‘Unpublished’ is a podcast about mental well-being at work, created by Trustpunt, the confidential counselors' service at Ghent University.
Each episode tackles a sensitive and taboo topic about mental well-being in the workplace. They include phenomena such as imposter feelings, cultural differences or even depressive thoughts. For each of these topics, our host, David Chan, talks with an expert in the field who gives fascinating insights based on their research and professional experience. Alongside our main guests, you’ll hear clips of individuals in academia sharing their own personal stories.
Feeling like a fraud? Let’s talk about imposter feelings.
With doctor Jasmien Vergauwe. Imposter feelings in the academic world are a common phenomenon among researchers. These feelings entail the idea that you’re a fraud and everyone will find out that you’re not really intelligent. Everyone might experience this to some degree. In this episode we dig deeper into the imposter cycle and the influence of age, gender and culture on this phenomenon. Tips are given on what universities can do and what you can do yourself to cope with these emotions. Luckily, there is also an upside to these imposter feelings. The positive effects are highlighted in this episode.
How far is too far? Talking about boundaries.
With Scott Solder. You might have heard the phrase: ‘It’s just the way things work over here’. But does it have to be this way? This episode highlights the different aspects of the umbrella term transgressive behaviour. Together with Scott Solder, we talk about boundaries and what happens when someone crosses them. Tips are given on how to let someone know that whatever they have said has landed badly. During the episode we highlight the concept of an active bystander, power dynamics and the process of normalization. Scott emphasizes that we don’t have to start walking on eggshells, but that having an open dialogue about what is acceptable behaviour nevertheless is crucial.
The dark side of academic passion: competition vs. cooperation.
With professor Johan Braeckman. Since stakes are high and job opportunities are limited, competition is inherent to academia. The people you work with are often your competitors too, which causes a complex dynamic people might struggle with. Johan Braeckman approaches the balance between competition versus cooperation from an evolutionary perspective. Competition can be stimulating to achieve higher goals, but is it always healthy? This episode highlights both sides of competition and digs deeper into the advantages of cooperating. If you cannot beat them, should you join them?
Jump out of your fishbowl: creating awareness on cultural differences
With professor Frederik Anseel. Moving to another country can be challenging on different levels. It can be compared with learning a new language, and people tend to underestimate the impact on their mental health. In this episode, Frederik Anseel suggests looking for a ‘guide in the jungle’ to smooth the process. He also talks about raising awareness of the culture we are living in and about possible stereotypes we hold over other cultures. This episode also highlights what you can do as a colleague or as a host institution to make employees from abroad feel welcome.
No one is an island: about loneliness and building bridges.
With professor Piet Bracke. Nowadays, our society tends to be individualistic and a lot of our jobs are solitary. As a researcher, you are probably working alone a lot as well. Does this automatically mean we are feeling lonely? This episode focuses on the difference between being alone and feeling lonely, on how to connect with others and how maintaining a social network is hard labour. Building profound connections may even be more challenging for international researchers. Piet Bracke also talks about homesickness, friendship and how everyone has a certain amount of social energy.
BONUS - Mindfulness exercise guided by Steven Laureys
Steven Laureys takes care of his mental wellbeing via mindfulness. In this exercise, he guides you through a short meditation. It is a simple yet powerful exercise with different advantages through stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.