|What is ADD/ADHD?
This is a very loaded question! Technically, ADD or ADHD (the most technically-correct, overarching term is ADHD, but ADD is much easier to say) is a DSM-IV diagnosis with descriptors such as inattentive, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It is a unique brain-wiring that can be identified by behaviors and tendencies like pioneering, risk-taking, daydreaming, talkativity, impatience, distractability, ability to hyper-focus, and poor executive function (ability to plan and organize). Its symptoms can seem to be contradictory or overly general: the difference between a person who just gets distracted sometimes and someone with ADD is like the difference between a person who gets muscle cramps sometimes and someone who has rheumatoid arthritis. The difference is in the degrees of frequency, intensity and duration. As a general rule, if ADD traits such as distractibility, impulsivity and risk-taking are preventing your success at school, work or in relationships, you might want to inquire about ADD diagnoses.
As I see it, ADD/ADHD are terrible terms: it is DEFINITELY NOT a disorder, and there is no DEFICIT of ATTENTION involved. For many, there is no evident hyperactivity either...how do doctors get away with names like this? Every word is a contradiction! Oh well. For me, having the brain wiring of ADD (again, I choose ADD over ADHD because it's a little easier for me to say and has one less contradictory word) is just like driving a car with a different type of engine. It's like being born with a muscle car in your mind rather than a family sedan...you need to learn how to care for this engine, harness its power and use it appropriately. (nobody likes a muscle car when it is being revved endlessly outside their bedroom window at 3 a.m.) When you're aligned with your mind, there is no limit to what you can achieve. Your ADD brain wiring can be exceptionally innovative, bold, and committed.
Many of my clients do not have an official diagnosis of ADD. Perhaps they are highly creative individuals who are experiencing difficulty following through, managing their time or staying organized. They have decided to work with a coach because they want to transform these struggles with step-by-step support so they can be more effective at their strengths.
If you'd like to read more, you can read case studies, facts and postulations in Born to Explore's What is ADD. You can also check out the Mayo Clinic's ADD diagnostics, or take a class called Simply ADHD given by the ADD Coach Academy. You do not need to be diagnosed to benefit from ADD Coaching.
What is an ADD Coach?
ADD Coaches support their clients in developing a comprehensive understanding of both the nature of ADHD and the impact of ADHD on their client's quality of life. In addition, ADHD coaches work with clients to create structures, support, skills and strategies to help them move forward with fuller and more satisfying lives. Coaching assists clients with ADHD to stay focused on their goals, face obstacles, address core ADD-related issues like time management, organization, and self-esteem, gain clarity and function more effectively. 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.
ADHD Coaching also helps clients to:
Understand that the source of many of their challenges is ADHD, not personal shortcomings
Safely examine areas of difficulty and areas where they want to be held accountable
Heighten self-awareness and self-observation skills, and use those heightened skills to improve decision-making and performance
Change perspective when "stuck" (i.e. learning new ways to work with procrastination, perfectionism, staying on task, or being more consistent)
Become aware of their own learning styles, processing styles and learning preferences so they can enhance their ability to learn and comprehend
ADHD Coaching can be an important part of a comprehensive program for individuals with ADHD . The coaching process initiates and encourages taking ownership and self- responsibility. Coaching is individualized and action-focused, so the client is working to build productive habits and systems that lead to a fulfilling life.
*Taken from The Guiding Principals For Coaching Individuals With Attention Deficit Disorder, presented by The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association Subcommittee on ADHD Coaching.
What happens in a Coaching Session?
Each session is tailored to the client and will vary based on individual needs. In the beginning, we will discuss what you are committed to accomplishing through our work together and we will create a plan to achieve your goals. If this sounds like boring sitting and talking, never fear: our sessions will be customized to your learning style and may be active, artistic and multi-sensory. Periodically, I will give you tasks to track between sessions to help direct your progress. We will work together to acknowledge obstacles, explore alternate perspectives and celebrate successes. We continue revisit and/or revise your goals and evaluate the next steps that are needed to achieve your desired results.
Do I really need a personal Coach, can't I just do it by myself?
Coaching can take you above and beyond your own personal limitations. More often than not, people try to achieve their greatest potential, but don’t even realize what stands in their way. A personal Coach can offer an unbiased and objective perspective, and can help you realize your patterns and habits. Most people experience that they are more efficient when working with a Professional ADD Coach and that this provides the opportunity for them to better realize their potential. Life coaching can make your dreams attainable and will give you support and encouragement along the way. I remember when I quit my childhood piano lessons after 8 years, I was convinced I would continue teaching myself....and guess what? I'm no better at playing the piano than I was in 8th grade...
How is Coaching different from Therapy?
While coaching can be therapeutic, it is not therapy. Coaching is distinct from traditional therapy because it is not designed to address psychological issues. Emotional issues and past personal stories often do arise, but in coaching we see your past as information: it is your toolbox of strengths and passions. Coaching is about using the information you have to make your present and future fulfilling and rewarding. The primary focus of ADD coaching is to help you identify your goals, achieve them, and develop constructive habits and skills. With coaching, we focus on creating what you want now and in the future.
What types of people have Coaches?
People from all walks of life work with professional Coaches to help attain their goals. Coaches work with people in all areas of their life including relationships, career, finance, health and more. Working with a personal Coach is not limited to any type of person, it can work for anyone who wants to take initiative in their own life. People who get an ADD/ADHD Coach are committed to a more fulfilled life and are willing to do the work needed to get there. I worked with artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, executives, students and leaders.
How will ADD Coaching help?
An ADD Coach is a trusted mentor who can help you identify and uncover what keeps you from reaching your fullest potential. It is a one-on-one relationship that provides a supportive and non-judgmental space to help you create what you want for yourself. You can work with a coach to help you strategize and acquire the tools you need to achieve your goals. Together we will create steps to help you identify and reframe your thoughts and attitudes. It can also help you break negative habits, acquire new methods of identification, and take action to achieve your maximum potential! The results will vary depending on what brings you to a coach.
If you get an ADD Coach to help you apply for college, coaching could increase your chances of acceptance, make your college experience more gratifying, give you tools to better focus on managing your work, and provide life skills for making the transition into independence effectively. If your reasons are personal, your work with and ADD coach could help you improve your relationships, resolve ongoing negative behaviors, improve your overall health, or grow spirituality. With coaching you can live a more balanced and enhanced life operating at your fullest potential.
What is your cancellation policy?
I require a 24 hour notice to cancel all sessions without charge. Please be sure to contact me if you will not be able to make your scheduled appointment in order to avoid being charged for the session.
How long do people generally work with a Life Coach?
To experience the effectiveness of coaching, I suggest clients make an initial three-month commitment. At the end of the three months, we will evaluate progress and discuss options for continued coaching.
Is personal coaching confidential?
What we discuss will be held in confidence and not shared with others. However, our discussions are not privileged for legal purposes. The privilege of confidentiality that exists for the clergy, therapists and attorneys is not granted to coaching professionals. That said, life coaching is a confidential process, and your personal information will always be protected.