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  • Writer's pictureDr Catriona Ryan

The Power of Self-Compassion in the Practice of Academic Writing for PhD Students

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

In academic writing, the practice of self-compassion is important, even when constructing the discursive framework for a PhD chapter. When I was a doctoral researcher, years ago, I discovered this, especially when writing the last two chapters of my thesis. At that stage, I had started to practice mindfulness. Through this experience, I gained an awareness of how I engaged with myself while writing thesis chapters. I came to realize that during moments of anxiety, I unconsciously endorsed self-sabotaging thoughts that triggered writer's block.


I gradually changed this by incorporating self-compassionate into my daily routine and as I worked on my thesis. This gave me the space to write and engage in critical thinking in a less stressful way and with more self-belief. My "Academic Writing: Reduce Anxiety" workshop and retreat are based on this approach, which I developed as a PhD researcher.


During the session, PhD researchers are encouraged to work on a discursive framework for a chapter or paper, and through this, they are given the space to develop their argument and writing style with positive self-awareness. The workshop has helped many doctoral researchers (from all research areas) globally over the years and I look forward to delivering more sessions in the future.

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