What is ADHD Coaching?
This is a question I get asked so I thought it would be important to talk about in my blog today.
ADHD Coaching is emerging form of support that can benefit many individuals with ADHD or ADD. However, the very notion of “coaching” leaves many people scratching their heads in confusion.
In general, allied health care professionals have at best a vague idea of what ADHD Coaching is, what the benefits are for the client, or how to work with a coach in a professional collaboration. Many physicians, some of whom are even reluctant to refer clients with ADHD / ADD for testing or therapy, are not likely to recommend to their patients something as mysterious sounding as “ADHD coaching.”
Medication alone is seldom if ever sufficient treatment for ADHD/ ADD however. Many therapists who work diligently with their clients on emotional issues, relationship issues, and behavioral strategies to increase productivity, time management and organizational skills are puzzled to find the therapeutic goals are simply not being implemented on any consistent basis. The client’s failure to follow through may be interpreted, quite inaccurately, as “resistance” or “lazy” to treatment. A working knowledge of the benefits of ADHD coaching would allow professionals to be more effective in treating their ADHD clients.
So..what exactly is ADHD Coaching?
In a nutshell, ADHD Coaching involves an ongoing relationship between a coach and client that is goal-driven, structured, and focused on helping clients build on their strengths and actively create practical strategies and interventions to accomplish specific goals and also develop general skills to be more effective in their daily lives.
The coaching relationship is highly individualized, focus is on the particular needs of the client, and might encompass many areas of the client’s life: work, exercise, nutrition, stress management, social and recreational needs, and so on. Unlike therapy, where the professional brings a particular orientation and set of therapeutic skills to apply to the problems at hand, the ADHD coach and coaching client mutually agree on what approach might work best for the particular client. As in therapy, a coaching relationship is safe, respectful, and supportive for the client, never forced or disciplinary. A coach helps clients understand how ADHD impacts behavior, rallies the client’s motivation and active involvement in making changes, and elicits creative strategies to serve the needs of the client.
Very specific goal setting, planning, and strategies for organization and managing time are put into place early in the coaching process. The coach takes an active role in terms of offering suggestions, keeping in mind that goal completion is paramount along with skill building. Although there is no set model, contact between coach and client typically takes place a number of times during the week to allow for monitoring and encourage accountability on the client’s part. A weekly meeting of 30 to 60 minutes, conducted in person or by phone, Facetime or Skype is supplemented by check-in sessions; shorter phone calls and e-mail/text messages to report on progress.
ADHD Coaches help clients organize working areas, living areas, set up storage and filing systems ADHD Coaching helps college students with time management, organizational skills, and learning how to prioritize academic assignments. Setting priorities, clearly defining goals, and allocating time on a weekly planner for each required activity is a basic strategy that almost all ADHDers benefit from. Keeping on top of one’s schedule to the point that routines get established takes time and lots of effort. Again, having contact with a trusted ally several times during the week helps the client remember and follow through on planned activities. This is helpful for most people, but crucial for ADHDers.
By overcoming past obstacles and recognizing and enjoying these successes, ADHD Coaching absolutely increased self-esteem and produces a reduction in stress, anxiety, and worry!
Discover more about ADHD Coaching and how it can help you connect with your life purpose at www.bellaADHDcoaching.com