Anonymous, PhD, Clinical Psychology & Neuroscience

I reached out to The Dissertation Coach after attending a free seminar with Alison where her nonjudgmental, positive, encouraging leadership felt groundbreaking after coming from an academic environment of low affirmation. It helped me realize that perhaps my writing process could be different if I just had the right type of support. For years, I struggled with intense avoidance of writing that I attributed to severe imposter syndrome and loads of negative self-talk and self-doubt. Even though I was very tight on finances as a grad student, I decided it was worth the money to see if The Dissertation Coach program could help me create a new relationship with writing. Alison matched me with Rebecca Schwartz-Bishir for dissertation coaching. Rebecca is the absolute best and my experience of her was warm, understanding, funny, lighthearted, and smart. She was strategic with her coaching and tailored it to my particular challenges, helping me learn how to set reasonable daily goals and how to use rewards and self-compassion to motivate me to approach the writing and rejoice in my accomplishments, no matter how small. She provided valuable insight and advice for how to navigate difficult conversations with my primary advisor and committee. I worked with Rebecca for 8 months and at the end, I’d successfully defended my dissertation, but more importantly, I no longer struggle with the severe imposter syndrome and negative self-talk that were making writing so difficult and unenjoyable for me. I now have the tools for how to address my writing avoidance when it comes up and I have a clearer sense of my professional identity. I attribute my decision to stay in academia post-PhD to Rebecca’s coaching services and to her ability to coach me to a new relationship with myself as a writer and academic. I strongly endorse The Dissertation Coach and their services!