Working with Natalie helped me make academic life sustainable. Now I better understand how to set reasonable expectations for myself; how to manage anxieties related to writing, publishing, and teaching; how to create time and space for reflection and fun; and how to think about rest. I appreciated the fact that I could be my whole self with her. She recognizes how academic life is bound up in all other aspects of life. Being able to freely explore the relations among different parts of my life was crucial to figuring things out. I was able to create a more meaningful self-dialogue that cut through the unhealthy workaholic rhetoric and learned negativity of grad school/pre-tenure.
— K. G., Assistant Professor
Natalie is super smart, and asks fantastic questions. Really excellent ones, just the right ones at the right time. While working with her I have achieved a lot, both in terms of specific projects and in the attention to the larger, deeper aspects of work.
She’s helped me work through challenges in my life as an academic administrator—everything from preparing for an important meeting to reframing the metaphors through which I conceptualize my admin life. Our meetings have been hugely useful in charting out research agendas and sticking to them, despite the multiple demands of teaching and admin duties. I really feel I’ve made some excellent decisions about my career trajectory that feel right to me; the process has been authentic, and so it means I am at peace with the decisions I have made.
Natalie is an excellent listener, with a great sense of humor. You can be your full self with her, and discuss all the different parts of your work or home life as needed.
— E.B., Associate Professor
In the year I’ve worked with Natalie I have seen real changes in my life, changes I have been trying unsuccessfully to make for a long time. I’ve stopped procrastinating about tackling a large writing project, for instance; I’m making better choices about the use of my time, feel less overwhelmed by what I have to do, and have more time and energy to relax and enjoy the things I love.
I’ve always been a hard worker, but have had to struggle to compensate for ADD. Natalie has worked with me to discover strategies for change that I can really use I have discovered how to use the “15 minute” rule to get started on long-term projects, to get past reluctance to tackle something disagreeable, to deal with email efficiently, and to make good use of short blocks of time. I am becoming aware of the way negative mental images or narratives can affect my behaviour, and am learning that substituting more positive ones can make a real difference.
When I finish a conversation with Natalie, I feel I have a new perspective; in particular, I appreciate her sensitive and mindful approach to problem solving.
— T. L., University Lecturer and Poet
This testimonial is addressed especially to academics and professionals who are looking for an astute, worldly-wise and well-informed coach. It comes with warmest appreciation and praise for Natalie Houston’s smarts and skills.
I encountered Natalie about 2 ½ years ago when I was feeling depleted and demoralized by an unsatisfying academic profession. State budget cuts had affected my university and our faculty were overburdened, stressed, and generally under pressure. Usually, I get enormous pleasure and stimulation from academic research, but at that time I found myself making little progress because teaching and administration duties had become overwhelming.
Natalie helped me figure out how to become a fierce defender of my own research time. She helped me establish and stick firmly to research goals, and knowing I had her backing me gave me the courage to be firmer about refusing intrusive tasks. I’m now writing regularly, am back on track with publishing, and feel so much more motivated and in control. If you’re looking for somebody informed about the demands of academe and also impressive in her familiarity with resources for living a more invigorated, satisfying, and joy-filled life, try working with Natalie.
— E. S., Associate Professor