ADD/ADHD LIFE COACHING: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT ANYWAY?

by Tina

When we think of a “Coach,” we often think of sports.  There are games, rules, and boundaries.  One might also picture a Coach stomping feet, screaming obscenities, and turning red-faced.  While there may be a few similarities, an ADD Coach is quite different than a Coach for sports and certainly in the areas mentioned above.

I’m often asked, “So, just what do you do as an ADD Coach?”  My typical reply is that I work with people who have ADD/ADHD, whether diagnosed or not, to help them learn how to work with or around their challenges rather than against them.  I also help clients discover their strengths, since these are often overlooked by those of us with ADD, as well as helping them learn how to capitalize on these strengths. 

So what exactly does that mean?  Well, first of all, as an ADD Coach, one of my main objectives is to LISTEN.  Many people with ADD have never had someone who can actually understand the struggles that often come with their everyday life.  When a client discovers that he or she is “not the only one,” it can be so refreshing.  Just knowing there is someone, even if it seems only one, who can identify with him or her is something that many find particularly comforting. 

Initially, the client and I spend time discussing his or her long-term and short-term goals.  Then with the permission of the client, I can help with prioritizing the goals if needed.  Following the initial introductory session(s), the weekly coaching sessions are led by the client in terms of what we discuss.  If something has come up that is not related to our discussion of goals, we can address that issue instead.  It’s basically the client’s agenda to set.  As an ADD Coach, I do help to keep the client on track as to the topic at hand.  It’s very easy for us with ADD to go astray in conversation without realizing it, and I am there to gently guide our conversation back to the original topic as needed.

As an ADD Coach, I am also there to encourage the client as he or she moves forward through circumstances that bring challenges.  Often we discover strengths of the client and learn that these were often thought by the client to merely be common traits among most people.  At times these strengths can be used to help the client in dealing with how his or her challenges are met.  I ask questions of and listen to the client as he or she discovers what works best in his or her particular situations.  If the client gets stuck, so to speak, I am there to give suggestions of strategies as needed as long as I have the client’s permission to do so.  It’s important that I understand the client’s needs rather than making any assumptions during our meetings.

Hopefully by now you can see that ADD Coaching is all about the client.  The entire process is structured to benefit the client to the greatest extent possible in any areas of life he or she chooses to address.  During the coaching process rather than my giving solutions, the client often comes up with the answers or solutions that best fit his or her circumstances.  This allows the client to discover what works best for a given situation as well as to learn to apply the same reasoning or thought process to future decisions.  In other words, the client is learning to be more independent as well as learning self-advocacy.

There are several other items or aspects about ADD Coaching that I could discuss.  What is something you would like to know about the process?

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