Well-being in Academia: Perfectionists, imposters and the impact of self-talk

Doctoral candidates represent a diverse group of people, and the sources of stress that we face and the coping mechanisms we use, vary greatly. However, a repertoire of counterproductive cognitive strategies, habits, and lifestyle choices (or sacrifices!) represent a common underlying theme. Self-sabotaging thought processes, poor coping strategies, and little work-life balance render many of us susceptible to burnout and a raft of mental health issues.

This workshop provides students with tools to increase their resilience to stress, anxiety and burnout, and to enhance their overall well-being. We explore:

  • The self-critical inner voices that sabotage their motivation and enjoyment for their work;
  • How mindset can help or hinder day-to-day life and future career prospects;
  • How certain maladaptive coping strategies (e.g. procrastination and avoidance) maintain these self-sabotaging thought and behaviour cycles.
  • How to reshape thinking and behaviour patterns to work for them in pursuit of their goals.

 Please note:

Participation is subject to the successfully passed public presentation of your dissertation project.


19 April 2021, 9:00-17:00 | online

  • Place: online via Zoom
  • Registration: online registration opens in January

8 + 9 November 2021, 9:00-17:00 | in person

  • Place: Seminar room 2, Center for Doctoral Studies, Berggasse 7, 1090 Vienna
  • Registration: online (registration opens in June)

Registration takes place exclusively online via U:Space. We are sorry, but we cannot consider e-mail registrations. Please, mind the registration deadline, which generally ends 3 weeks before start of a course. With your registration you commit yourself to participating in the whole workshop. Course material is sent to a participant's unet e-mail address and has to be taken along to the workshop.


Desiree Dickerson

Dr Desiree Dickerson is a former postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience and a clinical psychologist. After working in academia in New Zealand, Australia, and at IST Austria, she now lives in Spain and speaks internationally on well-being and peak performance. One of her main goals is to increase resilience to stress in high-performance individuals by integrating effective, scientifically-proven habits and strategies into their everyday lifestyles.