Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Have you ever wondered, "what is an ADHD coach"? Or, "would ADHD coaching help me"? In this post I'm will explain what an ADHD coach is, what we are not, how I work as an ADHD coach, and how an ADHD coach can help you. My next post explains the difference between one-to-one and group coaching.
What is an ADHD coach?
An ADHD coach is someone who is knowledgeable both about ADHD and about effective coaching. As a coach, I will help you work out what your goals are and identify the things which are currently stopping you from achieving your goals. Together we make a plan for the specific actions you need to take to get to where you want to be. You are the person who has to take those actions, so it's crucial that you are engaged and motivated.
A good coach will work with you to uncover what is preventing you from achieving your goals (if they were easy, you'd have got there already right?). I will listen carefully to what you say in order to understand what it is that you are struggling with. I offer tried and tested strategies for overcoming your barriers so that you can move forward.
Coaching focuses on the present and near-term future. I set 3 monthly goals with my clients.
As a coach, I understand that clients have the capabilities and answers they need and that my job is to help them find and use those. Often my clients are held back by an internal, critical voice or fear of failure which prevents them from using their innate skills fully. Other times that pressure comes from outside, in the form of work environments that don't support your needs. Either way, I will help you to understand where the barriers are and then to change them.
Many ADHD coaches, myself included, are also ADHDers. This means that as well as formal training in ADHD I have a lifetime's worth of my own experience to draw on. I am familiar with many of my clients' struggles because I have faced them myself. I understand how you think and experience the world, not just because I've read about it, but because that is how I experience the world too. Most of all, I understand growing up with the feeling that you are other or wrong. That you never quite fit in, no matter how hard you tried.
What isn't an ADHD coach?
An ADHD coach is not a therapist and so we do not delve into the hurts of your childhood. Coaching is focused on the present and near future, not the past. AHDH coaches are not medically qualified and so can't give advice about medication. We are also not qualified to treat trauma or addiction.
ADHD coaching can work alongside therapy as they have different aims.
How I work as an ADHD coach
I recommend that clients sign up for a series of 10 or 12 sessions in order to get the full benefits of coaching. These sessions can be held weekly or fortnightly, it is your choice.
Each session has a topic and associated strategies or skills which I explain. At the end of the session, I send you a worksheet that has notes about the main teaching point and sometimes exercises for you to practice what you learned. Alongside that teaching, we discuss what you are facing right now, that is, what happened since the last session and anything that you are preparing for in the near future.
This balance ensures that what we speak about is relevant and helpful to you immediately and also that you are gaining skills each week so that when you finish coaching you have progressed.
The first session with me is on goal setting. I explain the goal setting method that I use and we set your goals together. This helps you to get clear about your goals and to learn an effective goal setting technique. It also means that I know your goals so I can tailor the rest of your program around them. At the end, I give you a worksheet that you can use to set your own goals in the future.
Benefits of ADHD coaching
ADHD coaching helps you
increase in confidence
learn to set boundaries
process your new identity as an ADHDer and understand your strengths
celebrate your successes
learn how your ADHD brain works best
identify and realize your goals
identify old coping mechanisms and replace them with healthier alternatives
implement time management strategies
get better at starting and finishing projects
manage your energy levels and mood better
reduce blame, shame and self sabotage
communicate more effectively