A good ADHD coach will . . .
listen – inquire – observe – explore – support – challenge – reflect – encourage – cheer – explain – inform – partner – understand ADHD
A coach trained to understand ADHD can help in all these ways and more. She will be attuned to behaviors and patterns of thought that are part of the unique brain wiring that comes with ADHD. She will be able to help you appreciate your uniqueness and strengths while exploring with you the ways your brain can best deal with the challenges of ADHD.
A good ADHD coach won’t . . .
judge – force – take charge – dictate – criticize – devalue – assume – make you feel worse – shame – scold – reprimand – punish – put you down
You can’t do what your brain can’t do. A trained ADHD coach will understand that and will not normally set up unrealistic expectations. You have undoubtedly experienced a lifetime of unrealistic expectations, and they haven’t helped. You may even have self-esteem issues due to years of being scolded for not being able to work at tasks in the expected way.
How Will Coaching Help?
A trained ADHD coach will help you discover how your brain works and how to use your strengths to accomplish your goals in ways that may differ from the ways of “neurotypicals”.
The coaching relationship can be a little like having a coach on a sports team who discovers how you are uniquely talented and supports you in improving and broadening your areas of natural strength. If you need a nudge or an incentive, the coach is there to offer suggestions. The coach holds you accountable for doing your best as you move towards your self-defined goals.
Coaching is an appreciative relationship. That means the coach is always looking for what you do well, pointing those abilities out to you, and helping you find ways to apply your strengths to areas of challenge.
Credentials to Look for in an ADHD Coach
ADHD Coaching is a specialization of life coaching. While anyone can call him/herself an ADHD coach, or a life coach for that matter, it is important to find a coach who has been trained in the specialty of ADHD coaching.
Start by checking out where the coach received his or her training. The ADD Coach Academy is the first and only comprehensive ADHD coach training program fully accredited by the 1) International Coach Federation (ICF), the governing body for the entire coaching profession; 2) the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE); and 3) the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches (PAAC).
I would recommend that you find a coach who has been credentialed by both ICF and PAAC. Then take advantage of the initial complementary brief session that most coaches offer to see how you think you might work together.
At Free To Be ADHD Coaching, We Are Here to Help
Neil and Linda Swanson of Free To Be Coaching, LLC, have been accredited by both ICF and PAAC and are graduates of the advanced training program of the ADD Coach Academy. In addition to our training, we both have decades of life experience with ADHD. Our bios and some testimonials from clients can be found on our website – freetobecoaching.com.
Our in-person coaching is done in Warrenton and Centreville, Virginia, but we also coach English-speaking clients around the world by Skype, FaceTime, or phone.
Contact us through the contact form at freetobecoaching.com to schedule a free exploratory session. We work individually with clients, so let us know whether you prefer to speak with Linda or Neil. We look forward to hearing from you!