Monday, August 10, 2015

Why Writing/Academic Coaching Often Fails?

Yesterday a prospective client asked me why she thought her work with her previous coach did not yield results. I won't share the details of our chat, but here is a post that might be helpful to others.

Learning the tricks of writing and publishing is not always enough. You have read the books; there are many of them. Frankly, there are many that are much better than mine, but that is for another time. In spite of your having read the books and having learned the tools, your still stuck. Your not thriving. Not only that, but now you feel worse about yourself because, with your new set of tools, you SHOULD be even more successful, and you still can't do it. Its not the tools that you need to learn. You need to change, or at least make some changes.

If this resonates with you, continue. You have thought about a writing coach, but have realized that what you need is closer to the realm of psychotherapy. You have thought about psychotherapy, but what therapist really understands "the game," and has the skills to teach you how to write and publish? You need someone who is part therapist, part teacher, part coach, and a scholar who has done it and has been there. You need someone who is supportive, strengths-based, yet challenging, insightful, and a highly skilled researcher.

If this is what you need, well, I may be your guy. I am a professor of social work with an extensive background in psychotherapy and clinical social work practice. I have published over 15 books and 120 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. I am full professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, but my path has not always been easy. Oh, no, it has not :).

My book on publishing is soon to go into its third edition. I have helped many scholars from various disciplines have the types of careers they long to have. I am caring. I am funny. I have fun with my clients, and they (mostly) have fun with me. We grow together. Things change. If things don't change, I put it on me, I work harder, I try new tools. I don't take it well when you don't meet your goals. I have been called a writing therapist. An academic whisperer. A writing guru. What I am is someone who invests deeply in helping scholars become who they wish to be.

I see this is my most important professional contribution. I don't think any of my own scholarship is going to change the world, but my wish for myself is that I am part of the work of others who just might (well, or at least work that they love- that is often good enough). At the very least, I can be of service to others and combined my love of clinical practice with scholarship.

I am not inexpensive, but I do have a sliding scale for those in most need. It slides deeply when the needs are deep :). Write me and at least take me up on a complementary hour call; it may be fun. It may lead to a powerful journey, with me, or with someone else. Lets talk. You don't even have to intend to work with me;its enough for me if you get something from our chat that helps you become the scholar you wish to become.


  1. Professor Furman,

    I am a horrible writer, but I want to become a great writer someday. Please help me.

  2. Joanne, after our class is over, lets meet over coffee and chat, ok?