I am a second year clinical psychology PhD student. I have had some difficulties with my adviser in terms of never feeling good enough or that my efforts are acknowledged. The adviser has recently made more explicit comments regarding the lack of progress I have made on my critical/academic writing skills. As background, I came straight from my undergraduate psychology program (with a BS) into this PhD program. All the other members of my cohort have had 2+ years of research and this type of writing experience. So from the start I have felt that I have had to make up for my deficit. However, I'm not making the improvements that my adviser wants to see. The most recent discussion with my adviser ended with telling me that I am causing serious concern about my ability to complete the program and that maybe a less writing focused career would be better. Needless to say- I lost it. I have no plan b, and this is my dream. I have clinical and research plans that I am very passionate about but I do recognize that I am in the "needs to improve" category in terms of my academic writing ability. So it's this balance of seeing I do need to improve, which is virtually why we enter grad school. I have only had the last year and one month (I began my program in Sept of 2014) to begin developing and working with this academic writing style.
The first of my two questions is, has anyone else experienced such words of discouragement from an adviser? I don't know how to un-feel or un-hear those words that felt like a punch to my stomach.
Secondly, have any other psychology (or any discipline) students experienced difficulties in academic writing? If so, how you did you improve or what helped you make the necessary strides to improve at a faster rate? I have bought various writing books, I have writing meetings with my lab, and what seems to be the best advice from friends in the field and the books-- practice.
I want to improve and exceed. I just feel so discouraged when the person who is meant to mentor me has virtually given no helpful feedback on how I can improve, because the response to my inquiry on how to improve was I don't know and I feel so discouraged.
Thank you to all who read this. Everyone have a great day!