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Academic writers make gains through creativity coaching

Connie's focused, intense while simultaneously gentle questions unstuck and got me moving forward. It was a difficult thing (at least for me) to acknowledge my vulnerability and declare, "Help!" After asking, I dug deep to figure out what was blocking my progress. Her responsive tools, structure, and focus provided exactly what I needed. Along with "more technical supports" Connie brought compassion, a sense of humour, and fun. I'd recommend her services to anyone who is struggling to find momentum, flow, and the courage to keep at it. Now Dr. Karen Dawson, former PhD candidate, Applied Social Science, Tilburg University, Netherlands.

As a doctoral student who had been stuck in a dissertation momentum slump, I have been so pleased by the creative support from Connie's individualized, metaphoric, and gentle approach. I have miraculously gone from a year and a half of frozen momentum to expanded creative thinking, forward motion, and dissertation insight. Her capacity to virtually guide me through the vulnerabilities and underlying struggles that weren't clear to me, and find creative possibilities to maneuver through them while simultaneously honoring them, has assisted me in regaining excitement about my studies. I'm forever grateful for her specialized skills that have allowed me to access my own capacity for movement on this dissertation journey. Now Dr. Christina Devereaux, former PhD candidate, Clinical Psychology, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, USA

Connie's penetrating, searching and intriguing questions have been helping to shake me out of the 'zombie-stage' of my PhD and into some meaningful action. Research is beginning to feel good again! One of those questions includes 'where is your energy?' Not only does Connie ask the question in creative ways, but she has walked with me when I have deeply felt that there were no answers. Surprisingly, the answers have come and my discovery of them has made all the difference. Because life for me as an older student includes commitments to work, family and community, finding energy for my PhD means that now I will actually finish it! Now Dr. Greg Barker, former PhD candidate, Department of Religious Studies, University of Wales, Lampeter, UK

I'll use the midwife metaphor to explain the magic of working with you. First, I had piles of written pages, competing thoughts, and my head ached with questions: How am I going to put all of this together? How will I start? Our meetings usually begin with me expressing tormenting hesitations and uncertainties. The magic is in the gentle, respectful questions, comments, or thoughts you come up with. You seem to know when to only listen and when to probe. I really do not know how it works, but at every session I end up with all I need to get the process of creativity going. In your presence and energy something happens, and what is also magical is that I know it is me who created. Now Dr. Amal Elyas, former PhD candidate, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Canada

Connie taught me a lot about the creative process and helped me to appreciate all phases. When I started working with her I didn't think that I was doing anything but I came to realize that preparation for getting started was doing something. Her careful attunement to my words and my style were beneficial in moving me along my path. Her positive regard was encouraging as well. I know that her coaching was instrumental in my progress. P. P., Doctoral Candidate

Through my work with Connie, I learned what Maya Angelou meant when she said, "We are created creative." I began to fulfill my deep desire to respond to what moves me, putting myself and not just my words on the page. My writing came to life. Anonymous Professor

I actually had a shift in perspective on my problem with my thesis [and] figured out how to best approach my work without feeling guilty. Breaking it down into manageable pieces and planning my "get to work strategy" with what feels best to me instead of what I should be doing . . . I feel much lighter about this and am more able to start anew. P. M., Masters Candidate

It was very useful to spend the time dealing with a fuller experience of undertaking a dissertation, rather than 'just trying to get it finished'. This helped to strengthen the project's integrity for me, and reconfirmed my reasons for undertaking it in the first place . . . [I] realise that this time of research, writing and creativity is an invaluable period in my life. P. W., Doctoral Candidate

I was able to move from a place of reluctance to a place of playfulness in my creative process. Connie Frey's prompts were quick, creative, and very effective! A. A., Writer/Professor Emeritus

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