Frequently Asked Questions
What is ADHD Coaching
Most people are familiar with Life Coaches. Put simply, a life coach helps people meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that life presents. One way to look at an ADHD coach is as a life coach who has been trained to recognize and take into account the unique challenges of ADHD.
ADHD coaches honor the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believe that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Encourage the client to be responsible and accountable to themselves.
Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life. Coaching concentrates on where clients are now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future.
How Does an ADHD Coach Help
Professional ADHD coaching is not a substitute for traditional treatment for ADHD such as medication and therapy. Rather, it is being recognized more and more by leading experts as an important element of a complete treatment approach.
- ADHD coaches support their clients in developing a comprehensive understanding of both the nature of their ADHD and its impact on their quality of life.
- ADHD coaches can work with clients to help create structures, supports, skills, and strategies to stay focused on their goals; face obstacles and address core ADHD-related issues like time management, organization, and self-esteem as they gain clarity, and build behaviours that allow them to function more effectively.
- ADHD coaches work with their clients to develop strategies to move forward toward their goals, to deepen their self-awareness, and to continue moving toward fuller and more satisfying lives.
The client is seen by the ADD coach as resourceful and thus, with increasing self- awareness, as fully capable of discovering his or her own answers.
What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?
There are many reasons that an individual or team might choose to work with a coach, including but not limited to the following:
- There is something at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity), and it is urgent, compelling or exciting or all of the above
- There is a gap in knowledge, skills, confidence, or resources
- There is a desire to accelerate results
- There is a need for a course correction in work or life due to a setback
- An individual has a style of relating that is ineffective or is not supporting the achievement of one’s personally relevant goals
- There is a lack of clarity, and there are choices to be made
- The individual is extremely successful, and success has started to become problematic
- Work and life are out of balance, and this is creating unwanted consequences
- One has not identified his or her core strengths and how best to leverage them
- The individual desires work and life to be simpler, less complicated
- There is a need and a desire to better organized and more self- managing
What is the Process for enrolling in a coaching program?
A typical ADHD Coaching Program begins with a telephone consultation. These consultations usually last about 30 minutes and are complimentary. During this call you will have the undivided attention of the coach to answer any questions and to “touch the tips” of some of your most significant ADHD challenges. It will also help you confirm whether you are in a position to benefit from ADHD coaching and ensure you understand the general process of working with an ADHD coach.
If both you and the coach agree to proceed, you may schedule a “Groundwork Session”.
Groundwork Session: Your first full session with your coach is called a groundwork session because it’s purpose is essentially just that… to set the groundwork for how you will move forward with your coaching program. It is a paid session which, just like all coaching sessions, can take place in-person, provided distance allows, or via telephone or Skype, and is a little longer than a regular coaching session.
While the Complimentary Consultation paints a broad picture, this discussion, typically lasting about an hour-and-a-half, is an opportunity to delve a little deeper into some of the topics that may have come up during the initial consultation or to identify new topics if they arise:
- How does ADHD impact your life?
- What coping strategies do you currently use?
- What’s currently working and what’s not in your life?
- What’s frustrating you?
- Where you’d like to see progress and change?
By the end of this session both you and your coach will have gathered valuable insight that will assist you in deciding what you would like to work on and where your priorities lie should you decide to move forward with a full coaching program.
Decide on Coaching Program: After you’ve completed the Groundwork Session, you may discuss with the Coach the merits of entering a full coaching program. Once you’ve deciding to move forward, your coach will provide you with a Welcome Package which will include a Coaching Agreement for your review and signature. The agreement outlines the coaching policies and responsibilities of both the client and coach in order to ensure a productive coaching relationship.
What happens in a typical ADHD coaching session?
In each session, the client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction is intended to create clarity and allow the client to explore their situation in a safe and supportive environment while helping to move the client toward action. Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future.
How is coaching distinguished from other service professions such as therapy, mentoring or consulting?
It is important to understand that a coach is not certified or trained to provide psychotherapy or medical advice. If issues come up for you that are better handled by a licensed therapist or physician, the coaching process can be paused while you attend to those matters; or, if you and your therapist or physician feels that coaching can be beneficial while under their care (you can still move forward toward your goals), there is no reason it can’t continue.
Professional coaching is a distinct service that focuses on an individual’s life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change management. In an effort to understand what a coach is, it can be helpful to distinguish coaching from other professions that provide personal or organizational support.
Coaches support personal and professional growth and development based on client-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are usually linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is forward moving and future focused.
Therapists deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within a client or a relationship between the client and one or more individuals. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which stand in the way of the client’s emotional functioning in the present. Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability, and follow- through.
Consultants may be retained by individuals or organizations for the purpose of accessing specialized expertise. The consultant diagnoses problems and prescribes and sometimes implements solutions. In general, the assumption with coaching is that clients are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
Mentors provide guidance based on their own experience in a specific area of industry or career development and are sometimes confused with coaches. Although some coaches provide mentoring as part of their services, such as in mentor coaching new coaches, they do not typically function as mentors to those they coach.
Trainers base their programs on the acquisition of certain specific and learning objectives which are usually pre-determined by the trainers themselves. Though objectives are also clarified in the coaching process, they are determined by the client based on his or her individual needs, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum plan.
How long do ADHD coaching relationships last?
Coaching should never be considered a “quick-fix”. Successful coaching results in change and change takes time. The length of a coaching partnership can vary depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, 3 to 6 months of working with a coach may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to have the benefit of a coach over a longer period of time. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the way the client likes to work, the frequency of coaching sessions, and financial resources available to support coaching.
Do coaching sessions have to take place in person?
Geography presents no barrier to working with your coach of choice. ADHD coaches are well-trained to work over the phone, using online video conference platforms or in-person.
With that said, if your are located within driving distance, and you prefer face-to-face meetings, I have a very comfortable coaching facility available where we may conduct your sessions in person. The choice is completely yours to make as a client.
What can I, as a client, do to get the most out of my coaching relationship?
To be successful, coaching asks certain things of the individual, all of which begin with intention. Other things to pay attention to as you participate in the coaching process include:
- Focus — on yourself, the tough questions you need to ask yourself, the hard truths you need to accept and the successful outcomes you desire to achieve
- Observation — of the world around you and the behaviour and communication of others
- Listening — to your intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way you sound when you speak
- Self discipline — to challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and to develop new ones which better serve yourself, your values and your goals
- Attitude — leveraging personal strengths and overcoming limitations in order to develop a winning positive attitude
- Decisive action — however uncomfortable, and in spite of personal insecurities, in order to reach for the extraordinary
- Compassion — for yourself as you experiment with new behaviours and sometimes experience setbacks as well as for others as they do the same
- Humour — committing to not take yourself too seriously and allowing the injection of humour to lighten and brighten any situation
- Personal control — maintaining composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations and allowing yourself to pause to avoid overly-emotional reactions
- Courage — to reach for more than you have before, to shift out of your comfort zone, to engage in continual self examination, to take on internal and external obstacles and challenges
How much does ADHD coaching cost?
Although different in it’s approach and purpose, the investment required for a coaching program is in-line with other similar professional support services such as counselling and mentoring. The investment associated will be detailed by your coach if you decide to proceed with coaching following your Groundwork Session.
*Professional coaching services may in some cases be claimed for income tax purposes as a business expense in Canada, when the client is self-employed or as a medical expense if you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. (For confirmation of expense eligibility specifically related to your case, check with Canada Revenue Agency by calling 1-800-959-8281 or visiting http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/)