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Question
Posted by: DJ | 2011/10/31

Mental block holding me back from finishing my degree

Hi,
I need to complete a research assignment to finish my degree and am struggling. Every time I sit down and attempt to get started I go blank and get frustrated and put it off for another while. Who should I see about this? Educational psychologist or clinical psychologist? Thanks for your time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As you describe it, the problem is squarely in the realm of educational psychology, namely a study problem, involving issues of motivation, determination, concentration, and plain study techniques. If there were features suggestive of real illness ( depression, marked anxiety symptoms, etc ) then a clinical psychologist would probably be better able to help/

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Our users say:
Posted by: Racoon | 2011/11/02

That sound very familiar. I had the same with my PhD thesis and some of the scientific manuscripts I had to write. One can sit in front of the computer and do nothing for hours, or even days.A lot of the time it is due to either a low grade of burnout and/or information overload. What helped for me is to take a productive break, ie go and do something for yourself, whether its seeing a movie, going for a massage, doing sport, going out with friends, sleeping and lazing at home. Then (later of a few days later) come back and reorganize your workspace/desk. Make everything neat and remove all distractions (don''t even ope the internet browser if that distracts you- unplug the network cable if you must). Before you start sit and close your eyes and visualize your project, visualize that you are writing and inspired, visualize completing it. Then sit and do it!

Best of luck! its not an easy task, but before you know it will be done and over.

Reply to Racoon
Posted by: Maria | 2011/11/01

ps. Do you understand exactly what you are meant to be doing? Not being clear on what you have to achieve makes it very hard to start, so contact a lecturer if you need help in that regard.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2011/11/01

DJ I also study and have the same problem with long written assignments. Part of it is perfectionism and fear of failure - despite evidence to the contrary for some reason I always think that the work I do will not be good enough. Two things that help me is to plan, and then to " just do something" . So first think about what you need to do and break it down into steps, e.g. decide on a subject, find sources, get overview etc. etc. The other thing is that when you sit down to work, at least do something. Even if you just create your document and fill in the basic headings, maybe roughly draft the headings to each section. Once there is a bit of a framework and you''ve gained some momentum, it becomes easier. Good luck!

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Caro | 2011/11/01

It is not easy. If it were easy, every body would be doing it. It is because it is hard that makes it worth it. You will be part of a very small percentage world-wide with a degree, relatively speaking.
Calm down, put your bum in the seat, put your brain in operation mode, an just graduate already.
Someone with a harder life than yours is also doing it. Realise your privilege and complete and move on to other things.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/10/31

As you describe it, the problem is squarely in the realm of educational psychology, namely a study problem, involving issues of motivation, determination, concentration, and plain study techniques. If there were features suggestive of real illness ( depression, marked anxiety symptoms, etc ) then a clinical psychologist would probably be better able to help/

Reply to cybershrink

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