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How to get psychology research published before you graduate
Episode 10113th November 2023 • The Aspiring Psychologist Podcast • Dr Marianne Trent
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Show Notes for The Aspiring Psychologist Podcast Episode 101: How to Get Psychology Researched Published Before You Graduate

Thank you for listening to the Aspiring Psychologist Podcast.

Application season is coming to a close soon – I hope it has gone well!

In today’s episode of the Aspiring Psychologist Podcast, we invite the inspiring Matthew to share his experience on how he got involved in publishing research during his undergraduate studies He discusses the process digesting the data and publishing his research, which looks at schizophrenia, childhood trauma and brain cognition.

So, join us, in this episode as Matthew talks about future goals, and gives aspiring psychologists a fabulous top tip in reducing burnout, amongst other key points.

We hope you find it so useful.

I’d love any feedback you might have, and I’d love to know what your offers are and to be connected with you on socials so I can help you to celebrate your wins!

The Highlights:

  • (00:00): Summary
  • (01:10): Introducing Matthew
  • (05:04): Studying Psychology in a 4-year course structure
  • (07:21): Matthew’s unconventional route into psychology and thinking about the future
  • (11:00): Matthew’s route into research in Schizophrenia whilst at university
  • (16:11): It is worth taking the chances to ask!
  • (18:36): What on earth is water diffusion in the brain?
  • (22:00): The process of publishing – a whole new learning experience
  • (24:04): From designing to publishing – a longitudinal process
  • (26:58): How do scholarships for research work?
  • (29:26): Navigating paid and unpaid work whilst studying
  • (31:59): If you are thinking about psychology in your early career…
  • (34:38): Matthew’s top tip for reducing burnout
  • (37:35): Summary & close

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Transcripts

How to get psychology research published before you graduate

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Coming up in today's episode, I am talking to Matthew who is an early career psychologist. He is in the middle of his undergraduate psychology degree and we are talking about research, how he has managed to get himself such robust, important research experience before he has even graduated. It is a brilliant episode. I challenge you not to be riveted and so interested and inspired. I feel inspired. I feel in awe having met him. Hope you find it so useful.

(:

Jingle: If you're looking to become a psychologist, then let this, this the Aspiring Psychologist podcast with Dr. Trent.

(:

Hi, welcome along to the Aspiring Psychologist Podcast. I am Dr. Marianne Trent and I am a qualified clinical psychologist. I hope that you are well wherever you are listening to this in the world and whatever stage of your career that you are at. I know that people listen to this podcast or watch it on YouTube from a variety of different locations around the world and from different stages of their career. And people do pitch to me and I love receiving pitches. So today's episode is the result of a pitch that someone made to me. If you have ideas for a podcast topic that you think will be an interesting and useful lesson to people that are on their journey as aspiring psychologists or even as qualified psychologist for that matter, do please let me know. Please also do remember that the Aspiring Psychologist Collective book and the Clinical Psychologist book are both available.

(:

There will be links in the show notes and in the description how you can get your hands on that back. Listens to Aspiring Psychologist podcast episodes can be really useful for helping you to learn and understand topics that you might feel you need strengthening. Do also consider the Aspiring Psychologist membership and you can come out and hang out with me on the Aspiring Psychologist community on Facebook as well. I hope you will find today's episode so, so useful. We do discuss some tricky brain concept and structure issues, but Matthew describes it all beautifully and brilliantly, so I hope you will find it useful. I would love any feedback that you've please do. If you're watching on YouTube, let me know what you think to the content in the comments. Please do like and subscribe whilst you are there as well. And I'll look forward to catching up with you on the other side of meeting. Matthew, I hope you enjoy it. See you soon. Hi, I just want to welcome along our guest for today, Matthew. Matthew is an early career psychologist. He is in year three of a four year psychology undergraduate degree. Is that right, Matthew?

Matthew (:

Yeah, that's perfect. Yeah,

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Lovely. Alright, well thank you so much for coming here today and you reached out to me on LinkedIn because you pitched an episode to me, which I love. So thank you for doing that. And you wanted to talk a bit about research, but before we do that, if we could have a little bit of a chat about you and why you chose psychology and how your study's going.

Matthew (:

Sure, yeah. Well first of all, thanks for having me. Definitely the podcast and all the content has been very helpful navigating career paths and all of that, so thanks for having me. But yeah, I grew up in Galway County, Galway in Ireland. I'm currently living in Galway City and I'm in my third year, as you said. I like exercising in my free time. I love psychology obviously. Yeah,

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Thank you. Somewhat. Put you on the spot there, didn't I?

Matthew (:

So

Dr Marianne Trent (:

You are in Galway, which is where I recently came to do a keynote speech and I just have to say I absolutely loved the city and found everybody so welcoming. I think you couldn't be there that day. So we haven't met in person. But yeah, just incredible. And just a little plug, if anyone wants to watch the vlog episode of my trip to Galway, Matthew says it's quite good, so I'll take that as credit. Thank you. Alright, so how come your uni a four year course?

Matthew (:

So we're actually the first cohort that's doing year three out four. So originally every other year. It was first year and you do psychology and you pick two other subjects. So I picked Spanish and philosophy and then your second year is just psychology. It is very competitive. It depends what grades you get. You might have to do two subjects, but generally it was a three year course. So this year is the first time they're trying out a third year. So people are going abroad to study in different universities. People are doing research placements, work placements and kind of educational settings or maybe charity services or organisations. It's been really amazing the modules we have this semester, a lot of electives like medical psychology, kind of seeing how psychology is applied in medical settings, which has been really, really interesting. And community psychology is definitely one of my favourites so far.

(:

We're kind learning about stuff, alternative methods to the scientific method, the standard one, maybe how you can work with communities and looking at the role of a psychologist, less as a power dynamic and more of how you can let communities guide the whole process and really integrate them in research and practises and stuff like that. And just talking about societal issues like misogyny, racism, and decolonization. A lot of really broad but really important topics. So yeah, it is just been great really. And the class is a lot smaller this year, so we're all getting to know each other more and we're planned the night out now, so we're all, it's a nice energy in the class.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Oh good. That sounds like a really, it's funny, you should use the word energy. You sound energised by it. You sound like you're like, oh my days. I can't believe I get to learn this. This is so exciting. I know that before we hit record, you'd said that you'd actually done a couple of years. There's a different undergraduate degree to begin with. Do you think that's kind of left you with renewed vigour to really embrace this? That feels right this time?

Matthew (:

Yeah, for sure. I think I definitely felt very lucky that I had another chance to study something else just because of money and everything. But yeah, I left home when I was 17, so I guess I really didn't really know how to manage money properly. And I guess I was being a teenager, having fun and doing what you do when you go to college first. But I did animation first for a year and that was a very good course. It was in Athlone, I think we were the first ever students to do that course though we were the first entry year. So I guess there's a lot of issues around funding and stuff and getting materials and sometimes lectures kind of dropped out and there's a lot of stuff there. So I actually changed to music then I did music for a couple months and then I left that and I decided I was going to work for a while and kind of really decided what I wanted to do.

(:

So I ended up with, I applied to university, but I actually got rejected. I hadn't done a language in my er, so I did a level five course in applied social studies and there's a psychology module there and we were doing all the standard Freud and very almost pop psychology kind of stuff. And I just really enjoyed it, the case studies and we did human growth and development, so I just loved it. And then I got into University of Galway through that course, thankfully. And then I took, and then I transferred from that into denominated psychology and I feel super lucky every day to be studying it and just really happy, really engaged.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Love that. And honestly, that's how I feel about my life in my career. It beams out of me, I love it. I can't believe I get to do this and people listen to me and I also get to work clinically as well and that's really helpful for people. I pinch myself. Do you see yourself going into a psychology profession?

Matthew (:

Yeah, ideally I'd love to go down the route of clinical psychology since the summer working on that paper. I definitely geared towards maybe clinical neuropsychology if that would be possible. It is a long road, but ideally I'd like to do something like that maybe. Yeah, I'd love to work in psychology. I'm trying not to limit myself too much in terms of what route I go down, but whatever, I'd be lucky enough to partake in, I guess.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Yeah, I think you make the choices that are right for you at that time and you learn along the way and maybe you will like particular areas, maybe you won't, but it's keeping the things that work well for you and learning from the bits that don't go so well in the uk. I think in terms of clinical neuropsychology, you do your clinical psychology and then do a master's in neuropsychology. Does your undergraduate confer the British Psychological Society mark of approval in order to get onto UK doctorates or is it a little bit different with you being in Ireland?

Matthew (:

As far as I know, I think so because I know the HSC, like the health services here for assistant psychologists roles, they look for degrees that are accredited by the PSI, the Irish Psychological Society or the British. British,

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Yeah. Okay, lovely. So I guess that means hopefully you've got options available for you to train in Ireland or maybe in the UK as well.

Matthew (:

Yeah, that'd be great. Yeah, hopefully.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

So you mentioned your research paper there. Could you tell us a little bit about what you've been up to?

Matthew (:

Yeah, so last year they sent out a call for scholarships during the summer research internships. And I sent an email to one of my lectures, Dr. Tom Burke, he's a clinical neuropsychologist in the hospital in Galway here. And I told him I had an interest in schizophrenia and social cognition and personality disorders and different stuff like that. So he recommended to apply for a neuroscience, the Galway Neuroscience Scholarship. So he told me there's a data set they've already collected, they've been working on called iRelate a very big data set of people living with schizophrenia and different social cognition tests and childhood and genetics as well. So yeah, he said I could work on that dataset and maybe to pick a white matter tract. So I did some research and came up with the uncinate fasciculus it's like a frontal white matter tract and he was unbelievably helpful, super supportive. I definitely wouldn't have been able to do any of it without his guidance. So he guided me along and we came up with an idea for the relationship between emotion recognition, I suppose a facet of social cog is emotion recognition, the and childhood trauma. So we kind of looked at the relationship between those three and whether physical neglect in childhood mediated the relationship between the social cognition, the development of the uncinate fasciculus in the brain

Dr Marianne Trent (:

With the theory being that the tract is somehow linked and important to whether someone does or doesn't develop schizophrenia, is that where it's rooted in

Matthew (:

Sort of maybe it might be to do with social cognition. And we are kind of thinking maybe childhood trauma affects the development of that white matter tract and then through affecting that as the person grows older there emotion recognition might be negatively affected and then that could contribute to the development of schizophrenia that they might already be at risk for or other factors might be playing a risk. But it was really interesting in the research looking at I suppose how emotion recognition can play into someone who might be experiencing psychosis or at risk. They actually found that poor emotion recognition of neutral faces was predictive of transition to psychosis in people who are at risk. So someone might be talking to someone in a social setting and then they're picking up maybe an angry face from someone who has a neutral expression. And maybe if that person already is at risk and maybe has maybe some delusional thinking or kind of paranoid thought styles that they might start thinking, oh, this person's angry at me and could cause a lot of distress then I suppose.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Yeah, and that's got really useful utility even for us working with people with psychosis because actually when we were using our listening faces, they might look quite blank, they might look quite neutral. And if that can be interpreted really negatively or hostilely, is that a word, then that's problematic, isn't it? So I guess this is why I love research because it teaches us so much about the person, about their experience of the world and how to understand and make things less so that things work better all around that people have a better experience of it. You mentioned a dataset there, but it wasn't one I'm familiar with. Could you tell us what the dataset is? How do you spell the dataset that you mentioned?

Matthew (:

So it's like a lowercase and then the word relate. So iR-E-L-A-T-E, I'm not in, I don't fully understand the whole project is a very big project, but it's ongoing. There's been a lot of papers published from it and they did a big kind of neuro imaging on people living with schizophrenia and social cognition tests. And what my supervisor Dr. Burke said to me was, these people have given their time for us to collect this data, so it's important that we use it to the fullest that we can to benefit other people. So yeah, there's actually a really interesting documentary about schizophrenia on RTE. I'm not sure, it's not on RTE now, but if you look it up online, it might come up. And there's lectures from University of Galway and from the iRELATE project and the lead of that project Professor Gary O'Donoghue, and he talks about schizophrenia and about the project and yeah, it is really fascinating if anyone's interested.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Sounds great. I can see why this has kind of evokes this interest in you. I guess what I really love is that you are learning so much at a stage of your career where actually usually we're probably quite limited just to textbooks, but you're seeing real world applications and real world, real world research for this and I think that lights you up, but kudos to you as well, Matthew, because clearly the kind of guy that reaches out and asks for opportunities like you did with coming on the podcast and like you did with even approaching the professor at Galway Uni. It is similar to me. You have the idea and you give yourself permission to ask and to explore and the worst they can ever do is say no, but you never know where it might lead.

Matthew (:

Yeah, I think something I've learned the last few years is that it's always worth taking chances. A lot of the good things that have happened over the past few years is because other people get me chances and I gave myself a chance in a lot of the situations. Just like earlier this year I started, I used to do boxing when I was younger. I kind of lost it for a while. So I went back, I started MMA and that was just, obviously I was super nervous beforehand, but it was just something like throwing myself in there and challenging myself with something new and giving myself a chance to, I guess to take a chance and see what happens. And it's honestly been one of the best decisions in my life. It's been so important for connecting myself back with my body while I'm kind of psychology, you can get very up here. So it's kind of an important balance for me to have both.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Yeah, exercise is only something I've really come to a latter stage of my current life, I suppose latter life, but I'm only 42. It just wasn't something that was around for me, but I really, really enjoy it now. And like you say, it helps me to balance myself, body and mind. So with your absolutely what you said is right that the professor had said, we've got a duty of care really to do everything we can with this research, with this data that the people have given so freely of their time to create. So what did you do with it? What happened next?

Matthew (:

Yeah, so we had I think just about 105, well, 58 participants and then I'm not sure, 116, whatever double that is, I had to basically use a software, it's a diffusion sensor imaging software. So we had all the MRI scans and then they were transferred to I think a DTI file. And then I used that programme, it was really fascinating. It was a bit mind-blown at the time. I could basically see their brain scanning 3D. And part of the internship was to learn how to segment a tract. So to basically get rid of all the other white matter tracts and single out on this specific one. And then we use the measure called fractional anisotropy. So a measure of the water diffusion in the tract and how the integrity of the tract, so whether those water molecules are really densely packed together or kind of sparsed out and that can, I suppose by looking at other research that can give us an indication of how well kind of functioning it is.

(:

So my supervisor gave a really good analogy of it's kind like a road from one place to another and the white matter tract is like the road sending the information and then if there's potholes on that road, the information can get a bit damaged on the way. So basically I went through just over a hundred left and right on the left and right sides of the brain. So the bilateral UF segmented all of those and we ran the statistics on the FA values and then we had preco collected social cognition tests, data and childhood trauma. So we just did some mediation analysis and correlations and seeing what was coming out of those. And yeah,

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Absolutely incredible. And hearing you speak even, I dunno what

(:

This stuff is, it's amazing even that you get to know this stuff and you get to be so competent and capable at what you're talking about and what you're understanding. This is massively important and it sounds like you just really found a really wonderful opportunity where you've been able to help a research process, but you've also learned so much and that will be useful for you in all of your areas of your career. In future you'll have this understanding about the way that the brain works and what might stop it from working. And a really important part of what we do in this profession of ours is to do the psychoeducation for people and to deshame a process in helping people to understand what might be going on for them and how it's not their fault. And I think sometimes being able to really talk about the neurobiology of someone's brain can be really, really powerful. So you've absolutely got a headstart in that regard. Publish. Are you in the process of publishing?

Matthew (:

Yeah, so we're actually, it's a whole new learning experience, the process of publishing. We're in the process of communicating with reviewer feedback, peer reviewer feedback right now. So it's quite intense, but not in a bad way. It's definitely a really good learning curve. So me and my supervisor, he's actually out of the country at the moment, so we're going back and forth on emails and doing all the track changes and addressing some of the comments. But again, it's really helpful.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

I absolutely hate track changes, honestly.

(:

I hate it with an absolute passion and I can never manage to get everything to disappear off the screen. But it still says there's some there and you're like, there's nothing. Yeah, I'm more of a fan of a comment box than track changes or it doesn't play well with me. You've done well there. To not say this process is frustrating and tedious because I know it absolutely can be. And then waiting for waiting, the exquisite torture of waiting for other people to do their bits can be really, really difficult. Do you know what level of authorship you're going to be? First, second, third, fourth. How does it look for you at the moment, Matthew?

Matthew (:

So again, my supervisor, Dr. Burke he's been really amazing in guiding me through this process and really advocating, I suppose, for me to be a part of it. And so he's went out of his way to put me his first author. Yeah, so that's how it's looking so far. That

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Is so nice. What a lovely guy. And I was hoping you'd say that this sounds like your baby and absolutely amazing. What sort of period of time are we talking about from when you first started really now to having it, the peer review comments and all of that jazz.

Matthew (:

So I think it was around the middle of May that we were sure about what we were doing and we did a pre-registration as well. And then once we did that, we started around I think the middle of May, maybe just before June, and then we wrapped up at the end of August, then I was starting back on this semester on September. So yeah, I suppose those kind of three months was where the bulk of it was done. Yeah.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Amazing. And then you just kind of written up since then, or you wrote up in that process as well?

Matthew (:

Yeah, so we did the pre-registration and then we were kind of writing bits as we were going. I did the literature search and I did kind of almost like a meta-analysis table for that to kind of layout everything we had. And then the methods were pretty much the same from other papers we had done just because it's pre collected data. And then it was just the results in the discussion really once we had everything collected. So yeah, August was really the writing up the paper section. Okay,

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Incredible. What an amazing way to use your summer break in a really productive way future, Matthew will absolutely thank you for this because it also, it is an area of psychology that people often feel daunted by and don't understand and will kind of hide and run away from, but actually you've really embraced this and that will pay you rich dividends. It will look great on your forms for applications as well, but it means that when you go to services, you will look for research opportunities, you will look for audit opportunities and you will be thinking as a research practitioner, which is absolutely what we train our psychologists to be. So I'm just blown away, absolutely blown away by what you've been able to achieve. And this takes dogged determination. This takes showing up day out, day after day, and this is likely an unpaid internship. And so this is just your passion for developing your own career, but helping others at the same time. I think it's really, really admirable.

Matthew (:

Yeah, I think I had a fantastic time. I think it's also a credit to a lot of the staff and the resources and support in the university as well. I originally applied for a health research board scholarship that would've been more focused on stroke victims and things like that. So it was my supervisor that directed me to the Galway neuroscience scholarship and really just hands-on. So it's definitely credit to him. He really allowed me to be there and kind of work at it then. So I definitely felt an obligation then to make sure I did all I could.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Okay, so the scholarship means that you get some sorts of remuneration. Is that what the scholarship entails? You don't need to share figures with us, but how does it work from a scholarship angle?

Matthew (:

So the scholarship was actually eight weeks, so it's not just psychology, the scholarship, it's kind of all medicine and a lot of different areas in the college. So you pick a supervisor, put forward a project, and then hopefully you get the scholarship and then you have eight weeks to work on the scholarship together. So yeah, we did that and thankfully we got the approval. So that was a paid scholarship for two months and then the third month, thankfully they extended it for another month just through funding of the iRELATE project. We were still writing up the paper, so thankfully. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Isn't it amazing though, because actually I know that not everyone can work for free, but for that sort of experience you might have been like, I've done it for free,

Matthew (:

I've

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Learned so much, it's been so brilliant, but getting paid is a bonus and we should be paid for our time. We should know that it's okay for you to earn money out of your really intricate complex skills that you've learned over time, and that is real hours that you spent looking at all that data and collating it and putting it all together. And so absolutely. I know it's contentious, honorary or voluntary work, but we do deserve to be paid. We're highly skilled and I'm thrilled you were paid, but I absolutely would've done, I know I would've done it for free if I'd been in a position to afford it as well.

Matthew (:

Yeah, yeah, same. Yeah, I almost forgot about it at points that it was paid as well, which is great. I guess on the other side of things, I'm happy it was paid as well. I guess I wouldn't have been able to fully do it for three months. I work in a hotel as well at the part-time, and usually during the summers I'd work to kind of save up for my fees when I was paying them or rent or stuff like that. So it felt very surreal as well to be studying something and then I'd be getting paid for it, even though I still felt like I technically don't have a degree in psychology at all at the moment. So it did feel a bit, maybe a bit of imposter syndrome, but not too much in the beginning days, I guess.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

And when people are doing cancelling degrees or cancelling psychology degrees or professional qualifications, they often tell me that they're having to work whilst they're doing their doctorate qualifications and then they graduate, they're professionally qualified, they get a band seven or equivalent post, and then they're like, all right, I just have to do one job.

(:

This is novel and I'm getting paid a reasonable wage. Wow, this is radical. But yeah, people do. I worked when I was at uni as well, I worked with disabled students. I loved thinking about my undergraduate degree as an opportunity to learn stuff at the same time. And I think it's a really exceptional way of making a really wise headstart in your profession because I can't speak for you, but for me, it wasn't terrifically labour intensive. I think there was a minimum, maybe even a maximum of 10 hours a week, including seminars. It wasn't a big demand on my time. And so absolutely, I could have done more than I even did,

Matthew (:

Thankfully this year. Now the third year we're doing is, I suppose it's not contributing to our final grade. So it's nice in that way. They give us, I guess, not less pressure to do well, we still want to do well, but I suppose more space to focus on what we're learning as opposed to pressure on assignments, which is really nice.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

And also given your age, it gives you all of your cohort more time for your own brains to develop, to be able to get yourselves to be in the position where you are able to really immerse yourself in your final year to get your best possible grade so that you are performing optimally. So it's kind of nice, you get a bonus here to learn to see what excites you, to see what you like, what you don't, and yeah, you get these little information nuggets that you just get to store that you suddenly you're like, oh, I remember something about that. And then it builds that level of confidence and think to be able to think about things in future. Oh, lovely, lovely, lovely to talk to you. But why, if someone is perhaps an earlier career psychologist than you, maybe they're doing, they're still in their sixth form education and they're thinking, I don't know about psychology, should I, shouldn't I, isn't everyone doing that? What's the point? What would you say? Why should people consider doing a psychology undergraduate degree?

Matthew (:

Yeah, I think psychology is incredibly unique in that I suppose the more you immerse yourself and learn about the subjects, it can kind of run in tangent with your own personal growth, the things you learn. I suppose as you get older or you go through different experiences, it can change how you learn about the things in your course. Or like you said, those nuggets can kind of pop up again and like, oh yeah, I learned that last year. But it makes more sense now after you've experienced something or you think a bit more, I think it's so applicable to all situations of your life, I suppose, like introspective situations, thinking about your own, suppose internal human condition and stuff. And then outside of yourself as well. Like I was saying, I work in a hotel, so I'm an accommodation supervisor, so we have cleaners and guests, and that's a very kind interactive interpersonal position where I guess one example was we had a guest that was very angry one time, and she was just very upset, rightfully so.

(:

She left her phone charger in the room and she was very upset because everybody who was talking to her seemed to say, no, it's not in the room. It's definitely not there. And I had talked to her on the phone and the first thing I said to her was, I believe I believe that the charger was in the room. And I tried to validate her feelings first and then let her know we have a procedure for lost property. It's just not here. But I do believe you that she was kind of more upset that people didn't seem to be hearing her. So I think little situations like that is just where I feel like before I started the degree, it's really just, and to now it's really just opened up my mind on so many different areas of myself personally, but also externally as well.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Brilliant. What a brilliant real world example. And it's really annoying to lose your phone charger, then you can't charge your phone. And I speak from a very recent experience of my iPad charger having broken and to replace it 48 pounds, it's not a small amount of money if you have to layer on the fact that, oh, no, I've forgotten it. And there's all that blame and shame and all of that, of course, my own misery. It's really challenging. But yeah, it sounds like you are a wonderful member of that team to be able to draw everything together, and I love that what you say about the human condition. It's absolutely true. If you've got any advice for anybody that's specifically Matthew ish about how to reduce burnout when you're an aspiring psychologist, what would you say?

Matthew (:

I think socialising is incredibly important. If you're introverted, that's okay not to force yourself to be someone else, but I suppose find social situations where you feel comfortable, something you have an interest in. Maybe it's society in college or maybe something simple like asking a friend to go to the arcade or play soccer or whatever you're interested in. Personally for me, it was kind of starting up something I had an interest in that may happen in with my younger self. I used to boxing, so I started the MMA again, and that was a place where I could just go and fully be my body and leave all psychology and just outside the door. And that was very helpful for reducing that kind of burnout. I think where burnout comes in is when it's just constantly running on your mind, and if you have half an hour free, you're anxious because thinking about I'm forgetting something or an assignment or something. So I think doing something you can be fully in your body is very helpful.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

And you described so beautifully the process of mindfulness there and why it can be so empowering and wholesome, whereas actually, mindfulness gets a bit of a yawny bad rep, I think. But what it is, is it's just allowing yourself to literally do what you're doing in that moment without being distracted by all of the noise and the chatter. And for me, every lunchtime when I'm at home, I will, that's awful. I'm not eating a mindful lunch because what I'm doing is I've got these games that I play on my iPad, homescapes and gardenscapes. I'm a bit of a homescapes and gardenscapes geek. But it allows me to literally just focus on that and the enjoyment of my food without all the noise in the chatter or the kids stuff that I've got to do and my clients and the podcast and my aspiring psychologist stuff. And it gives me a really wonderful mindful break in the day. So I absolutely hear what you say, and I love it and support it.

Matthew (:

Yeah, for sure. I think that was something I definitely had to learn by fire. I suppose in my second year, or even in my first year, we have in the university, the points are quite high to get into denominated psychology. So there's a system where the top 15 people in the class can, or maybe a bit more than that, can transfer to denominated if you didn't get it originally by leaving setpoint. So I suppose there's a lot of pressure in first year on people, and people might not even want to tell them each other what their goal is. Everyone's looking at each other a bit competitively, and then when you start second year, the workload goes up and it's already a bit burnt out from first year. So I really had to learn to prioritise my physical health and mental health.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

I'm just in awe of you, Matthew, and that is what I will say in your intro and outro. I am excited for your career and future. I would like you to keep me posted on how things go, and thank you for empowering so many people to think about how they can gain research experience or any opportunity for that matter. I think it's going to be such a wonderfully well received episode. So thank you for pitching it to me and thank you for the really important work that you're doing. And yeah, let me know how your degree classification goes next year.

Matthew (:

For sure. Yeah, thanks so much for having me and for all the content as well, and the book, everything has been incredibly helpful, so thanks so much.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Oh, well, you're so welcome. Like I said, I just love it. It doesn't feel like work. It feels like a privilege to do what I do, and I hope that you continue to feel that way about this profession. So thank you so much. Look after Wonderful Galway. I'm sure I'll be back in future.

Matthew (:

Yeah, definitely. Thanks so much. Thank you.

Dr Marianne Trent (:

Thank you. Oh my gosh, what a, an inspiration. I really would love you to this episode and give Matthew some kudos because he's just, oh, he's like a force to be reckoned with, isn't he? And he does it all with such a laid back approach like, oh, I just did this thing, did this correlated this? Did that, looked at that. What a guy. Just really inspirational. And so yeah, I hope that you find it awe inspiring. I hope that it helps you think about what your Achilles heels might be and how you might go about strengthening them. So yeah, let me know what you think. Do, yeah, do please watch the Galway episode that we spoke about as well. It's about my experiences of being a keynote speaker for the Irish Psychological Society. You may also find it helpful to watch the replay q and a sessions, which you can do by going to my YouTube channel, going to the live videos or clicking on the playlist option for q and a sessions. People say really wonderful things about them as being helpful for their psychology applications. And then also there's some there for interviews as well. Thank you so much for being part of my world. I'll look forward to catching up with you for the next episode of the podcast, which will be along to you from 6:00 AM on Monday. Take care.

(:

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