Coaching F.A.Q.s

Are you taking new clients?

Yes, but I do have a waiting list, so unless you’re a returning client I may not be able to work with you right away. Request to be added to my waiting list and I’ll get back to you when a spot opens up to speak with me. Current or returning clients can always book a session with me. Potential new clients may have to wait a couple months for a spot to open up on my calendar.

How do I sign up to work with you?

Add yourself to my waiting list:

Add yourself to my waiting list

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Is there another way to work with you?

Check out Beyond the Professoriate and Self-Employed PhD.

Who do you work with?

Most of my clients are either working on dissertations or other graduate-level theses, or are PhDs who are exploring their career options. I have also worked with tenured professors and other people who work in higher education. My clients tend to be 25-40 years old, and most of them are women, though don’t let that deter you, men! I’ve learned bits about all kinds of different fields, too, because my clients come from a wide assortment of STEM, social sciences, and humanities backgrounds.

Why do people seek out coaching?

At root, I work as a life coach, which means that I facilitate clients getting themselves unstuck and moving forward. This is purposefully vague. My own niche is working with graduate students and PhD career changers, and other similar folk. With the active dissertators, we often work together tackling challenges with writing the dissertation (the process of doing it, especially establishing good habits) but along the way that means dealing with all kinds of other things, depending on the client’s individual situation: relationships with committee members, big life changes such as pregnancy, persistent inner critics, time management, etc. With career explorers and job seekers, our work together is more focused on identifying a client’s own priorities, goals, strengths, skills, interests, and values, and figuring out what action steps they need to be taking. Coaching is about awareness, action, accountability, and everything that needs to happen so those things happen! Every client is different. Anyone who’s stuck but determined to move forward could benefit from working with me.

Where does coaching happen?

All coaching is over the phone or Zoom (audio only). This is common for the kind of work I do, and very convenient for me and my clients. It means I can work with you no matter where in the world you’re located. Most of my clients are based in Canada and the United States, but I’ve also worked with graduate students and PhDs living in Australia, Europe, the UK, and elsewhere.

How often and for how long do you work with clients?

In my experience, coaching works best when I have regular sessions with clients. This usually means weekly, with occasional weeks off. (We both need vacations sometimes!) Sessions are 30 minutes each. Because some of the benefits of working with a coach are cumulative, and the challenges that bring you to coaching aren’t quickly solved, it’s best to plan to work with me for 3-6 months. After that, you may not need weekly sessions, because you’ve learned important skills and established good habits that can keep you moving forward with less coaching than before.

How long have you been coaching?

I’ve been working with paying clients since July 2013. Since then I’ve worked with over a hundred¬†graduate students, PhDs, and others, and have done hundreds of hours of formal coaching with clients. This work is fun, rewarding, and challenging in the best way! I’m thrilled to be doing this.

What are your coach qualifications?

I’m currently on the road to certification as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation, but am not actively taking courses at this time. I the certification process in May 2013, and expect it will take me a few years to acquire the credential, if I decided to continue doing so. Yes, this is a long process! Getting certified is entirely optional—coaching isn’t a regulated industry; anyone can call him- or herself a coach—but the time and expense were initially worth it for me. I’ve doing my training with MentorCoach, a company founded by a psychology PhD. Check out the Courses section of my LinkedIn profile for a list of the courses I’ve already taken.

What is your coaching philosophy?

My training is in the ICF life coaching model, which means that I work as a coach and not a consultant, therapist, or other specialist. My clients are the experts on their own lives, and come to coaching to move forward. I facilitate this process. Sometimes, my clients need me to put on my mentoring or advice-giving hat, but I find that if I’m doing my job right, these moments are infrequent, and I like it this way! It doesn’t surprise me anymore, but it used to: academia is very much about being an expert and telling others what to do; coaching is a very different process. That being said, I¬†read books and articles written by scientific researchers (especially psychologists and neuroscientists), clinicians, and other practitioners. When appropriate, I share my knowledge (including book recommendations!) with my clients.