Done is Better Than Perfect: Tips on Dissertation Completion

Uncategorized Nov 10, 2019

In my role as a counselor at the Counseling Center at the University of Akron during the final year of my doctorate, I had a chance to reflect on students having difficulty completing their dissertation. Here are some peak performance suggestions for completing that beast based on my experience,

1. If possible, get on an accountability team. My cohort of interns at the University of Akron served as my accountability team. We were all from different psychology programs throughout the United States (one Ph.D. candidates in Counseling Psychology and two of us were PsyD in Clinical Psychology students). We were all at different points in our proposal and writing process at the beginning of the internship year. We agreed as a group to hold each other accountable and declare defense date goals at the beginning of the internship year. I was the furthest behind in the process because I hadn't proposed yet during our first meeting. We met weekly for the entire year until the first person in our cohort defended. The first person defended in May, and the last person defended in July.
2. Write daily. Once I decided to write every day, it was a game-changer!

The biggest hurdle I witnessed my client's experience was psychological, so remember.

1. Don't take your dynamics with your adviser or chairperson personal if it's not useful.
2. Perfect is the enemy of done! Research and writing is a process it's okay to be a work in progress as long as your working with the intention of completion
3. You are not an imposter!

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