Demystifying Life Coaching for Doctoral Students

Life coaching has been gaining popularity for years now. But not everyone understands what to expect from coaching. Before I share what to expect during coaching, let me start with a few reasons to seek coaching.

Why get life coaching in the first place?

Doctoral students can benefit from life coaching to help them improve their educational experience. Students who are struggling to find school/life balance tend to feel overwhelmed and stressed about everything in their life, not just the doctoral program. Being under this type of strain for long periods leads to burnout.

Students experiencing burnout, fatigue, emotional exhaustion, overwhelm, and chronic self-doubt can find school/life balance with the help of a life coach. A coach can guide them to stop self-sabotaging behavior like procrastination or assist them in dealing with feelings of imposter syndrome. Through coaching, students learn how to manage their thoughts to build confidence, sustain motivation, and feel in control.

But struggling students aren’t the only doctoral students who can benefit from life coaching. Thriving students can reach their peak performance with the right coach. Students working with a coach learn how to feel empowered to easily make decisions about their dissertation research and writing to earn their degree as quickly as possible.

Essentially, life coaching gives doctoral students coping skills that builds their confidence, stamina, and resilience. The benefits of life coaching to doctoral students are unlimited. Virtually anything a doctoral student struggles with can be addressed through life coaching. Common situations that come up during coaching include overcoming procrastination, dealing with parent/partner/employee/student guilt, feelings of dread and self-doubt, trouble establishing a writing routine, a lack of academic and emotional support, and inability to relax or take down time.

What happens in a coaching session?

There are as many coaching styles as there are coaches out there. I offer causal coaching which addresses the causes of problems instead of symptoms. When you coach with me, here’s what you can expect. We start each meeting with a chat about what’s going on in your life where you share as much as you like. And then we explore your thoughts in the context of what you want to accomplish with the coaching. Throughout this process, I share material with you and ask questions to help you gain awareness and clarity. You make all the decisions about what you want to think, believe, and feel about what we discuss.

In the coaching sessions, I listen deeply to you and hold space however you show up. The sessions are yours and you never need to worry about what kind of mood you are in, interruptions that may happen during your session, or how you look. You don’t even need to be on camera if that’s not your thing.

I teach all of my clients basic self-coaching principles so they can develop a rich self-coaching practice that enables them to solve any problem on their own. My work emphasizes self-compassion, self-integrity, and personal responsibility.

Weekly or bi-weekly sessions are recommended for the first three months of coaching to firmly establish new thoughts and behaviors. Transformation is possible when you apply the self-coaching tools, I share with you. Many students see results after the first session and steadily increase their mental fitness as we work together.

How to coach with me

I offer two coaching paths, the Doctoral Aid Life Coaching package and the DO YOUR DOCTORATE Without the Drama program.

The Doctoral Aid Life Coaching (DALC) package introduces doctoral students to a self-coaching practice they can use to quickly go from overwhelmed to productive. This coaching package consists of four weekly coaching sessions. Each week includes lessons that teach the self-coaching process and the goal attainment process. The weekly topics are (1) introduction to life coaching, (2) self-coaching basics using The Model, (3) identifying beliefs and processing emotions, and (4) the process to attain any goal.

The DALC package is open to all doctoral students. Students may enroll in the package at any time and the coaching begins the first week of every month except June and December. Each month a scholarship is awarded to one or more students to ensure students of all means have access to coaching. Apply for the coaching scholarship here. Enroll in the Doctoral Aid Life Coaching package here

DO YOUR DOCTORATE Without the Drama (DYDWTD) is a 6-week coaching program, designed specifically to improve your doctoral experience by removing emotional drama and replacing it with self-confidence. You learn to laser-focus your energy and move past all your obstacles to graduation.

The program includes six weekly or bi-weekly 1-hour, private coaching sessions, a 60-page workbook with 21 optional worksheets, and six weeks of email support after the coaching to ensure you have enough support to get results. Inside the DYDWTD program you will learn how to:

  • Week 1: Create a pathway to peak performance by examining what holds you back
  • Week 2: Concentrate your power by accepting responsibility for choosing to do a doctorate
  • Week 3: Quit self-sabotaging negative self-talk by quieting your inner critic
  • Week 4: Build your confidence and skills by accessing your inner wisdom whenever you need it
  • Week 5: Become efficient and productive by managing yourself within time
  • Week 6: Make your journey sustainable by having a backup plan and continuing to build good habits

The program is open to students who are far enough along in their doctoral program to be eligible to submit a dissertation proposal and are in good standing with their university, meeting the program’s academic standards and requirements.

To apply for the DYDWTD program, shoot me an email at jb [at], message me on Facebook, or schedule a 15-minute meeting with me so I can ask you some questions to make sure the program is right for you. If the program is what you need, we can get started within the week.

When you coach with me, you’ll also get 30-days FREE access to my recorded workshops. Workshop topics include writing the literature review, managing your time, overcoming imposter syndrome, and more.

After you’ve completed the DALC or the DYDWTD, you are invited to work with me 1-on-1 on an as-needed basis to continue your support to graduation.

If you still have questions about life coaching, please reach out to me. I love to help doctoral students find their best path to graduation.