Before working with Melissa, I was experiencing chronic anxiety and self-doubt about my ability to finish my PhD. At the time, I was struggling to bounce back after a year and a half of parental/medical leave and, now expecting my second child, I felt a ‘real’ deadline to finish. I was especially struggling with perfectionism, motivation, and momentum because my pre-parenthood writing habits and strategies (long, uninterrupted blocks of time) were no longer available to me.

Melissa’s bi-weekly coaching helped me completely transform my writing habits, my attitude toward work/writing, and my self-confidence. She helped me develop and practise techniques to get into and stay in the ‘flow’ of writing (despite many life distractions!); protect and manage my writing time; enjoy the writing process; and acknowledge all of my lessons and achievements along the way. As a working parent, the most profound change has been achieving a comfortable, low-stress pace of productivity and feeling a sense of more quality time in my personal life.

Melissa designed a coaching program that was tailor-fit to who I was and what I needed. Underpinning everything was her genuine “whole person” approach, where she dedicated time to understanding me as a person and then customized concrete strategies and techniques (writing, time management, self-reflection) to support me. Her exceptionally structured approach, insistence on mutual accountability, and encouraging nature were a perfect trio that ultimately led me to complete my dissertation on time and in a low-stress/high-gratification way.

For me, working through Melissa’s program meant complete transformation – professionally and personally. Her support extends far beyond the domains of writing and work – she truly helped me grow as a person toward greater contentment in the rest of my life.

I am confident that anyone, at any stage of their writing/career, can benefit from Melissa’s support. Investing in her program will truly be a lifelong investment in yourself!  

Amy

I was experiencing overwhelming stress that I had not made enough progress toward my thesis publishing goals. I was struggling to create time for writing and was not meeting my writing expectations when I did set time aside.

I am much more confident in my ability to write well. I have learned to be patient with the writing process and really focus during the times I schedule to write. This has helped me write better quality articles faster and with less anxiety.

Through Melissa’s coaching I learned a number of useful strategies for leveraging my capabilities, strengths and weaknesses to move through the writing process.  I learned to make decisions with more conviction, view my project challenges from new angles and understand the value in what I have learned and created already. Melissa’s coaching has really helped bring success to my PhD research.

The coaching program created structure for reflecting on my efforts, knowledge, decisions and learn from them to continually improve myself and my productivity.

Melissa’s skills in uncovering and addressing barriers to my research priorities were an essential part of getting me back on the track to completing my PhD.

Aaron

Before coaching with Melissa, I felt like I could never write something I truly wanted to write and actually put it out in the world. Sharing my work with people other than my inner circle felt impossible and nerve-wracking.

I have a totally different perspective and attitude toward writing now since coaching with Melissa. I am more adventurous, truthful, and self-compassionate. Also, I’ve taken steps toward being braver and more truthful in my personal relationships, to mirror my approach to writing.


Melissa’s coaching helped me to see the connection between my fears around writing and the challenges in my personal relationships. I have achieved what felt impossible before: I wrote something and published it online and I have strengthened a personal relationship that had been strained for several years.

The program has been healing for me. It has helped me embrace my truth.

Melissa asks just the right questions at the right time and gently but firmly guides me to realizations and actions that may be challenging but always rewarding.

She approaches me as a whole person and understands that my relationship to writing is  deeply connected to my relationship with myself and with others in my life.

Helen

Melissa’s coaching has helped me recognize some of the barriers I had set up for myself that were preventing me from achieving professional (and personal) success.

Her coaching has been instrumental in providing me with the awarenessand strength to recognize goals/aspirations that I would like to achieve while being true to myself.

Working with Melissa, I am now much more aware of what I want in life and present during my decision-making. This has helped remind me that my decisions each and every day coalesce to help me reach these goals or importantly, when and how directions may need to change.

Melissa has an extraordinary ability to help others tap into an awareness that helps shape a happier, more fulfilling life – an awareness of how the small things can affect the much bigger picture of our lives.

Katherine

Before coaching with Melissa, I was stressed about writing projects and the fact that writing will be a huge part of my new role as Principal Investigator. I did not enjoy writing and I wanted to find ways to make this a more joyful process.

Since coaching with Melissa, I feel more confident about my writing and therefore started enjoying it more. I have more awareness about the writing process and what it entails, e.g. that background research is a huge and important part that counts towards the writing project which should be accounted for in planning out the timeline of writing projects and having planned time for that  will make the actual write up much easier.

Melissa provided me with several tools to address my issues with writing. Some of them are directly related to the writing process, others not so much, but ended up being key in making progress with my attitude to writing.

A key step for me is to grow confident in my own style of writing and in believing in my own way – this is still a work in progress but I can see how the coaching with Melissa is helping me to achieve this goal.  Another key step was to realize how I am actually operating and what parts of science I enjoy to harness my strength and incorporate it into the writing process.

I started the program with a very open attitude and just wanted to see what it is about. The coaching program became very important to me because I realized the progress I have made after the first few months.

I decided to continue the coaching with Melissa because I can also see that I can accomplish even more if I stay in process with it.

Melissa is a great coach because she is able to listen and read between the lines to make you realize what your actual roadblocks are. Melissa has this great ability to provide that second person viewpoint and guide you towards seeing the forest for the trees. I also really appreciate that I never feel judged by her and that she has a very kind personality.

Stephanie

Melissa has a way of stimulating my thinking and extracting my thoughts that has helped me to create the structures that become central for preparing directions for grant proposals, scientific papers, and strategic initiatives. She has a way of helping me to see the glimmer of an idea in my mind and expand it into a textured, meaningful and focussed direction.

John

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