Monday, 2 March 2015

Pop Therapy has relocated!!

Hello to my wonderful readers!!

Pop Therapy has had a makeover....and now has a new address!!

I would love if you could pop on over to to check out my new blog and keep following my posts.

Thank you for your support!!  Can't wait to share more exciting posts with you!


Monday, 16 February 2015

Boost your Psychological Capital

What is psychological capital?  Psychological capital is made up of four unique characteristics - hope, optimism, resilience and self efficacy.  Studies should that people who score high in measures of Psychological Capital have better psychological wellbeing, as well as increased on the job performance (Avery, Reichard, Luthans and Mhatre, 2011).
So how can you increase your psychological capital to capitalise (excuse the pun!) your wellbeing?

Here are a few strategies you can try:

  • Set yourself small and challenging goals to increase your sense of self efficacy.  Try breaking down tasks into smaller components to make them less daunting.
  • Master a task!!  Task mastery increases self efficacy.  How can you do this?  Try observing someone such as a mentor or colleague and modelling the task based on their example.  Online tutorials such as You-Tube clips can be a great way to master a new skill if you don't have a real life example.  
  • Reflect on times you've overcome setbacks in the past to increase your resilience!  How did you do it?
  • Ask others to discuss how they might overcome a setback if they were in a similar position to increase your repertoire of strategies.
  • Think about how you can view a current challenging or difficult situation through a different perspective.  Are you working long hours at the moment?  What are some benefits of the situation?  Are you taking on more of a leadership role and expanding your skills?  
Would you put any of these strategies to the test?  

Avey, J.B., Reichard, R.J., Luthans, F. & Mhatre, K.H.  (2011).  Meta-analysis
of the impact of positive psychological capital on employee attitudes, behaviors, and performance, Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22(2), 127-152

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Weekly Roundup

Happy Saturday!!  How are you spending your valentines day?  Here are a few of my favourite links I've discovered over the last week.

I've been wanting to make this pasta for ages!!

My new favourite hat - can't stop wearing it!!

Can't wait to read Harper Lee's new novel - I'm pre-ordering!!

I'm in the process of choosing a paint colour for our bedroom and am considering....grey!!  Some great grey wall inspiration!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Change your health behaviour by reflecting on your values

Changing behaviour is not easy.  Often we fall into bad habits such as skipping exercise and eating unhealthy food.
For people at high risk of neglecting their health, often hearing messages about healthy eating and exercise falls on deaf ears, and instead can lead to a fear or avoidance response.  It's all too easy to think "I'll start tomorrow," no matter how often we hear about the benefits of healthy behaviours.

A new study by Falk et al. (2015) showed that focusing on values that are personally important to an individual can help people to then act on health advice which they previously perceived as threatening.

Participants were given typical advice about health behaviour like they would receive from a doctor, and underwent neurological scans.  Prior to receiving advice, half of the participants were lead through a self affirmation exercise where they reflected on what's important to them, such as work or family.  Those who did the self affirmations showed more behaviour change, in a follow up one month after the initial study.

The authors of the study state:
"Neural responses associated with self-related processing and value in response to an otherwise threatening health communication intervention can be changed using self affiramaton....
These findings suggest that affirmation of core values may exert its effects by allowing at-risk individuals to see the self-reference and value in otherwise-threatening messages."

So what does this mean for you?  Are you sitting on the fence of change?  Before you seek out information, why don't you think about your values around the change.  For example - you know exercise is a good thing, but just can't be bothered....why not think about what matters to you first.  Do you value looking after your family?  Think about how change may make you a better parent/sister/etc.  Would better health impact your value of looking after your family?

Think about your values - they might just help you to acheive some serious goals!!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Diary Free Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Recently I've gone on a dairy and soy elimination diet - never did I realise it would be so hard!!  Diary and soy are in practically everything, even bread!!  I've been on the hunt for some diary and soy free recipes to satisfy my chocolate cravings - these Hazelnut Chocolate Biscotti sure are a winner!!  

They're the perfect treat to have with a morning coffee and were fairly easy to make too.  I think these will become part of my regular baking rotation!!  

 Because these babies are double baked, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks, and make a great gift.  They'll also be great to have on hand for when friends pop by for coffee!!

I modified the recipe based on this one, from  Based on the original recipe, I also added in some coffee (because everything is better with coffee!) and doubled the original amount of cocoa to make them extra chocolatey!!

  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 and 2/3 cup plain flower
  • 4 tablespoons dutch cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon espresso coffee disolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water


Preheat oven to 200C. Roast nuts on an oven tray for 10 minutes or until golden and skins are flaking. Rub well in a clean tea towel to remove skins. Chop coarsely.

Sift flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Combine eggs, orange rind, coffee and nuts in a separate bowl. Gradually add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stirring to form a dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly then halve. Shape into two 25cm-long logs. Place logs on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Stand for 5 minutes.

Slice logs diagonally into 5mm-thick slices. Place slices on oven trays and return to oven for 10 minutes or until dry. Cool on a wire rack.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Early parental behaviours that can predict academic success decades later!

A new study by Raby et al (2014) has found that sensitive parenting, including responding to a child's signals quickly and appropriately during the first three years of their life can lead to increased academic performance and better outcomes, even into the child's 20's and 30's.

Researcher's observed parents and babies during the first three years of the babies' lives.  Following this, standardised academic tests were administered.  Results showed that the children who received sensitive parenting, showed increased academic performance.

This highlights the importance of interactions between parents and babies in the early years of their childhood!!

What's your parenting style?