PhD Candidate, Australia

My PhD journey was the delight of my life until about nine months ago. I was about halfway through writing my first draft when suddenly I found that each time I sat down to work on it I had a mild panic attack and would get up and walk away. After about three weeks of this pattern, I decided I needed some help. I wasn’t winning on my own. My university supervisor was excellent in the content of my study but I needed a different kind of help – someone to help me with the everyday psychological battle. I was fortunate enough to secure Alison Miller’s help for 6 months. It was exactly what I needed to break-through that tough spot and get me back on track. With Alison’s guidance, I was able to identify how the stress of my home situation was infiltrating my study. I learned how to separate the issues, and allow myself grace when I needed time to cope with things at home and not feel like my PhD was losing. Alison taught me to replace the guilt and panic about the PhD, with peace, acceptance and success. It was about making my whole life work, so that my PhD could work. Then on top of that, I learned how to deal with those specific feelings of panic, and how to keep moving forward instead feeling like I was trapped and helpless.  The best thing was being held accountable. It meant every single day I had to look consciously at how I coped or didn’t cope and what to do next time. I couldn’t hide in denial any longer. Thank you, Alison. Your wisdom and insight was exactly what I needed. You made a difference in my life.