In discussions about your dissertation, do your best to avoid a committee crisis and maintain the peace. Contributing to the smooth operation of your committee will save you quite a bit of heartache and trouble.

Often, the committee gives feedback that is somewhat neutral. Many of my clients have panicked because they feel that anything less than total approval is a problem. They have the all-or-nothing attitude that they have to throw everything out if it is not completely approved. Many times this is simply feedback from the committee, and it should not be seen as a crisis if one person disapproves.

The university, the chairperson, or the professors may have asked you to do things and then changed their mind. They may also approve something today, then change their mind a month later. This is part of the process. Every time a professor sees your work, he or she will look at it with “new eyes” so to speak. As you approach completion, the standards will go up. To reduce frustration and anxiety, let go of what you don’t like about their opinions, changes, and the way you were treated. If you can put these feelings on the shelf, you can focus on production, writing, and revising. After all, this is the dissertation process.