How I help people …

“Within a few minutes of talking with Rebecca, my puzzling, frustrating behaviors made much more sense to me.  She provided me with enlightening information as well as the tools to apply the information to my life, and with her help I’ve made some great changes.

One of which I know many people struggle with… exercising.  This had been a struggle of mine for years, but within a month of working with Rebecca I now exercise one hour a day, at least five days a week.. and I absolutely love it. This has impacted the quality of my life in ways I can’t put into words. I’ve also become more efficient overall – in time management and work productivity.

But what I believe made all my progress possible is Rebecca’s kind, humane, empathetic approach. She taught me the importance of self-compassion and celebrating my own successes, no matter how small they might seem – and it’s this new learned attitude that has paved an expedited path for growth.

And Rebecca did this all while making the process of learning enjoyable, personalized, and funny”.

Hi, I’m Dr Rebecca Stafford. I have a BIG goal. One I’d love your help with.

I first became fascinated with the habits of mind and body when I needed to get myself from university dropout (and, aged 19, I felt like a very lonely failure) to PhD.

In the 15 years I’ve been studying and practicing psychology (8 years Lifeline telephone counseling volunteer, private performance coaching practice, & a health psychology PhD) I’ve seen far too many people suffering unnecessarily (like myself, and Sabrina above) for lack of some simple psychology tools.

Consequently, I’m aiming for a massive cultural shift. One that transforms our punitive, shame-based, stress-promoting and demotivating culture, into a compassionate and motivating one.

To facilitate this cultural shift, I’m passing on the simple, transformative psychology tools I’ve synthesized over the years, to the helpers. That means you.

17% 42% 92% of workshop places already gone (i.e. 1 left)

A reminder: this personal, in-depth workshop (in north shore Auckland, on Saturday 22nd September 2018) has only 12 places, and 2 5 11 of these have already gone (as of 2pm 5/Sept/18, 9pm 6/Sept/18, 9am 13/Sept/18). Places will be filled on a ‘first in’ basis, so, if you are keen, you may wish to scroll to the bottom of this page for details on securing your place.

I’ve designed the workshop for lifecoach’s. I expect you’ll find my psychology tools beneficial both personal and professionally, e.g:

“I love the fact Rebecca’s techniques are both practical and SUPER easy to implement. A personal favorite has even become popular with my own clients since discovering for themselves its mind-focusing ability (who needs Ritalin?) Rebecca has that rare talent of explaining complex psychological difficulties in such a way anyone can understand them, comprehend their provenance AND know how to achieve a more desirable outcome.”

What habit do YOU want to change?

I invite you to bring to the workshop a habit you’d like to change. While deepening your understanding of behavior psychology; you’ll learn to:

  • Customize behavior psychology strategies to your own habits
  • Personalize motivation strategies to optimize your own motivation (you’ll end up with an personalized ‘evergreen’ list of highly motivating rewards that you can use to help you rapidly change any habit).
  • You’ll then be able to speak to your clients about habit change from first-hand experience


A few of the psychology topics covered in workshop

Going deeper with values

  • The ‘unhelpful’ type of values people often pick – why they are unhelpful, and how to pick helpful ones.
  • What to do when we breach our values.
  • How to use values for powerful motivation.


When behavior becomes habit!

Myths and mis-information abound about motivation and habit change. This information will help you and your clients rapidly change habits, even if you’ve given up setting New Year’s resolutions …

  • Behavior psychology fundamentals for rapid habit change.
  • The biggest myth about habit change (Hint: No, it does NOT take 21 days, nor any fixed number of days to change a habit)
  • The biggest myth about willpower (and why fallible, energy-sapping willpower is overrated, i.e. why most New Year’s resolutions fail).
  • The limits of ‘setting intentions’ (and what’s much more effective)
  • Why good habits are good, and why bad habits are so hard to break (until you know how, that is).
  • How to provide powerful external, or extrinsic, rewards until a behavior becomes internally, or intrinsically, motivating (i.e. until a behavior becomes a habit, at which point it’s self-perpetuating).
  • The common way we unintentionally demotivate ourselves – and how to stop
  • The little-known four categories of reward and punishment
  • The most motivating type of reward (and it’s the same for everyone!)


Specific habits we’ll touch on

The strategies for behavior modification apply to any habit, but we’ll specifically touch on:

  • procrastination (yes, it’s a habit)
  • exercise
  • emotional eating
  • smoking
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • controlling behaviors (yes, also a habit)
  • unhealthy relationships (ditto!)
  • goal setting generally

And any other habits that come up during the workshop – or email me in advance.


The three types of self-worth (& other mental habits)

‘Self-worth’ is short-hand for how much we believe we are worthy of love and belonging – or not. A self-worth belief, may be ‘just’ a belief, but beliefs are powerful. They drive our attention, emotions, thoughts, motivation and behavior. Fortunately they are also modifiable.

  • How to tell which type of self-worth you have.
  • The type of self-worth associated with anxiety, stress and fatigue.
  • The two types of self-worth associated with self-sabotage (i.e. avoidance, procrastination, perfectionism, and workaholism).
  • The one type of self-worth associated with motivation, resilience and courage.
  • How to rapidly modify self-worth beliefs (and other mental habits).


How to get the ultimate panacea: Self-Compassion

We’ll discuss:

  • The three ingredients of self-compassion.
  • Why we struggle so much with self-compassion.
  • Why women, parents and people in the ‘helping industries’ are so good at ‘other-compassion’ and so terrible at self-compassion. (and if you are a female lifecoach and a mother, you’ve got it bad!)
  • Why it is SO important that women, parents and ‘helpers’ practice self-compassion.
  • The research showing the mental and physical benefits of self-compassion (from improvements in depression, anxiety, and diabetes blood sugar levels to less emotional eating)
  • Methods for acquiring the habit of self-compassion.


Why do they stay? How to coach the abused client

Tragically, abuse is incredibly common. It’s highly likely you’ll have clients who have been or are currently being abused. You may have been abused yourself and/or know others who have. Also, as it’s likely that some workshop attendees will have past or current experience of abuse, I do ask for sensitivity when we address this important topic.

Abuse is a very misunderstood construct, partly as it’s very counter-intuitive – why on earth would someone stay with an abusive partner?!!! To help you better understand and treat abuse, we’ll discuss:

  • The four common reasons people stay in abusive relationships.
  • The invisible abuse – recognizing the surprising forms of psychological abuse (Hint: ‘bullying with a smile’).
  • How psychological abuse, while quite devastating in its own right, underpins all other forms of abuse; physical, sexual, etc.
  • The cycle of abuse (this explains one reason people stay in bad relationships).
  • What is ‘co-dependence’ and how to spot it (another reason people stay in bad relationships).
  • Three red flags for co-dependence in the coach/client relationship (Hint: see two of them – ‘advice’ and ‘reassurance’ – below).
  • How you can be in an abusive relationship and not even know it.
  • Some tips for deflecting abusive behavior.
  • The danger of abuser/victim stereotypes (I spent 14 years in two abusive relationships).
  • Helping people break the habit of abusive relationships.
  • When to refer your abused client to someone else (this may surprise you).

Even if you don’t come to the workshop, I highly recommend getting Kaye Douglas’s book ‘Invisible Wounds’. It’s the single best resource I’ve found on understanding psychological abuse.


Power up your therapy

  • The single most important thing you can do that is essential for building rapport and, even if you do nothing else, can effect powerful change in your client.
  • Two other therapeutic strategies that minimize defensiveness in your client, and maximize motivation and change (these are so powerful they are used in drug and alcohol rehabilitation counseling – where clients are notoriously conflicted about, and resistant to, change).
  • Reassurance: how it harms the therapeutic relationship; the difference between reassurance and empowerment; what it means when a client seeks reassurance (& how to deal with reassurance-seeking) and what it means when a coach offers it.
  • Advice-giving: also harmful; the difference between advising and resourcing; and (as for reassurance) what it means and what to do when a client seeks advice and/or a coach offers it.


Dealing to self-sabotage

Almost all, if not all, of your clients will be struggling with self-sabotage. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t need your help. You probably do it a little bit too 🙂

  • The one question that reveals both the presence and nature of (our, and) our client’s self-sabotage.
  • The different ways self-sabotage manifests, from procrastination to perfectionism to excess weight to unhealthy relationships.
  • Understanding the psychology of self-sabotage – the real, deep-down reason we do it, and how to stop.


And more …


“A+! I’m pretty chuffed with that!!!!! I am very proud of getting more life balance along with study and getting an amazing result! Thank you Rebecca, understanding what was behind my procrastination and self-sabotaging behaviors was like turning the light on.

I am now able to move forward with confidence (and less fear) knowing that I have an amazing toolkit of learnings and techniques to help keep me on track. You’re a star!”

“It’s been an interesting journey with Rebecca. She’s helped me understand myself in the ways I think and operate. This is allowing me to deal with difficult situations and day to day life in a much better way rather than how I used to; with anger and punishing myself or others. We’ve done some interesting experiments and I look forward to doing more. Seeing, noticing, and feeling change is great”.

Who’s this workshop for?

While I’ve designed it for lifecoach’s with all levels of experience, from ‘newbie’ to ‘been around the block’, any talk-therapist, from counselor to will benefit from these powerful and little-known psychology tools.

It may also be suitable for someone with psychology papers or degrees, is passionate about understanding the human mind and behavior and/or is well-read of the self-help literature. If you aren’t sure if this workshop is right for you, get in touch ( and we’ll have a chat.

“I’ve lost 20 kgs by exercising more and eating better. It really helps remembering what Rebecca says about weight-loss: that it’s not the most important thing in life… yes I will get skinnier but does that mean that it would make me happier? No, it will make me healthier and fitter, which will make things easier physically, but weight-loss is not the main thing that would make me happier – if that makes sense. It also helps remembering that weight-loss is more bearable if you are happier, love yourself and remember your self worth”

Workshop fee

I received $5,000 for my last corporate day-long workshop. That had seven people. In future, the individual fee for future workshops of this small size and type will be approximately $500.

As this workshop, designed for lifecoaches, is a pilot, I’m asking for a KOHA of $250 per person. BUT there’s no risk. I’ll ask you to pay anonymously, at the end of the workshop.

And by ‘koha’ I mean the exact amount you pay will be the sweet spot between the value you’ve received and what you can afford. 

You are welcome to pay by cash or cheque – if anyone still has chequebooks!

However, if you feel I’ve transformed your life and you want to pay more than $250 to support me in my work saving the world, then I’m wide open to receiving 🙂

I do ask for a $30 deposit to secure your place (feel free to deduct this from the $250 koha).

If you want to be at the LifeCoach PLUS! workshop – email me now @  I’ll send you an email ASAP with confirmation of your place and more details about the LifeCoach PLUS! Workshop

P.S. Workbooks will be provided – they will contain the bulk of the information so you can focus on the workshop & not worry about remembering content nor making extensive notes.

P.P.S. Workshop participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

P.P.P.S. Receipts will be given to those who wish to claim the workshop fee as a business/CE (continuing education) expense.

P.P.P.S. Want more info? You can check out my ‘habit & productivity interviews’ in the NZ Herald, and Next and Good Health Choices magazines, on my blog media page here.

Remember, email me at to secure your place in this powerful workshop. I spent 15 years studying and practicing psychology so you didn’t have to 🙂