all of those different things that are happening at the moment.
Michael : If you were going to lecture, or if you were lecturing to a group of young people – what would you suggest might be some of the key aspects of being and staying healthy?
Peta : For me I guess it would be knowing that we connect with everybody that we meet. Everywhere that we go in our lives, at some level we’re effecting somebody else – whether we’re just driving our car, or going for a walk, or going to work, that kind of thing.
So it’s not only that kind of energy connection, but our habits and behaviours effect different things that are out there in the world as well, so I guess I’ll be saying to a group of young men and women is :’Be aware of what it is you’re doing to yourself- What are your habits?’ What sort of behaviours are you doing?’
And I guess understanding where that feeds in and connects with the environment as well. So, to me ‘healthy’ means starting with your mind, so will power seems to be the biggest thing for people when they’re looking after their health, but also listening to themselves, beginning by changing their attitudes and then their behaviours and habits, because all of that does effect the world that we live in and the world outside of us.
Michael : You talked about will power and listening – what do you actually mean by ‘will power’?
Peta : We’re finding that a lot of programmes that we run over here, particularly for kids and adolescents, that the biggest struggle that they have with maintaining healthy eating habits, exercise programmes, is that aspect of will power – that they just find that they can’t do it anymore, because they forget to make the shift at mind level.
So they might persevere through something out of sheer determination and grit, but after a while old habits replace those ones, they go back to their own patterns. So that will power wains and they’re back at square one where they started, because they forgot to make the changes that they needed to at that mental, or mind level.
So to me will power is something that we try to teach people to overcome because it can only last a certain amount of time.
Michael : We may cover this again when we talk about your book, but really top level, what are some of the things that if you’re talking or advising people about will power – what are some of the top level things that you would get them to think about or get them to do?
Peta : Let’s talk in relation to health just to make it easier. I guess the first thing that I would say to people is ‘be aware what your thoughts are’. If you’re tackling an exercise program to get healthier, what are your thoughts about having a go at that or maintaining that as a change of lifestyle?
If people find that some of those thoughts may be negative, what one needs to be aware of is those negative thoughts are going to affect their will power or their determination in sticking with that – so that would be, number one for me to be really aware of those thoughts, and then any feelings that are going on in their bodies, that kind of thing.
Michael :OK, so what you’re saying, as a starting point, is being aware of what your thoughts are and how you feel?
Peta : Absolutely.
Michael : What I’d like you to do is really introduce your book and say a little bit about what it’s about.
Peta : the book title is called ‘Your Mind Power: Strategies For Behaviour Change’. What we did is we invited ten different authors from Australia and America to write a chapter each for us, and they’re all based around a change strategy for behaviour. So each chapter had to have a practical skill in it, so anyone reading the book would be able to read that one chapter and apply something straight away.
Each chapter was based on Neuro-Linguistic therapy or some energy therapy.
Michael :And who is the book aimed at?
Peta : Michael, it was originally written for university students – we really wanted to expose, maybe undergraduates to a wider set of skills outside of traditional therapies – but we are marketing the book now to the wider public. It’s an introductory book to any of those Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or change strategies.
So much more general now – as so far as just being able to pick something up and getting a start at it.
Michael :Why do you think it’s important?
Peta :I guess from my perspective and my many years in private practice, behaviours, attitudes, any of those personal thoughts really need to be changed at a deeper level than just that conscious level – so I’m really talking about words like ‘the subconcious’, ‘the unconscious’ and to me, I guess that’s why this book needed to be out there just for the general public or even for some of our students at university level, so they can get an understanding that to get a more permanent change in their behaviours or patterns in life they really need to target them at a much deeper level.
Michael : And from your point of view, in editing the book, what are some of the key messages that came out to you?
Peta : The key things for me is, number one, that each chapter has a key skill in it. So if it really appealed, readers could just pick any chapter at random, read it, and be able to do something then and there.
Most of the chapters contained case studies or examples, so they’re like real life stories that they could read and how it could be applied.
Every chapter is written by somebody different, so there’s almost a sense of freshness because everyones’ style differs, so the book’s not written by the same author.
They do stand alone as chapters, you could just read one chapter at a time or skip and read in different orders.
And all of the skills to me, are applicable to all areas of life, so there might be a chapter on attracting more abundance in your life – not only could you do that in attracting more wealth or money, but it could be in happiness or health – and a chapter on dealing with pain may be used in different ways as well.
So really we’re applicable across a good deal of life situations.
Michael : And could you remind our listeners to who some of the authors of the chapters are?
Peta : Some of them that might be familiar are from America, San Fransisco, Tim and Christine Halburn, who have worked quite closely with lots of different leaders in Neuro-Linguistic Progamming, as well as Connirae Andreas who is the wife of Steve Andreas, they’re based in the States as well.
So they’re a couple of the primary authors that people would know straight away, as well as some of the leaders here in Australia of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, including Chris Collinwood and his wife Jules, and some of the leaders in EFT the Emotional Freedom techniques – Steve Wells and David Lake.
So they’re some of the contributors to the book.
Michael :Now, what specifically would you like people to do differently after reading the book?
Peta: For me, number one is apply the skills. They’re so quick, they have such a long lasting effect that you could use the book with somebody, you could read it, if you had a therapist or a support person, or you could just work through it on your own.
It really has such an ability to change so much in peoples lives, that I would say, number one, read a chapter and then do the practical skills. that’s mentioned.
Michael : Anything else that you’d like people to take from the book? you’ve said the importance of actually applying the stuff – so are there any other top-line messages that you’d like people to go away with, or think about, or do, or whatever?
Peta : Mainly Michael, my aim is for people to read the book and hopefully ignite peoples’ interest in the whole field of energy, psychology and go further with this and really explore what it’s got to offer.
Michael : Now before I ask for your contact details and specific details of where people can get the book – is there anything that you’d like to emphasise, or anything that you think is important in the subject of health that we haven’t been able to cover? Are there any other pointers that you’d like to leave? Or as I say, anything you’d like to emphasise?
Peta :I guess for me, the whole field of NLP has had such an impact, and particularly in the area of health. And health for me is not only moving towards more positive health, but also moving towards overcoming health problems that people have had, but also this book and the whole field is really such an amazing way to overcome any of the health problems that people might have had, and really move to a freer life and fulfil everything that they wanted to do.
So for me I probably couldn’t talk more highly about the field as well as how much impact it could have in so many ways, in this whole area of health that we’re talking about today.
Michael :And where can people get hold of the book?
Peta : The book is available direct from the publisher, and that is Hybrid Publishers, so HYBRID PUBLISHERS they do international delivery, quick and fast.
So direct form the publishers there. And the book can also be viewed online, there’s a section that’s available free of charge.
Michael : Have have we mentioned its’ title?
Peta : We have, I’ll say it again. It’s ‘Your mind Power: Strategies For Behaviour Change’.
Michael :OK, is there anything else you’re doing that you’d like to bring to people attention?
Peta : I’m involved directly as I’ve said in the whole health field, as so far as obesity, we have many programs happening over here that have just launched in America and the UK is to follow after that.
The company is called Slim Minds – people are happy to look on the website Slim Minds they’ll see the different areas that I do work in myself, as well as the impact that we’re having in the one area of obesity.
Michael : And if you could give everyone yor contact details if they do want to contact you.
Peta : Sure, I’m available directly on email, so [email protected] and there’s other contact details there if people would like to write to us or even give us a call, so by all means skypes the way to go when we’re internation, so I’d love to hear from any of our listeners out there.
Michael : Excellent, thank you very much indeed for you time.
Peta : Thanks Michael
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