Working with Rich has completely shifted my relationship with writing - it’s been a game changer for me.
Courtney Cogburn, PhD, Associate Professor, Social Work, Columbia University.
Many of my accomplishments over the last few years- large grants, well-cited pubs, a recent promotion- I, in large part, attribute to my work with Rich.
Kaja Lewinn, ScD, Associate Professor, Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
Rich is a gift to those who know him, and especially to those who are coached by him. We connected early in my fourth year on tenure-track, which also happened to be the year I stepped in as our school’s first Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development. Rich’s coaching helped me navigate stepping into administration while juggling teaching and remaining productive on tenure track, resulting in me going up for tenure with about 25 articles! Seeing how helpful Rich had been for me, our school hired Rich to lead a half-day workshop for our faculty and PhD students on how to increase writing productivity, which not only offered practical tools, but also invited faculty to reflect upon inner barriers to writing. Since then, I’ve seen how our faculty have increased the number of grants and articles over the last year because of our school’s cultural shift toward regular writing rhythms. Rich, thank you for all you’ve done to support me and the Garland School of Social Work in cultivating healthy writing habits to disseminate our research findings!
Holly K. Oxhandler, PhD, LMSW, Assistant Professor | Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development, Baylor University, Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
If you are reading this testimonial it may be because you are searching for a way forward, as I was three years ago. I was lucky enough to have a tenure track position but was struggling with being as effective and productive as I wanted to be and, of course, to met the expectations for tenure. Everyone around me seemed to know what to do. Being a new faculty member how could I admit that I didn't know? Working with Rich was the best decision I made in my journey to tenure. Without his support, advice, expertise and sense of humour I would not have made it.
How does Rich approach coaching? Rich will ask you to commit to making writing the most important part of your day. No excuses allowed! He can help with the functional stuff. He is an excellent reviewer and commentator on articles and other documents.
But, for me the greatest value comes from the way in which he hears and understands your fears, anxieties and hurdles about writing and being a productive scholar. With humour, examples and gentle prodding he helps you to find a way of writing that leads to your unique version of productive scholarship.
Today, as a tenured associate professor I am working with Rich again. I am doing so to avoid the dreaded 'post tenure productivity lag'. But most of all I wanted his help in the making the mental reset required to move forward well into this new stage in my academic career.
Dr. Joanne McNeish, Associate Professor, Marketing, Ryerson University
A dear friend convinced me to call Rich after years of suggesting it. I was a "remarkably promising academic with a lackluster publication record" (said the letter from my Chair in my promotion packet), and I was on the cusp of making a major career decision that had the potential to drastically alter my professional trajectory. I am also the mother of young children and encounter reams of family-of-origin chaos on a regular basis, and my adrenals were shot from failed efforts at "work-life-balance". Although I wasn't sure he could help me, I was to the point where I knew it couldn't hurt. Now I'm hooked. Rich is my secret weapon: my coach, my consultant, my sounding board, my safe space. He has helped me with writing productivity (completely tailored to MY world, MY goals), offer negotiations (realize your worth, expect/demand your worth), saying no (I'm still working on that--I have a ways to go, but he is kind about it), and maintaining balance in my life (it is an evolving practice, and I'm grateful for his invitation/permission/support to revise frequently). More importantly, he has helped me find my "voice" and gain confidence in my own ideas, vision, and priorities, which he does through superb clinical skills embedded within change-motivating activities informed by his vast experience with many layers of academia and leadership. He is the secure-attachment figure you always needed in academia, but likely never had--providing you with constant support and nurturance, but with clear goals for you (based on what you said you wanted), a stellar tool kit to teach you, determination to help you set limits, and an occasional kick in the pants. Part sensei, part Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder, part intel, part Falkor, all about helping you live the fullest life possible. . .I feel stronger, happier, more authentic, and my career is on fire! Thank you, Rich. Now, to go write. . .
- Associate Professor, Leadership in the School of Medicine, UCSF
Working with Rich has helped me in a number of ways. First, building upon my already- established daily writing habit, he helped me to refine my practice so that I not only continued writing every day, but I came to each writing session with pre-determined, specific entry points into my prioritized projects. This meant I didn’t have to waste time trying to figure out where to begin each time I sat down to write. Second, he helped me establish new writing rituals while encouraging me to think about writing goals in terms of remaining in process over time, rather than focusing on specific outcomes that I could neither predict nor control. Third, he presented me with a process for generating ideas and producing journal articles. Even better, he challenged me to “let go,” sending work out for review before I was convinced it was “perfect” and, therefore, ready to be seen.
But perhaps most helpful of all, Rich provided me with insights and tools to help me confront the psycho-social stumbling blocks—the “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s” that had plagued me for years—along with the imposter syndrome that I had allowed to cloud my own judgement of my contribution as a scholar. I am so glad I found Rich and made the decision to start working with him when I did. His knowledge and skill as an insightful therapist, as a well-published scholar who knows “the game” of academia well, and as an all-around nice guy made him an excellent resource, a mentor, and an encouraging coach at a pivotal juncture in my career. Without reservation, I would highly recommend him and his services to anyone at any stage of their academic career.
Milmon F. Harrison, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of African American African Studies University of California, Davis
Working with Rich has been great and an enormous boost for my productivity. He's helped me take large blocks of unstructured time and create manageable writing chunks based on the particular challenges I've faced. In addition to his insights into work processes, I've appreciated his flexibility (ranging from regular appointments to email consultations) and overall kindness and compassion. I'm a big believer that all academics can benefit from coaches, and I feel lucky I found Rich.
Christopher Jones, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religions Studies, Arizona State University
Thank you so much, Rich, for offering your wonderful coaching sessions! Your insightful advice has already helped me approach writing and analytical writing with a greater sense of calm, and you have changed my perspective on the dissertation entirely, making it less burdensome.
Megan Sayyad, PhD, Neuroscience, VCU Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University
How to describe the impact Dr. Rich Furman has had on my life? After languishing for three years over a barely-begun messy dissertation I met Rich, and within a year and a half had successfully defended my doctorate. Rich and I worked over the course of those 18 months to get “unstuck” and to develop productive and consistent writing habits. With Rich’s coaching and accountability I was able to develop discipline around my scholarly work, and perhaps most importantly to see myself as a scholar. He gets academia and can help navigate many challenging situations. For anyone who is stuck or who just wants to reset their own work, I can’t recommend Rich highly enough. He’s funny and supportive and kind, and he will also make you work harder than you had any inkling you could. I am deeply grateful for Dr. Rich Furman.
Sophie Godley, DrPH, MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of Undergraduate Public Health
Boston University School of Public Health
I discovered Rich at a time when I was struggling on multiple fronts in my academic job. From the first interaction with Rich, he gave me very practical clues on how to improve my situation. Actually he gave three specific clues and I implemented each of the three. In heeding that initial advice, the challenges I was facing began to immediately improve; gradually and significantly, I began to regain myself. Seeing the immediate positive impact of those first few clues is what convinced me to work some more with Rich and what a good decision that was. Rich effectively steered me through the process of landing an excellent new position. He coached me on what to do and what not to do and I realized that I was making some basic mistakes, which I was not aware of, and had I not corrected those mistakes might have cost me the job. Rich was also very supportive in this process. He was there to answer my every question along the way and he was also really good at following up when I might have otherwise dropped the ball. So he kept me accountable and on track. I am grateful that Rich is as good at academic coaching as he is because I am now one of many who have benefited. Thanks Rich!
Sharon Schembri, PhD, Professor of International Marketing and MSc Program Director, SKEMA Business School
Let me be straight- he is the best damn coach ever. Rich has helped me advance from a dean to a provost, and now, to a university president. In my position I really need to not attach my name to such a bold statement, and such a public statement, and let me tell you, the guilt is almost too much to bare. I would do almost anything for this man, who I feel would do almost anything for me, within professional limits. Working with Rich, on pretty much any problem you could approach him with, might be the best decision you could ever make.
President of a small, liberal arts college
Rich has been an invaluable source of guidance and support. His experience and insight help junior faculty members navigate the tenure process, and mid-career faculty renew their enthusiasm for research and scholarship. Rich is the kind of mentor you’ll wish you had met early in your academic career.
Mark Olson, Associate Professor of Social Work, Illinois State University
Nathalie Sheridan, PhD, Lecture University of Glasgow wrote a wonderful blog post that explores what she learned from a complementary coaching session with me. Even if you are not thinking of coaching, she provides some powerful guidance. Here it is.
It took me 3 years to talk myself into beginning a doctoral program, and after the first 6 months my confidence that I could finish at all, much less in a timely manner, was low. A friend, who’d utilized his services, recommended Rich as a 'dissertation coach’. I can unreservedly say that if it wasn’t for Rich’s coaching sessions, I would not be where I am- which is less than a year from a completed dissertation. He does it all- he offers practical strategies for writing productivity, recommends resources that address exactly what is needed, helps navigate academic processes and practices, and is unfailingly encouraging. I would recommend him to anyone returning to graduate school, wanting to improve their writing quality or productivity, or just wanting someone in their corner when pursuing an important goal that involves writing. Hands down the best investment I could have made.
Rich is totally the BEST coach ever!!
A colleague recommended Rich Furman and after the first session, i was hooked on Rich!!
He has been incredibly supportive! He knows how to free writer’s block and drive you to complete your articles . Basically, makes things simple and doable and deconstructed all my barriers. A heartfelt thanks to Rich who is has been a wonderful writing coach. Absolutely, positively, the BEST person to handle all the idiosyncratic psychological issues that arrive when living the writerly life.
Rich is also a genuine, wonderful, enthusiastic, person who gives 110% of his time when coaching. He provided unlimited patience, ideas, and honest feedback about my thoughts while navigating my issues. His wealth of knowledge and writing experience completely educated me about the many different ways to write, edit, proofread, etc.
Rich is absolutely AMAZING!
Get hooked on Rich. . .
University Lecturer, researcher, writer, coordinator
After meeting Rich several times over the course of five months, I have five new manuscripts under review. Need I say more?”
I cannot recommend Rich Furman enough. For anybody who has ever wanted to write but is blocked, Rich is the person who can turn this around for you. I am a Ph.D. candidate in History, and am long overdue in finishing my dissertation for a variety of personal and professional reasons. I had all-but given up, but after the first one-on-one session that Rich and I had, I knew I had struck gold. By offering substantive tools and attainable goals to apply in my daily ritual of writing, I have managed to achieve more in the last eight months than I have in the last eight years. I am now almost finished with my dissertation, and have written a published article for an online academic journal. If you are a student, scholar, writer, journalist, or someone who has always dreamed of wanting to write but is blocked with fear and self-doubt, Rich Furman is the person you need to contact. He is that good.
Kristen Hillaire Glasgow, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at UCLA
A deadline loomed as I sank deeper into an existential crisis of the soul-splintering kind. Rich Furman's email address had sat in a desk drawer for months. I pulled it out and struggled to tap out in a message some of the angst surrounding the book inside my head, not to mention the demons with pitchforks closing in on me, yelling that whatever I wanted to say had already been said ten times better. Rich replied to my message right away. "Let's talk." And thus began a relationship that I treasure more than I can find words to describe. He nudged me continuously to see my work from unexplored dimensions. That soft tenor, whispering words of encouragement, soon came to reside inside my head when we weren't actually talking in real time. I am a full professor but regret not reaching out to him earlier in my academic career. What a great help Rich Furman has been in helping me open a new chapter in my academic career.
Rich helped me cut through the emotional blocks to my writing in a three-day class I took from him in 2014. Up to then in my three years since completing my dissertation I had had two articles published (one as first author) and a couple of rejections. He is the sort of mentor who cuts through a lot of the BS behind academic writing; laying out practical solutions to the common problems I was facing. he broke down the act of writing into something that was manageable on a daily basis and since his class I have been writing every morning at least for 15 minutes. My focus on my writing work has improved: I have led teams in collaborative writing, and I have begun to mentor emerging writers. In the year since dedicating myself to writing daily, my publication record has tripled, and I have three additional manuscripts under review. Rich is very personable and motivating. One time when I had collected two rejections in the space of so many weeks, he met with me for an hour to de-mystify the experience and to spur me to get those articles back out into new journals. The practices and philosophy I have gained from Rich might possibly be the most valuable knowledge I have gained in the pursuit of academic advancement in my short time as Assistant Professor.
Robin Evans-Agnew, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, UW Tacoma
This last year, I received tenure, and published a book that is already gaining a great deal of traction and has been reviewed over a dozen times. Without Rich, neither would have happened. Without Rich, I think I would be divorced and flipping burgers somewhere. If you knew my history, you would understand that while said in partial jest, it actually pretty close to the truth. Oh, and the dedication of my book? Yup, to Rich.
Associate Professor of Law, flagship, research university in the South.
Six months past my last doctoral program class, my dissertation stared me down. In ten hours of help over the course of two weeks, Rich helped me set long and short-term goals, talked me through internal and environmental barriers, and he put me on a quick but realistic path in finishing my proposal. After I had collected my data another six months later, I found myself stuck again. Rich pointed out some barriers that were invisible to me, but were severely hampering my ability to write and finish my dissertation--and these things in turn greatly impacting the quality of my life. I would hire him again in a heartbeat ... but sooner.
Brenda Nelson, LCSW, DSW, Prevention and Wellness Coordinator, Libertyville High School
I’m grateful to work with Rich Furman. Working with Rich as a coach completely changed my personal feelings about writing. Prior to working with Rich, I was intimidated by the process of academic writing. Rich’s humanistic approach to teaching, his high-level skill set and experience as a writer helped ease my fears and writing limitations. He stimulated my desire to continue my path in academia as a teacher and as a researcher. I continue to work on becoming a better writer and it is great to know that he is there, despite a great demand for his services, he is always willing to offer support and guidance. A wonderful Mentor!!
Dolly Sacristan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Social Work, Ramapo College of New Jersey
This might sound over the top, but Rich basically has saved my career. Even more importantly, he saved my dignity and self-respect; I now know I can have a long, happy career. I have gone from one to nearly eight articles in the last two years, and I would never have done that without him.
From an Assistant Professor at an "elite" research university
I have worked with Rich for a few months, and in that short amount of time, I have moved from feeling hopeless to confident. He is part therapist, part coach, part writing instructor, and all human. I wish I found him years ago. He has changed my life.
From an Assistant Professor at a Research 1 University in the West
I learned about Rich when I stumbled upon poetry as a tool for research during my doctoral studies. His body of work using poetic inquiry not only inspired me to use a poetic approach in my dissertation research, but it also encouraged me to reconnect with my creative side, an aspect of my life I thought was nearly lost as a result of pursuing a PhD. Fast forward to my second semester as a tenure-track assistant professor, I reached out to Rich because I wanted to learn more about his use of poetic inquiry. I wanted to make poetic inquiry and arts-based methods, generally, my methodological “home.” What I did not expect was 10 weeks of academic-related therapy. Rich helped me make sense of poetic inquiry because he helped me make better sense of myself in this academic space. I struggled with a sense of belonging, fulfillment, and worthiness in academia. Imposter syndrome is REAL! Rich did A LOT of listening to my negative self-talk and over the course of 10 weeks helped me reframe how I understood myself in academia. His gentle guidance assisted me in seeing myself in a more affirming light. This light helped me move past feelings of doubts and other emotional and psychological blocks to my writing and academia in general. I am growing more confident as an academic and I am immensely grateful to Rich for his assistance. I look forward to continuing to work with him.
Nicole C. Virginia Commonwealth University
If you want to learn to publish, and want to learn how to get out of your own way to do so- work with Dr. Furman. If you need tough love, he will give it. If you need support, he will give that to you as well. I cannot imagine someone working with him, and giving an honest effort, and not becoming productive.
From a Dean at a Research 1 University
I was referred to Rich by a friend for coaching in writing two years ago and I am very glad for that referral. I was intrigued and attracted to what I perceived as Rich's ability to speak to other areas of life within the context of helping my writing.
Right from our first few sessions, I have been grateful for Rich's help grieving my father's death and his assistance with my simultaneously happening career and move. These were significantly jarring events in my life and Rich has helped smooth the way and keep my focus on writing and building a career. His particular constellation of experience in creative arts, academia, and social work, and well-honed coaching skills continue to fit with my needs and overall goals. In sum, Rich is an excellent and active listener, with a refreshing directness when I ask for such, and a much-appreciated sense of humor. I wholeheartedly recommend Rich for those searching for supportive and practical life coaching.
D. J., Independent scholar, actor, and teacher
Rich Furman is a seasoned writer and published author with a deep understanding of the writing process both personally and professionally. He is an experienced academic and therapist as well. Because of his professional training and experience, Rich is able to listen intentionally, artfully offer insight, and create accountability for his clients. Rich offered help and clarity on my writing journey that was invaluable.
G. S., Licensed mental health counselor
Rich helped me cut through the emotional blocks to my writing in a three day class I took from him in 2014. Up to then in my three years since completing my dissertation I had had two articles published (one as first author) and a couple of rejections. He is the sort of mentor who cuts through a lot of the BS behind academic writing; laying out practical solutions to the common problems I was facing. he broke down the act of writing into something that was manageable on a daily basis and since his class I have been writing every morning at least for 15 minutes. My focus on my writing work has improved: I have led teams in collaborative writing, and I have begun to mentor emerging writers. In the year since dedicating myself to writing daily, my publication record has tripled, and I have three additional manuscripts under review. Rich is very personable and motivating. One time when I had collected two rejections in the space of so many weeks, he met with me for an hour to de-mystify the experience and to spur me to get those articles back out into new journals. The practices and philosophy I have gained from Rich might possibly be the most valuable knowledge I have gained in the pursuit of academic advancement in my short time as Assistant Professor.
I worked with Rich as I made my way through qualifying exams and into the dissertation phase of a PhD program. His kindness, empathy, and experiential knowledge of the academic world supported me through both challenging and productive times. Rich offered needed insight into the dissertation process, as well as provided valuable tools to managing writing barriers and time organization. Using these tools, I wrote and published in a way that was liberating and fun. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Rich. He is more than a coach and a mentor. He is my role model and friend.
Researcher, activist, artist.
I am a lecturer and researcher in a University in Indonesia. Last February, Prof. Rich came to our university to give workshop on how to publish a journal article. I found his method was very interesting. Not only, he provided us with detailed information and knowledge on how to write and publish an article but most importantly, he helped us to deal with our own anxiety and fear. He assisted us in dealing with some psychological barriers that often become obstacles in writing an article. Professor Rich also created a non-threatening and very supportive environment, not only during the workshop but also after the workshop. He helped us to develop certain discipline that is very essential in a writing process. I can honestly say that I benefit so much from the workshop.
Vina Adriany, Lecturer, Department of Early Childhood Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Rich's coaching is more uplifting than plastic surgery.
A.C. Psychotherapist and scholar
I finished writing my dissertation. The external suggested major structural editing. At the time I received the review, my mother was journeying through the growth of breast cancer.
Two years have passed since that moment and my mother did get better but my edits and my writing did not make any progress.
I reached out to Rich at this two-year mark. It was one of those calls you know you have to make but you don’t want to make. I followed Rich’s academic and coaching work online. Rich’s style of writing resonated with me- his simplicity and ability to control and navigate language and its mind/verbal structure was what made the call easy. It was the best right call I could make for my dissertation and me.
Sometimes life serves you with events that you see as failures or set backs that turned themselves into huge obstacles you could not move past by yourself. Rich is the person to help you move, get up, keep walking, start running or whatever other metaphor you are applying to your situation. Rich helped me start clearing some of my clutter (stories and expectations I told myself) and made the work itself rise above fear and hurt and just be done. One of the fascinating things about Rich’s style of coaching is ability to rise, with empathy, above the unproductive structure one has created and slowly remove it from your daily life. After two years of having done zero writing, with Rich’s coaching I finished my first version of structural edits in four months.
PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science of Language, Canada
The man changed my life in ways that i still have not fully grasped, three years after having worked with him. Articles, books and tenure; none of these would have been possible out Rich.
Associate Professor of Economics @ annoyingly elite university (my frame, not Rich's)
The time I spent with Rich in the writing class was one of the best investments I have made. I found the content truly valuable and learned a great deal from Rich’s questions and comments. I enjoyed the videos, the activities made me think and the discussions with other participants brought new perspectives. I gained some valuable insights and have implemented several of the ideas that I took form his book, Practical Tips for Publishing Scholarly Articles. I would highly recommend this workshop for anyone feeling stuck with their dissertation.