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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Do I really need another degree??

So here's my dilemma! If you have any thoughts I would really appreciate your insight here.

It's fair to say I have spent much time already in academic institutions and as a result I have rather embarrassingly ended up with one undergraduate and four postgraduate degrees. I have also self-funded through all of these trainings and as you can imagine it has cost a small fortune! Now please don't misunderstand me I'm not telling you so I can 'blow my own trumpet' I am telling you because I have reached a crossroads. Which way, who knows!

I was initially investigating my doctorate and then my father died. I began to consider why I had pursued education so much and started to unpack (in a psychotherapeutic way) the matter of why. Why had I continually studied? Who was it for? Why had I felt the need to study so much. I began to realise my pursuit for education had been for my father and at this point I decided to place my doctorate on hold. I also met with a possible academic supervisor and I immediately felt this person wanted to steer my research in a way I didn't want it to go. All things considered I felt it was time to 'get off the academic bus', for a while at least and review. I began to write and I produced my unedited manuscript in 3 months! I then sent my unpublished manuscript across the globe to 'experts', parents, best selling parenting authors, professors, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. These were independent reviews and the feedback was sensational! The sensational reviews were originally gathered to support me to secure a publishing deal. In fact one of my reviewers (a Professor from Australia) was so impressed and excited by my findings she took my edited manuscript to a publishing house in Australia on my behalf.

Remember "this mini book could change the way we parent our infants forever."

By the way a little update on the publisher. They are in the middle of a launch and as a result are tied up until the end of next week. I ought to hear from them at some point after this. I promise I'll let you know.

My work (which will be printed in a mini series of books) in the field of baby body language has been described as "fascinating, astounding, ground-breaking and exciting" but as an academic I know it doesn't have the the backing of clinical & academic research. I have informally researched my findings and am delighted by the results but it simply doesn't have the stamp of approval required to secure more credibility in the field. Herein lies my dilemma. I have 100% faith & belief in all of my findings but my experience is telling me I need to have a little more than faith for my work to be perceived a credible by the experts in the field - as a bit of a non-traditionalist - this does kind of annoy me! So now I am faced with another possible 3-4 years in Uni (having spent way too many already) researching, securing another degree (which would mean a grand total of six - is this really necessary?) proving what I instinctively KNOW to be true!! Aaaaarrrrgghhhhhhhhh!

Please tell me what you think? I am curious and interested.

Do you see my dilemma here?

Warmest wishes from 'confused about school' Vivien


  1. Well - I often meet people who say ... "just one more course, just one more book, just one more Degree until I feel "good enough" and I know this myself as I too battled this dilemma as I too have many certificates, degrees and qualifications lining my office walls. It's about feeling ready, prepared and actually getting out there and changing lives.....people don't buy pieces of paper - they want and need your expertise and they want it NOW.

    Get to it Vivien - we are waiting !

    Sue Atkin
    Author of "Raising Happy Children for Dummies" and the Parenting Made Easy app for i phones and i pads.

  2. Thanks Sue

    I promise the clinical research idea is not being driven by me but my colleagues who happen to be academics themselves! I AM READY without the Doctorate! The question is, is the world ready for me!!! Are you ready world?? Look out I'm coming!

    Warmest Viv

  3. Good we are ready and can't wait any longer !

  4. Well, first of all, I don't have a degree but I would be extremely proud if I had. As an author myself however, I understand how important feedback and reviews are but there are so many fish in the pond now, such feedback is often difficult to acquire.

    If you feel you are capable of doing another degree, I'd do it. I admire your tenacity and determination. I wish I had been as keen on education when I was capable of perhaps achieving such a academic future.

    CJ xx

  5. Hmmmm. It sounds almost like you won;t be completely and totally happy with your work unless you have the extra academic 'weight' behind it, is that right? Then again, what's your goal? Do you want this to be an academic text or one read by 'lay' people? Are you worried that any academic derision (because of lack of further study) will have an effect on the reception of the book?

    It's a tough decision but I suppose you need to focus on what you want this book to do, what audience it is aimed at and if more academic study really will benefit the book.

    And WOW about the book! That does sound fairly cool I must say!

    Just found you from BMB blog hop, am now a new follower--nice to 'meet' you!

  6. Firstly hello and welcome to you Cj and to you Michelloui.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and share your perceptions.

    CJ I believe education is open to all who want it. I am capable of doing another degree but, do I really want to??

    My focus is on writing and running my clinical practice. I also have a strong desire to focus upon my findings in order to share these across the globe. I suppose I am at the beginning of my journey and I am enjoying the process. I think I'll ponder some more and speak with my former training institute. I'll then ponder a little more......

    Good to connect with other writers & authors..

    Michelloui I think I will be happy either way. I am pondering and considering. I am trying to listen to my gut. It will guide me will be decided but when I don't know.

    My mini series is an accessible guide for parents. My aim is to reach this market as a primary. I am however fully aware of the potential in analysing my findings further. Clinical analysis may well provide an even deeper insight into the world of the non-verbal. Considering this alongside contemporary theories in relation to neuroscience is exciting.

    The first of my mini books is with the publisher..will they or won't they..that is the question for the NOW.

    I look forward to more contact with you both.

    Much appreciation Viv

    PS I am now writing a Chapter for Inspired Children: How The Leading Minds of Today Raise Their Children, Volume 2. My contribution will explain more about baby body language and the benefits of sharing this connectedness with your infant. I will also introduce you to the Blossom Method - my simple three step, interactive method of promoting early communication with your infant.My reviewers have described my manuscript as "astounding, ground-breaking, extraordinary and fascinating."

  7. Thank you, Viv. Pondering is good, so long as it isn't for too long! I hope you do another one, I feel it's in your blood.

    CJ xx

  8. Thanks CJ. I am familiar with the art of #procrastination. So I set myself tight deadlines. For my first mini book I set myself a four month deadline, I finished it in 3 months! I'm writing a whole this space for the Sabel Mini Series. I have the material ready for two more,#amediting. Case Studies in Baby Body Language & My Journey into Baby Body Language. I'm reviewing Soul to Soul Parenting by Annie Burnside now too. Not enough time for me to procrastinate!

    Best Viv