“Just Say No”

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  It’s been a very busy few months and admittedly I was somewhat (a lot) consumed by studying for a licensing exam (which I passed!).  Some job changes, the kids returning to school, and fall sports getting into full swing have also made for a hectic fall.  Now that things are starting to settle down, I plan to work on some ideas I’ve had.

I wanted to put up an article which I was interviewed for, along with a few of my colleagues, about a presentation we did at this year’s American Psychological Association (APA) convention in August.  Our presentation was titled, “Set Goals, Say No, and Still Graduate”, and the article was published in Gradpsych, the magazine published by APA for members of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS).  In our presentation we decided to tackle the idea that in graduate school- at least for psychology, there is a feeling that you have to do it all- and that you have to be this perfect person who can handle anything and everything.  Not true, of course, but in the world of limited internship slots or assistantships, and wanting to take advantage of every opportunity- to get one of those coveted positions or to land that first job, it’s both competitive and stressful.  In our presentation we talked about some key skills that graduate students can learn in order to be more productive, less stressed, and happier, as they pursue their degrees and launch their careers. The overarching theme was that we sometimes have to say no- to other people or opportunities, so that we can do our best and accomplish our goals, while taking care of ourselves.  This requires good time management, prioritizing, goal setting, and setting limits with others.  I covered the “Say No” part of the presentation, as this can be very hard to do- not just in a competitive grad school setting, but in general.  If you would like to read the article, here’s the link:


I may post the presentation later.  I want to thank my colleagues, Megan Smith, Christine Jehu, and Alex List for working with me on the presentation, as well as Rebecca Clay from Gradpsych for interviewing us about it.

Published by Dr. Jesse Matthews

I'm a private practice psychologist and director of Matthews Counseling & Coaching in Chester Springs, PA. I provide counseling and coaching services to people ages 18 and up. My specialties include: depression; addiction/substance abuse; relationships; anxiety; ADHD and behavioral issues; and Autism/Asperger's. Our group works with individuals of all ages, families, and couples, and we help people with a wide variety of life issues. Check out the practice website for information on other clinicians and their services: http://matthewscounselingcoaching.com .

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Dr. Jesse Matthews, PA Licensed Psychologist

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