Your EFT Book Toolkit

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I am often asked which books on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping are good if you are starting out, or indeed have been working with the technique for a while. There are amazing books out there for choose from – I have a book shelf overflowing with them! But here are some of my favourites that are useful in the early days, some of them focus on EFT and others complement perfectly. You can actually see some of these are worn on the edges as they are really mine here in my office, and they get used a lot!

  1. The Clinical EFT Handbooks (vol 1 and vol 2) are a wealth of information for practitioners and therapists.  Each chapter is written by an expert in the field and cover the clinical application of EFT to fields such as addiction treatment, sports, surgery, weight loss, social problems, and family therapy. The physiological mechanisms of action of EFT are covered, as well as its sources in physics and chemistry. These 2 volumes are essential reading for anyone wishing to understand EFT as validated in research, science, and best clinical practice. (Note: I wrote the chapter on long term weight loss with EFT in Vol 2).
  2. Inna Segal has written 2 amazing books that complement the practice of EFT so well they should be mandatory reading in all EFT trainings! The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness  outlines the messages of the body and reveals the underlying energetic causes of over 200 symptoms and medical conditions – just about everything you can think of at a physical level is covered here. This is similar to Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, but more extensive in my opinion. EFT can be used on any of the suggested origins from the book. The second book here is The Secret of Life Wellness: The Essential Guide to Life’s Big Questions. It outlines many practical skills that can be used in conjunction with EFT for health and wellness, energy and life direction.
  3. Energy Strands: The Ultimate Guide To Clearing The Energy Cords That Are Constricting Your Life  by Denise Linn is my favourite new Hay House book. This is the technique that got me started about 25 years ago – I came across it from a colleague and practiced it over and over again. I am so glad Denise has written this book! She discusses the cords, strands, threads, and filaments of energy that flow to and through us, connecting us to everyone and everything in the Universe. Some energy strands make us feel vibrant and alive. Others deplete and weaken us. Most importantly Denise shows you how to release the cords that bind you and strengthen the ones that heal you. This is a perfect complement to EFT practices and one I highly recommend!
  4. The Ethics Handbook for Energy Healing Practitioners by the fabulous Donna Eden and Dr David Feinstein is essential if you are running a practice. I actually think it is better than some of the ethics texts we recommend in psychology! This text is filled with common ethical dilemmas and what to do as you work with clients. It has guidelines for sound therapy work and suggestions for working with a wide range of client issues and concerns.

That’s all for now – more on recommendations for children in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!



Mind Over Munch: How To Stop Emotional Eating

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Devoured a litre of ice cream after a break up? Detoured via a drive-through after a stressful day? Demolished 3 bags of chips to crush that loneliness? ‘Eating your feelings’ is a common coping mechanism. Our unconscious feelings can heavily affect and control our behaviour. So many diets fail because often we are not feeding our body due to hunger, but instead to deal with uncomfortable emotions like fear, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness, tiredness or even boredom. Of course, immediately following this eating binge, we feel even worse! This can lead to unhealthy patterns with food, weight yo-yo-ing, obesity, or eating disorders.

Ironically unhealthy eating habits, binging and/or poor nutrition just leads to further feelings of anxiety, depression, tiredness, low mood and cravings making it even harder to break the cycle.

Am I An Emotional Eater?

Do you tend to overeat at stressful times?
Do you eat anyway despite being full, or not hungry? Feel like no matter how much you are eating, you are still not satisfied?
When you are feeling upset, angry, bored or anxious, do you reach for the junk food to make yourself feel better?
Has your hunger comes out of nowhere, seems urgent and overwhelming? Physical hunger tends to occur slower, and 3-4 hours after last meal
Do you reward yourself using food?
Do you stop eating when you are full, or stuff yourself silly?
Does eating make you feel safe again?
Do you feel like you don’t have control with food anymore?
Do you feel regret, guilt and shame afterwards? Physical hunger isn’t as likely to cause these feelings
Do you feel hunger in other parts of your body? For example, solar plexus (in between ribs) in your mouth, in your head etc. A growling tummy should be the only true hunger signal

Mind Over Munch – Stop Your Sabotage Cycle

Giving your car a paint job, when it really needs a new motor doesn’t solve the REAL issue. At first it appears like it’s fixed, and it looks kind of nice, but underneath the hood it is actually broken, and so it will continue to cause problems until the underlying issues are resolved.

Regain Control With These Techniques

Tapping may seem a bit strange and unorthodox but it has incredible results for many. Tapping on pressure points around the body (similar to acupuncture) helps to clear emotional baggage and also relieve chronic pain. In simple terms, it helps calm the nerves in your fight or flight control centre. This is activated when we feel anger, anxiety, or pain – and Tapping/EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) helps to release these emotions. Tapping has shown effective for helping with weight control and even cravings.

Learn how to tap your way to success – watch the video here.

Be aware. Start to notice what emotions come up before you eat and any patterns. Start a food diary to keep track of what emotion might be linked to a certain food, or be making you want food when you are not hungry.

Wait 5-10 minutes. Instead of eating immediately on impulse, wait a short time before. This gives you time to evaluate the scenario and ask whether you are actually hungry. When you feel hunger, try to choose a different pastime first (e.g. if you are anxious, phone a friend instead or if you feel bored, take the dog out for a walk…). Focus on feeling joy from activities that are unrelated to food. Studies show changing habits are also a vital key to reshaping patterns, and creating long lasting change in learned behaviours.

Mindful eating is also important. Whenever you eat a meal, ensure you are sitting down and you remove all distractions (phone, tv, feed the cat/baby beforehand!). Take a moment to enjoy the meal, chew each mouthful as many times as possible, and appreciate how good it smells/tastes. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has shown this aids digestion, and actually helps you to eat less food, and also make better meal choices.


Where did this start? Think about where/when/around who your emotional eating began. Research shows there children easily pick up bad eating habits from family members, and proceed to link particular food with feelings later in life. Was food linked to certain memorable events when you were younger? Or alternatively, did the emotional eating only start after childhood trauma? Seek professional help if delving back makes you too uncomfortable. The important thing is making any small step forwards.

Seek professional help if delving back

Fighting our brain’s reward centre can be challenging but with a few techniques you can reprogram any misguided emotional attachments, and create a healthy stress free relationship with food again.

Stay Motivated_Peta Stapleton_Clouds

How To Stay Motivated

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If you’re required to exert willpower to do something, there is an obvious internal conflict. You want to eat the cookie, but you also want to be healthy. Environment versus goal…” 

According to bestselling author and organisational psychology specialist Ben Hardy, willpower won’t work! This is because studies have shown we only have a limited amount of willpower, so to focus on strengthening it is counterproductive, and to rely on to achieve results will only get us so far. In short we won’t stay motivated for long enough to achieve the goal because we will run out of steam. To create long lasting change, we need to shape the environment around us, change habits for a steady period of time, and remove any potential hurdles (decision fatigue). Change your habits, and change your life! Over time, changing habits also rewires the brain, and of course once you start achieving goals due to this, that in itself also provides added motivation.

start achieving goal

Thinking that you need a boost – read my previous blog on motivation

What do you want to achieve and when by? Can’t drive to Goal Town if you don’t know where you’re going! Get REALLY clear on what you want to achieve here. Research has shown having goals that are both specific and challenging, will 90% of the time have a better outcome. So break it down into measurable targets, and aim high. Create a timeline. Set smaller goals amongst the bigger targets, and break bigger ones down into smaller pieces to stay motivated. If you can’t see the top of the mountain or the end of the tunnel for too long, it is too easy to give up. Plus when we achieve what we want, our brains get a big dose of “feel good” Dopamine neurotransmitters – so work that to your advantage. 

 Envision this goal. Imagine how it will look and feel. 

 “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Envision goal

Remove Decision Fatigue 

This is a BIG one. If your goal is to exercise more in the mornings, lay your gym gear out the night before and pre-blend a protein smoothie… If your goal is to eat better, remove all unhealthy food from the house, do a healthy shop the day before you plan to cook, or pre-prepare nourishing meals for the entire busy work week ahead. Studies prove that the more decisions our brain has to make, the more tired our brains become. 

This can play out in a few different ways: 

  • Self-control starts plummeting 
  • Overwhelm = stop completely, do nothing, accept fate e.g. “It’s too hard” 

If you combine a busy life and tiredness with not-preparing and not optimising your environment- you can see why it would be a very fast road to Fail Town. Navigate to success instead by preparing in advance and removing any choices you might need to make, or steps between you and your goal. 


See here

Celebrate Small WINS 

We tend to only properly celebrate the bigger, impressive, outstanding achievements (e.g. end of year exams, getting married, finishing a degree at university, being promoted at work…), but if you think about it, most of our life is spent between these large milestones. So make sure to celebrate the journey and the smaller wins too. 

Be Accountable 

Tell a friend, parent, boss, mentor, Facebook… anyone that you can check in with weekly to ensure you are still in the game. Make it public. Team up with another person who shares the same goal – for some mutually beneficial motivation and feedback… And nothing like some healthy competition to get you a good boost!

Get clear on your direction. Be accountable. Change your surroundings to best meet your goals, and success is almost inevitable.

Why You Procrastinate

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Do you put the “Pro” in “Procrastinate”? 

“I have so much to do… “ 

Ever been paralysed by an impending deadline or overwhelmed from all of the things you need to do. So you just.. do..  absolutely nothing? Only to have to frantically write an entire term paper on the last night? 

It’s an age-old conundrum. You procrastinate on cleaning the house for days. Then while needing to finish an essay, all you can think about is how much you suddenly want to clean the house… or maybe the dog needs a perm. That funny cat video (and proceeding YouTube binge..) definitely needed to be watched immediately! 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln 

It is fascinating that our brains could be wired so illogically and unproductively. So why is this? 

 Do we fear the possible failure? Nope. We don’t have good enough organisational or time management skills? Surprisingly some research suggests no. More motivation and willpower? Again no. 

The answer is simple apparently… Make a decision! 


 “Once we begin a task, no matter how dreaded, our perceptions of the task change…we don’t appraise the task as quite so stressful or difficult once we get started. Starting is everything” – Tim Pychyl, the world’s leading procrastination researcher

From Procrastination to Productivity: 

  • Make a decision – and just start! 
  • Accept you will not always “feel like it” and act on the task anyway. Motivation follows action. 
  • Pick 3 actions/tasks each day – that MUST be completed more than the rest of your list. As they say, if you have more than 3 goals today, you have none. Stop overwhelming yourself. 
  • Do the hardest task FIRST before your brain fatigues throughout the day. 
  • Everyone has different rhythms. Some people work better in the morning, some at night. Start becoming aware of this and if you are able to, structure the most important or brainpower-taxing work during these windows. You will increase productivity, within less time. 
  • Forgive yourself if you start to procrastinate, and then focus on activities that get you back to work…  The worst thing you can do, is procrastinate more.. feeling bad about procrastinating! 
  • If you struggle, evaluate why you might be avoiding a task. What is holding you back? Breaking it down further into a pros and cons list may help to clarify this. 
  • Form solid morning and evening routines that set you up for the day/next day and keep you in focus. Set yourself up for success by pre-preparing and removing obstacles/distractions so you will naturally stay focused on the tasks at hand. 

Follow these steps and master your way to Productivity Pro instead!

Even The Cowardly Lion Can Cultivate Courage

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“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” – Anais Nin

Success should be measured not by the goals we achieve, but by the challenges we have overcome. Acting in the face of fear is an achievement in itself, and the more it’s practiced, the easier it becomes. Just like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, learning how to leap head-first into challenges towards new, or fearful acts leads to invaluable personal development and growth, strengthening our emotional and mental resilience.

“We can either stay in bed where it’s comfortable, warm and there are no critics to judge us, or we can face the world and push beyond our limits”

Part of why we struggle to face fear head on, is that are constantly fighting our reptilian brain that likes to keep us all cosy and safe. This is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes fear is valid, sometimes it helps us, and it made sense when we were cavemen/women hiding from lions, tigers and bears. But more often than not these fears are completely imagined. For example, 85% of what humans worry about never eventuates into reality. Especially in relation to perceived thoughts of others (which we should ditch caring about regardless!)

So what is courage?

According to the Oxford Dictionary the noun “Courage Is “The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery” and “Strength in the face of pain or grief”.

So courage is not about the absence of fear like fearlessness… but the ability to still complete an act despite experiencing fear.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”— Nelson Mandela

Can courage be learnt?

100% it can! It may feel like others were just born with it – but anyone can develop it through small habits. Think of it like a muscle and regularly work it out. Repetition over time commits it to muscle memory, and suddenly over time it becomes easier and less daunting to try new things or attempt something you were previously afraid of. The key is in small daily/weekly challenges. Like any habit over time it actually rewires our minds, right down to the gene level, by creating new neural pathways in our brain. So start challenging yourself and harness your own neural plasticity. Run towards fear as if it’s inviting you to be courageous!

How do we start being courageous?

Life is best lived outside of your comfort zone. Humans are wired for growth and even small challenges and discomfort help us to grow and develop. Start small… You don’t have to leap out of a plane straight away.. (although if you want to, jump to it. Nothing like a good dose of adrenalin to get motivated!).. But you can start small. Maybe walk a different way to work, wear that slightly-out-there dress you were too shy to wear, speak up in your work meeting, try a new restaurant instead of the same go-to, book a solo travel trip, do a new activity on the weekend you always wanted to try but doubted yourself with, dance like no one is watching – and if they are, stop caring!

Failure = Learning

Without meaning to sound like an inspirational quote cliché, you really only fail at the things you never attempt! Attempt plus Failure, equals a learning experience. After all, how else do you learn and grow?! Society may need to rethink it’s view of failure in adults. When a toddler falls down while learning to walk, do we tell them they failed.. just give up now? No, we clap, cheer and praise the little one for trying. We celebrate their seemingly small moments of progress, and after falling over countless times they have eventually trained their brain and body on what to do (and not do) to stay up. Courage means taking action without being attached to the result, so begin with small steps that make up your goal.

If anything we should be ‘trying and failing’ as much as possible! It’s the quickest way to learn. Put courage in action to become your bravest self. Step to it!


How to Stop Worrying

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“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Corrie ten Boom

From health and financial concerns to children and relationships, we are all faced with daily worries. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can boost energy and focus for sport or public speaking but continual worry turns into chronic stress e.g. being overworked or daily arguments with a spouse. Studies have shown just how damaging chronic stress is on your body , altering your brain size, structure and function – all the way down to the gene level!

Worry is anxiety and negative thoughts about potential future problems. Especially where the actions of others are concerned, we often hold limited to no responsibility over the outcome anyway. When future uncertainty arises it plays right into our inherent human need to feel both ‘safe’, and ‘right’. Many psychologists believe, fear of the unknown is the basis of all other fears , and that one of the leading strengths of successful people is an ability to accept a high level of ambiguity and uncertainty.

A study at Cornel University proved a whopping 85% of what humans stress about never actually happens! With the 15% of worries that did happen, 79% of subjects discovered they were able handle it much better than they predicted, or that the scenario taught them a valuable lesson. That equals 97% of completely fabricated and exaggerated misperceptions!

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne

That may give you a giggle but what these worries can cost us is no laughing matter. So how do we manage our worry effectively? Here are some tips:

Reframe Stressful Scenarios & Embrace Gratitude
This helps to focus on what you can control, instead of what you can’t. Let go of your false sense of security, surrender and and accept life does not always go to plan (quite often!). Try to reframe it, look for the upside, or take the lesson from it. What is this trying to teach me here? As Tony Robbins says, “Life happens for you, not to you”. What can you learn from this? Research also shows embracing gratitude boosts mental strength.

surrender flags blowing

Scenario: put off car repairs for too long. Car breaks down at inconvenient time/location.
Reframing, upside, lesson: A reminder to stay on top of car maintenance in future, prioritise your safety, minimise risk and expensive potential repair bills. A breakdown is much better than an accident. Compared to a majority of the world, you are lucky to own a car. While you waited for the tow truck, you were able to finish reading that book you didn’t have time for, or catch up on the phone with a loved one. There are so many ways to look at one scenario.

“Man is not disturbed by events but by the view he takes of them.”

meditating womanMeditation
A recent study published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal proved practicing “zen” decreases anxiety levels and helps the brain control thinking and emotion.

Physical Activity and Decent Sleep
Along with meditation, exercise is proven to decrease stress levels. This allows you to problem solve any potential concerns with a clear headed mindset. Best combined with a good daily 7-9 hours sleep!

Technology – Take Back Control
For all its uses, too much technology often negatively impacts mental health and stress levels. Limit social media, email, etc use to set blocks of time instead of constantly throughout the day.

A good morning routine is especially important. Optimise your mindset and get your brain off to the best start for the day by not checking phone or social media for an hour upon waking. Declutter your mind, remove distractions – and be alone with your thoughts sometimes! This will help you get out of “Survival Mode” and be more present. Remaining in the present moment also helps counteracts any future-orientated worry.

Write Worries Down or Reach Out
Share your thoughts with paper or a supportive ear. Stop it circulating in that imaginative head of yours!

Clear Button Method
It is thought our brains have a 90-second window to turn around any stressful thoughts, before our minds can turn these worries into full-blown anxiety, stress or anger. With that in mind Don Joseph Goeway, Author of The End of Stress: Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain, recommends practicing the Clear Button technique to both distract you, and in turn rewire your thought patterns in less than a minute.

How it works:
Imagine there is a button in the middle of your hand that, when pressed, tells your brain to completely stop any fearful, worried, judgmental or negative thinking.

Breathe in, count 1, think red
Breathe in, count 2, think blue
Breathe in, count 3, think green
While exhaling, let your mind go totally blank and relax into the present moment

Also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), Tapping is an effective alternative healing strategy combining Chinese acupressure and psychology. Tapping has shown incredible results for a wide range of problems from stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight management, and limiting beliefs. It helps to clear unresolved emotional baggage, which often worsens small daily stress.

Use fingertips to “tap” repetitively over meridian endpoints of your body while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations. This calms the nerves, reprograms the brain to react better, and rebalances your body’s energy. Dr Peta Stapleton has a wide variety of resources on Tapping and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
— Lao Tsu

While we all have daily hurdles, the research is clear that worrying about them only makes it worse, negatively affect your mental and physical health, rest and general happiness. But the good news is you can start to change this way of thinking, learn how to stay in the present and reprogram your mind with regular practice.

Gold Coast Women in Business Awards 2018

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 Thank you so much to the Gold Coast Women in Business Awards. I feel extremely honoured to win an award this year in the field of Innovation and Technology, for Tapping in the Classroom. These awards are a fantastic initiative for women, which aims to provide a platform to honor outstanding and successful businesswomen and industry achievers. The awards were established to encourage ambition, empower confidence and inspire new female leaders now and into the future. And, I was in very good company on the night, receiving the award alongside some incredibly inspiring and motivating women, from The Futurist Award winner and school student, Selena Magill to Gold Coast Woman in Business of the Year 2018, Morlife Founder Chery Stewart (see full list of award winners here:

As you may or may not already know Tapping in the Classroom is an Online Training designed to give teachers, school guidance counsellors and psychologists an effective tool to help children overcome stress, anxiety and behavioural challenges and is a much loved passion of mine. The program is based on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), commonly referred to as ‘Tapping’. Read more about it here:

I would also like to sincerely thank my team and loved ones, because without you none of this could happen, thank you!

Dr Peta Stapleton - Switching Off

The Benefits of Switching Off Mobile Devices

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Why has switching off from mobile devices become so difficult?

Today’s world is technology rich and technology friendly. And thanks to mobile devices, it has become incredibly simple to check your emails, get the latest in news and current affairs on virtually any topic. We can even stream our most loved TV shows, where ever we are! Who among us could’ve predicted this only a handful of years ago?

Unfortunately, despite all these positive gains, being permanently connected to the online world does have its pitfalls. In a relatively short amount of time our phones have become such an extension of ourselves that we can easily feel stressed, anxious and ill-tempered when we are without them or out of range. This phenomenon now even has its own name!

“Nomophobia” is the term coined for an irrational fear of being without your mobile phone. Whether running low on credit, battery power, or signal many people experience this phobic reaction.

Nomophobic Symptoms

Have you experienced any of the following regarding your own phone?

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulty
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • A nervous sensation of ‘butterflies’ in your stomach

Currently, the average adult spends up to 5 hours each day on their phone. University students are severely affected by nomophobia and mobile phone addiction.

These rates of high usage have significant consequences on the brain. Though it sounds strange, your brain can even come to perceive your device as your romantic partner and experience grief when access is unavailable. Additionally, your sleeping cycle can be altered and in turn this can affect the functioning of your organs.

Strategies to assist you in switching off

Follow these five strong strategies to short circuit mobile addiction and get health benefits while doing so.

  • To determine exactly how much time your really do spend checking websites and social media etc., install an app such as ‘Checky’ on your mobile devices, and ‘RescueTime’ on your computer.
  • Starting small, see if you can resist checking your device for a small increment of time, say 15 minutes. Using a timer can be helpful in this instance. If you can successfully do this for this small window you will begin to claim back your power and control. Next increase the time in 15-minute increments. See how far you can get! Studies show a correlation between lower screen time and increased fitness.
  • Use the ‘Night Shift’ feature on your iphone, or for android devices there a various apps you can download, which will automatically change your screen to a warmer hue at the yellow-orange end of the light spectrum in the evening. This will prevent melatonin affecting blue light from interfering with sleeping patterns and mood and helps to prevent eyestrain.
  • Implement the 20-20-20 strategy. These means for every 20 minutes you are looking at a screen, you will look away from it for 20 seconds and rest your eyes on something 20 feet away.
  • Make sure to ‘Clean Your Screen’! University Arizona conducted research which showed the average phone has 10 times the number of bacteria that can be found on a toilet seat! Use antibacterial wipes every day to contribute to maintaining good health!
Dr Peta Stapleton - EFT Press Release

Press Release: EFT Efficacy Acknowledged by UK Government

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For the first time in history an arm of the UK government has acknowledged the ever-growing research base of EFT and TFT for PTSD treatment.

In response to a NICE** review of PTSD treatment guidelines ACEP, EFT Universe, AHEFT (and David Feinstein as a consultant) have come together in an AAMET-led project in open-hearted collaboration to advance EFT’s place in modern healthcare.

Currently, AAMET as the registered stakeholder, in close consultation with the organisations listed, has submitted a communal response to the 57 page suggested advice guidelines and the thousands of pages of appendices.

Some of the greatest positives to come out of the review are:
• NICE has now acknowledged that there is EFT and TFT research that meets their inclusion criteria
• EFT and TFT along with SE (Somatic Experiencing) has been acknowledged as a combined somatic and cognitive therapy (CSACTs) in the considered psychological interventions for the treatment of PTSD in adults.
• In the NICE economic modelling, CSACTs emerge as highly cost effective, fourth most cost effective in one model and the second most cost effective in another.
• Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), a primary set to be recommended, is only more cost effective than the CSACTs when completed in 8 or less sessions.
• The review suggests that CSACTs could possibly provide EFT as a treatment choice for military combat trauma.

Acupoint tapping methods were recognised as having positive effects and significant potential as a component of PTSD treatment. The consideration of acupoint tapping, hidden deep within the consultation documents, although encouraging, are still far away from approval.


Where our future collaborative efforts point:

• Convert these acknowledgements into government funding for further EFT research
• Encourage the further inclusion of two key research papers which support the use of EFT for PTSD

For those of you who want to do the deep dive reading please follow this link:

Please note: EFT is NOT mentioned in the guidelines, but in Appendix D, which is well over 1000 pages. Searches for ‘EFT’ and ‘combined somatic’ will locate them. Most of the relevant discussion starts at page 212.

**NICE National Institute for Health & Care Excellence is responsible for determining what treatments are allowed to be given for which conditions and which doses. This includes physical issues as well as mental health treatments. Healthcare professionals in the UK are bound by these guidelines. NICE reviews are generally every 10 years for each condition.

Dr Peta Stapleton - Assertive

Tips to Becoming Assertive in Everyday Life

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Isn’t it time you said “No”?

Do you recall a time when you agreed to something without really meaning to? Taking on extra work, signing up for an event or family occasion when in truth you meant to respond with a “no, thank you, but I won’t be able to.” If this sounds like you then perhaps it’s the right time to examine what being assertive really means and give yourself the power and discretion to politely decline any offers you’re not truly interested in.

To be assertive means being able to state your own opinions or point of view clearly and directly while remaining respectful of others. When you are assertive, you walk the line between passive and aggressive. This also puts everyone on the same level, whereas people who are passive often place less value on themselves than others and aggressive personality types can often hold others in low esteem.

To successfully be assertive you need both a certain skill-set and attitude. Your attitude should be that your value is equal to that of others. Next you should establish the skills to implement this attitude. At the heart of assertiveness is the simple ability to express your opinions, feelings and needs.

Practical Tips

To help you on your way to being assertive I’ve included some practical tips below. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. You may need to do these things more than once before they become second nature, but eventually these practices can become positive habits.

  • Attempt assertiveness in one zone of your life at a time (e.g. home or work) or with one person at a time (partner, colleague or boss).
  • Each set of circumstances is different and there is no correct way to be assertive. Knowing what it is you want, need and what you think and feel about an issue beforehand is important. Use one or two clear sentences to express these things, sticking to the key point/s.
  • Attempt using the unselfish “I” when making a statement, avoiding the more selfish “You”. For instance, “I feel mad when you get home late as I have dinner ready and waiting” is a much better phrase than “You are never home on time!”
  • Ensure your non-verbal behaviour is in line with what it is you’re saying. Maintain eye contact but do not stare (aggressive). Nor should your lower your eyes away from the person (passive). Use a clear voice, refrain from being apologetic or whiney (passive) or loud and offensive (aggressive). Keep an assertive posture, standing up straight. Avoid standing too close to the person (aggressive) or too far back (passive). For emphasis you can use facial expressions and gestures. It may be worthwhile giving some a go in front of a mirror.
  • Of course, you will find some situations more challenging than others. If something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to use this as a learning experience. It takes practice but there’s always a next time!

It’s important to keep in mind it is your right to say “No” at any time, in any situation. No is a complete sentence in itself. Decide on an area where you could have a go at this today.

Dr Peta Stapleton - Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivations’ Alarming Dangers

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We all know keeping a good diet, and getting sufficient exercise are both essential for good health, but getting a good night’s sleep is just as important. It is a sad fact that this modern world has made sleep deprivation all too common. With reasons ranging from lifestyle and work hours, to personal stresses and duties, statistics tell us 20% of the world’s population is sleep deprived. In 1942 an average night’s sleep was eight hours; this has fallen to 6.8 hours currently. It has further been shown by Sleep Cycle that no single country around the world regularly achieves the eight hour average. This result is alarming, as the recommended amount of sleep for adults is from seven to nine hours per night. This difference clearly shows the world has a sleep deficit, and this negatively affects our health.

How Insufficient or Reduced Quality Sleep Can Negatively Affect You

Some of the effects of a lack of sleep are surprising. We must make good health, and a good night’s sleep, a priority, regardless of what keeps you up at night.

  1. We need sufficient sleep to think and learn properly. A lack of sleep reduces brain function and cognition, impairing problem solving abilities, concentration, reasoning, and ability to pay attention. In effect, it ‘dumbs you down.’
  2. Not getting enough sleep can seriously affect our health, and research has shown that other health problems can be clearly linked to a lack of sleep.
  3. Libido decreases when we don’t get enough sleep. Low energy, tiredness and stress are all factors negatively affecting sex drive, in both sexes.
  4. Insufficient sleep ages you! Lack of sleep causes your body to release cortisol, a stress hormone, excess levels of which can destroy the collagen that keeps skin youthful and elastic.
  5. A sleep deficit makes us more forgetful. American and French researchers, in 2009, concluded events in the brain, coined ‘sharp wave ripples’, are responsible for consolidating memory, and that these events most often occur in deep sleep. So less sleep = less ‘sharp wave ripples’ = increased forgetfulness.
  6. It can increase mortality. During the ‘Whitehall II Study’, when over 10,000 British Civil servants were studied for 20 plus years, sleep patterns and health concerns were found to have clear links. Published in 2007, the study revealed reducing nightly sleep from seven to five hours or less correlates to almost doubling the risk of death from all causes. Cardiovascular disease stood out as being doubled. While these results are quite confronting, so what can we do to get enough sleep?

How could I get enough sleep?

Following are tips for getting the good night’s sleep that we all need.

  • Avoid Stimulants. Avoid foods and drinks containing caffeine for four to six hours before going to bed. Caffeine is a stimulant that inhibits sleep. Avoid any other substances which hinder sleep.
  • Restful Environment. Create a bedroom that has a calming atmosphere to encourage relaxation, rest and sleep. Electronic devices should be kept out of the bedroom.
  • Bedtime Routine. A before bedtime routine can help prepare your body and mind for sleep. Engage in relaxing activities before bed that ‘wind you down’.
  • Regular Sleep Patterns. Keeping regular sleep patterns helps calibrate your body clock. Keeping the same rest and rise routine will program your body’s ‘internal clock’ so it is primed for sleep at a certain time.
  • Prepare Smaller Evening Meals. It is best to eat several hours before bedtime. Stay away from foods that can cause indigestion or hinder sleep.

On top of evading the negative health consequences of poor sleep, what are some other positives that come with a good night’s sleep?

Why it’s Worth Creating a Good Sleep Pattern

Creating and maintaining a good sleep routine is vital to our body’s ability to function well. Here are some further benefits of a sound sleep routine:

  • Quality sleep increases immunity. Ensuring sufficient sleep reduces your risk of contracting common diseases by reinforcing your immune system.
  • Sufficient Sleep Assists in Keeping You Trim. Research has demonstrated that getting under seven hours sleep each night increases weight gain, in comparison to those getting enough rest.
  • Increases Feelings of Well-being. Quality sleep keeps you mentally fit and reduces the possibility of suffering from depression, stress, insomnia, and other mental health disorders.
  • Raises Libido. Sufficient sleep is required for sufficient energy. Research shows a lack of sleep inhibits the libido and interest in sex is reduced.

Due to an increased understanding of the effects insufficient sleep has on our lives, a lot of people are putting effort into improving their sleep patterns. This indicates that to become aware of more ways we can improve sleep we must further understand the sleep process.

What can you do today to help ensure a night of sufficient sound and quality sleep?

Dr Peta Stapleton - Chronic Worrying

Chronic Worrying (& what to do about it)

By | Blog

Chronic Worrying? It’s normal to have the occasional worry, everyone does: Will I do well in my Exam? Am I going to be late? Is my family home, safe and sound?

However, if worrying is affecting you day-to-day and taking the joy out of life, it’s likely time to deal with the issue. So, how do you know when it has become prolonged and/or damaging, and you are worrying more than is appropriate?

Indicators of Chronic Worrying

Excessive worry can become habitual. Check out these key indicators that worry may be affecting you more than it should be:

  1. There’s not a day you DON’T have worries filling your mind, and you feel powerless against them.
  2. Anxiety inducing thoughts pop into your head often, despite your attempts to elude them.
  3. Uncertainty brings feelings of fear and trepidation; you obsess about future events, and feel a need to know what will happen.
  4. Relaxation is a near impossible task; you struggle to focus; often feeling overwhelmed, you use avoidance strategies to put off or get out of tasks.
  5. You may have trouble falling or staying asleep; muscles may be tense, stiff, and sore; you suffer stomach pain & upset.

Further, these are the kind of phrases commonly heard from chronic worriers: “Worrying will stop bad things happening” (worrying on its own doesn’t stop negative things occurring; this requires action), or, “I was born to worry”, (worriers are not born).

Activities for Worriers

If any of these things apply to you, it will be a relief to know there are ways of relieving symptoms. If worry is having a substantial and negative affect on your functioning day-to-day, seeking professional help is recommended; in the interim these activities may provide you with some relief.

  1. You’ve heard this before, but it does work! Take some deep breaths, as this can disrupt the thought processes which heighten anxiety.
  2. Get all your worrying done at once! Set aside 15-20 minutes a couple of times a day for a scheduled ‘worry’ slot, record your worries on paper and do nothing else. Don’t go over time! And when ‘worry time’ is up, commit to putting off all worries until the next slot.
  3. Don’t let your worries go unchallenged? How likely are they to occur? Can you get an unbiased opinion from a trusted friend?
  4. Look after yourself. Ensure adequate sleep; eat plenty of healthy wholefoods; cut down on alcohol and caffeine. Feeling tired or physically out of sorts can magnify anxiety.
  5. Exercise daily and use up energy that would otherwise be spent on worrying. When we exercise we produce ‘feel good’ hormones, and reduce those that cause stress. Exercise actually alters our brains, increasing resilience and making them less susceptible to

These suggestions are also often incorporated in specific programs. Commit to practicing one of these things, for only one week, you may be surprised at the relief this brings you.

Is Perfectionism Setting You Up for failure?

We’re often told to be the best we can be, whether it’s our job, what we do for the family, our level of fitness, or all of these things, aiming high is seen positively. We hold high-achievers in esteem, and commonly see perfectionism as pre-requisite to their success.

In actual fact, perfectionism can be a negative and damaging influence in our lives, and a person who looks as though they’re holding it all together, may in fact feel as though it’s all falling apart. It’s good to have goals, but having unrealistic and unobtainable goals is certain to cause upset when they are not achieved, and a fear of failure may result.

Perfectionists are often self-deprecating, their outlook all-or-nothing, and are often suffering from an intense fear of failure. Perfectionists tie their own personal value to their achievements, and may feel they lose value when something doesn’t come off the way they’d planned. Sadly, it is more common for perfectionists to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety; they have a higher rate of eating disorders; fatigue; and tragically, suicide and early mortality.

Activities for Perfectionists

Believing it may be seen as a sign of weakness, perfectionists may avoid asking for help, but there are activities that can aid you in learning to calm yourself, on your own, and in your own home.

  1. Focus on your strengths – rather than focus on what didn’t go right, focus on what did, and identify three things that went well for you today. You can still be a perfectionist, but try to be the ‘glass half full’ variety.
  2. Failing is never easy, but if we learn from it, failure can be a success. Things can’t always go your way, try to see these occasions as lessons to be learnt from. Nothing was ever achieved by not trying; so much has been achieved through failure.
  3. ‘Breath from the Belly’, is a specific exercise which soothes and calms the nervous system: With one hand on your stomach and the other on your ribcage, inhale slowly, pushing out your stomach. Your ribcage should not move at all, unlike what happens with our ‘regular’ breathing when we fill our lungs first. In your mind think ‘relax’ and do so, as you exhale. Repeat this six times when you experience the first signs of anxiety or of being overwhelmed.
  4. When was the last time you decluttered at home or at work, and got rid of the things that never have or never will be used? Clearing and organising a room has been shown to clear and organise our mind, as well. Remember, our environment affects how we feel.
  5. Surround yourself with naturally positive people, who are neither stressed nor stressful, and take a leaf out of their laid-back book. Being exposed to their abundant optimism and ‘glass half full’ outlook can be a great way to learn how to grow and maintain your own positive outlook, and to live with appreciation, happiness, and joyfulness.

Final Thought

If all else fails or you’re feeling overwhelmed and are unsure where to turn, a sure fire way to lift your mood is helping other people. Be it volunteering, assisting a stranger or friend in need, or performing random acts of kindness, focusing on the needs of another is scientifically proven to improve your own mood.

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EFT researcher and author Peta Stapleton, Ph.D., brings together the history and cutting-edge research of tapping. She also shows how tapping can be used for a whole host of ailments, including anxiety, weight issues, depression, trauma, and more. Dr. Stapleton’s own groundbreaking study involving food cravings in overweight adults helped establish EFT as an effective, valid form of therapy.

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