Michelle Schladant, Ph.D., Special Education

When I first contacted Dr. Alison Miller, in October of 2010, I was completely overwhelmed and doubted whether I could finish my dissertation while working full-time and managing a busy family life. I found Dr. Miller’s website, after doing an Internet search for “dissertation coach.” I was looking for someone to help get me on the right track and hold me accountable. I was also seeking guidance and support to address the tremendous amount of self-doubt and anxiety I was experiencing about writing. After our first telephone conversation, she related her experience with getting through her doctoral program and I was intrigued by the fact that she too at one time was a student trying to complete her doctoral program. I knew she understood what I was going through. She put into words what I had been experiencing. That is, I was paradoxically in a constant state of either procrastination or perfectionism and this was impeding my ability to write. As soon as we started working together she helped me to develop a reasonable timeline and she also helped me break down the writing process into manageable steps.  She taught me tools to be a more effective writer. We set up a system where she could check my progress daily and she communicated with me by phone and email almost daily giving me positive encouragement and constructive feedback. She helped me to work through those internal blocks (fear, procrastination, perfectionism) that were inhibiting my progress and preventing me from finishing and she taught me tangible tools to remove those blocks. I worked with Dr. Miller for 6 months and she empowered me to stay focused and productive. The tools I learned from her not only helped me with finishing my dissertation, but I continue to use these tools in my professional and personal life. I am extremely grateful for her help and I highly recommend the Dissertation Coach for anyone who is struggling to finish.