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A place to process for those entangled in the writing process, a space to share insights for those who have completed this magna opus, and a forum to bounce off ideas for those looking down the road at the journey they are about to undertake.

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  • Hi Carol. I'm glad to see you here. I haven't been too active in this group yet, but as you know, things are heating up. I wonder if we could brainstorm a way to make this group really a "working group". Maybe we could do live chats once a week, or we could each do checkins with issues in the writing process on a regular basis, or perhaps each list our top challenge of the week and how we are dealing with it...Anyone else have ideas?
  • Wow, it's wonderful to read about different aspects of this dissertation journey, as reflected in your comments. I am in my first year of Transformative Studies at CIIS, and happy to know I can check in to this community once in a while to refuel my occasionally flagging energies.
  • Busy with my dissertation and it is so hard to find literature on my subject shadow and work (all tips are welcome).


    So I decided to write a blog to get comments and new ideas. Let's get inspired by people busy with dept psychology and organisations/work!


    Shadow attracts us to a job and an organisation
    Shadow makes us attracted to a certain job and organisation. We utilise our talents in a job and also a piece of our shadow. Shadow is what you don't…
  • Bonnie, Reading about the concept paper and choosing a topic, etc made me smile. I remember those days! Now that I am sitting at my desk actually writing the proposal, three months into my dissertation clock, I can have a bit of perspective. It's fascinating, really, how the thread has really been there all along for me in ways that I didn't even realize. I look back at old journals, diaries, and letters from years and years ago and see the trail of breadcrumbs. Words, leanings, images, dots connecting all over the place - until the issue I struggle with is that it is all connected and I can't seem to find a way in to, out of, or through the web - depending on where I happen to be standing at any given moment.


    But, the writing is coming along. And my concept paper has been invaluable in keeping me on the path. I'm so grateful that the professor who worked with me on my concept paper was diligent and demanding. I couldn't see the larger picture at the time, but, oh, what a blessing it is to have struggled to clearly articulate something that I could only see the blurred edges of. It was enough light to see by. Trust that. 

    Happy writing!

  • Hi Siona: It's great to see you here in the group. I forget where you are in the process?...I am early enough that I am still working on a concept paper, but am finding it so elusive to nail down a topic I can't even begin with a purpose statement.

    I am thrilled that several members of this group are far enough along that they find the writing is the real problem! It gives me hope that I can actually move on.

    Meanwhile, I'm really liking what a couple of people have said about re-reading papers (or proposals!) and finding the common thread. In fact, the most recent purpose statement I wrote bored me so much I was ready to postpone the entire process altogether. Then, almost as quickly, one person pointed out to me how engrossed I am in building this Alliance---and that it might be good if I could do my dissertation around it. All of a sudden things shifted! Now I am starting to see a (albeit tentative) link between that oh-so-boring purpose statement from a few weeks ago and how it might have a whole new twist by combining it with something totally new and unexpected (community & social media). I would have never put the two together. It's creating something along the line of what Maurice is saying about keeping the conversation going and eliciting curiosity.

    I have yet to make more sense of it, but I do have a "sense" something new is brewing. Very alchemical, all of it!....Now...where to go from here????? What questions should I be asking NOW????

  • Yes, yes, and yes, to all that you all are sharing! dissertation writing can be such an isolating process, and in isolation we can be so alienated from our voice, from our passions, and from hearing into ourselves (and I mean that in the sense of the kind of knowing that can come from good listening/reflecting/questioning encounters... we need to sit and talk with one another about our ideas, about our visions without having to know, but in the service of discerning what's meaningful for us. And as Gabrielle says, that may mean several conversations... I know that my own deep feeling and passions around where engaging 'trauma studies' has been taking me, develops with every conversation I have among others. keep your talking, keep your being curious about your project, seek into it as an engagement with the power of Question... and know, of course, that what I say to you, I'm saying to myself as I'm feeling my way into a new level in my own work. This is about process, and determining 'right process.' I happen to believe that 'right process' has to be grounded in that center where your passion is linked to purpose, where your intuition and your intention are balanced. Find a way to represent this to/for yourself; an image, a mantra, a mudra, a pose, a sensation, a breath, whatever it is/becomes for you. . . then try using this to make of your writing/creating a ritual practice... then see what happens.... can't wait to hear!
  • So good to see you here, Maurice!

    And thank you for the reminders, everyone, to stay close to the passion, the heart, the juice of the dissertation. I got stuck very early in the process - so frozen by my insecurities, feeling as if I could never traverse the world of academia as a depth psychologist. (I don't sound like those other dissertation writers, I kept thinking.) My chair reminded me that I do, indeed, know how to speak the language of depth psychology which for me, as a poet at heart, is poetry. She encouraged me to look for the mirrors that would affirm the poetic inquiry rather than those mirrors that only reflected voices that were not authentic to my work and my journey. Soooo helpful! Soon after, I got a few pages completed, sent them in, received a thumbs up, and am confident that I am on my way. "Patience. Grace." Yes. Most definitely.

  • Bonnie and all, I've written 6 (!!!) complete concept papers. Have changed my topic so many times I've lost track. Finally, only 2 months ago, I stopped trying to flesh out the "opus" and started to look for the commonalities between those many papers and ideas. That's where the heart was found. I also discovered something of tremendous value: thought I was a hare - come to find out, I'm a tortoise. And there are times I have to pull in, sit in the dark, and return to the simplicity of a few brief words that describe my topic. (I recently discovered my title and that was a HUGE step forward!) Patience. Grace. It will come.
  • I'm grateful for this group, and I'm sure I will be more so moving forward. I am at the place where I'm supposed to turn in an "Intro" and I have changed my topic about six times since I was encouraged to write it.

    At this stage, I can't even THINK about disciplining myself to write when I am so concerned about being bored with my topic that won't want to write. I know some of you can relate to that, and while I know you can't help me choose, its comforting just knowing there are others here in the community who can relate.

    Maurice, I love your comment about starting with your passion. I need to keep focused on that part--THAT is where the "simplifying" probably shows best for me at the moment.

    Thank you all!

  • I have been advised by A-type personalities to make a schedule and stick to it, no matter what. For those externally driven, that has worked well. As for me, I "used" my advisor . . . That is, I told myself, I am paying a lot of money for these two years of dissertation writing. So, every time I completed a chapter, I sent it to her. She usually had feedback for me in a couple of weeks and we'd chat on the phone about her recommendations. This kept me moving forward. If I was asking her to turn my material around in just a couple weeks, I felt I needed to keep the process alive and vital, not stuck. I also made an appointment and called (or visited if I was in SB) when I needed clarification or encouragement (to be honest). I have only the best things to say about my working relationship with my dissertation advisor.
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Sharing Tips and Resources: Hermeneutics: An Intellectual Tradition for Communication Studies

I know this group hasn't been very active; however, I think it could be a remarkable resource for all of us working on a thesis or dissertation if members would share any resources they come across that might be of help to others, or offer tips they find useful in doing the work as those practices become useful to them. On that note, I came across what I think is a valuable scholarly paper on Hermeneutics that may be helpful and wanted to share. Good luck to all, wherever you are in your…

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10 ways to keep your sanity as a Ph.D. / Graduate student

Hi everyone. I came across this post today and wanted to share it here. I know there hasn't been much structure in this group, but would like to find a way to really make it a resource for those of us working on disertation. If you have ideas, please share.  Meanwhile check out this article--thought it had some great ideas & reminders: 10 ways to keep your sanity as a Ph.D. / Graduate student

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What I wouldn't give to be a bona fide member of this group!

Hello All: It's so cool to read about your exploits on your "journeys" through academia.  My deepest desire is to go on to fo my PhD in Spiritual Direction through Wisdom University or ITP. The only thing holding me back is $$$ at the moment. Even though I made the Dean's Commendation list for the MCounsel (Hons) programme at my Alma Mater in Aussie, NZ isn't the best country for trying to source scholarship or fellowship funding.  Especially if you haven't completed your last grad degree here.…

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