NT, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Suffolk University

July 11, 2016

My experience with Dr. Rebecca Schwartz-Bishir was exceptional and I am truly grateful to both her and Dr. Alison Miller for their support in completing my dissertation. It was a very difficult decision to seek out coaching, but I recall my initial phone call with Allison as immediately helpful. As we talked about my experience, for the first time in years I began to feel confident that I could finish my document in a reasonable time frame. She helped me organize my thoughts about why the dissertation process had been so painful and overwhelming, and importantly, clarified for me that what I was experiencing was not so unusual among graduate students. She then paired me up with Rebecca and assured me that she was a stellar coach and would likely be a very good fit. Over the course of about 6 months, I went from only having drafts of a few major sections of my dissertation to successfully defending my document. It was still a stressful process, as I was working full time in a demanding post-doctoral position, raising two cats, and I wanted to hit a particular deadline. Rebecca helped me through it with expertise and kindness. She proved to be a very experienced coach with excellent advice and process, which she balanced with a genuine interest in meeting me where I was at and tailoring our approach to the work to fit my needs, situation, and own discoveries about what worked best for me. I can not speak highly enough about Rebecca and the impact she has had on me. I learned a great deal while working with her including lessons about work and my own psychology that I will bring with me well into the future. She’s a very good human, disarming, full of wisdom and humor, immediately likable, and able to walk that fine line between goal-oriented problem solving and supportive, curious listener. I am grateful I was able to work with her and that I had such support during a difficult period in my life. I would enthusiastically recommend both her and Alison to anyone struggling with the culture of academia or the process of completing a dissertation.