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Case Studies


What PhD Coaching Can Do For You

Case Study 1

Joanne came to me when she was unable to write. Discussion with her revealed that she was trying to write before she had actually done any analysis of her data. For some reason she had completely missed out that crucial step.

With my help, she constructed a spreadsheet of her data, which then enabled her to see the trends in her data, and come up with some recurring themes.

This was the impetus for constructing a general outline of her dissertation that flowed nicely.

However, completion of this step did not mean smooth sailing from then on. Joanne was plagued with feelings of inadequacy and perfectionism. Writing was a tremendous chore for her. We worked on her self-esteem, and dividing the work into small tasks that were well defined. We also worked on timetabling the tasks, and ways of beating the procrastination that was a signature of her dissertation process.

Joanne also had problems with her supervisor, who eventually dumped her without telling her directly. Joanne was devastated, since she had made tremendous progress on her dissertation since starting to work with me. With my assistance, she approached the graduate adviser in her faculty, who found her another supervisor.

Then she fell pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy, as she already had chronic illness that were difficult to manage. We continued to work together, addressing not only issues connected with her new supervisor and her research, but also coping strategies with everything that she had to get done.

Joanne has now completed her PhD, and says she could not have done it without my coaching.

Case Study 2

Joshua did not have an undergraduate degree and was admitted to a master's program as a mature age student in his fifties. He had recently lost his job of 20 years, and had retrained in an entirely different field. Finding work and studying whilst dealing with the loss of his beloved profession, he found that having a coach was very beneficial. We worked on the basics of PhD research, and how the academic world works, as well as time management, project management and motivation.

Joshua upgraded his program to PhD candidature, and was awarded the coveted doctorate just shy of his 60th birthday, having completed it, part time, in less than six years, during a turbulent period in his life. He attributes his success largely to the coaching process.

Case Study 3

Greta was studying in a foreign country, writing her PhD in a foreign language, and struggling with low self image, vicious house mates, and a lack of motivation. She came to me in desperation after a low point in her life. We worked together on many life issues as well as dealing with the PhD and applying for academic jobs. She has now graduated, has an academic job, and is preparing her dissertation for publication. She, too, attributes her success to my coaching.


Coaching works. Contact me to set up a complimentary exploration session to discuss how it can work for you.

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