ABOUT ADHD COACH NEIL SWANSON
Let me tell you a little about my journey and about how what I have learned might help you on your journey.
Before becoming a life coach, I worked as a minister, a counselor, a construction contractor, and a building consultant. Along the way I have engaged in volunteering and activism in an effort to make a positive difference in the world. This diversity of experience, combined with overcoming some of my own challenges, has helped me become an effective coach.
For decades, many of my patterns of thought and behavior had a negative effect on my functioning in school, at work, and in family life – causing me to perform far below my potential. This caused pain, not only for me but also for those nearest to me. I thought I was simply failing to exercise good self-discipline and just needed to “shape up.” My inability to shape up, however, left me feeling ashamed and discouraged.
I eventually discovered that what I was dealing with was classic inattentive ADHD. I then learned through some excellent coaching (including some neuroscience and evolutionary psychology), that there are effective ways to address challenging patterns of thought and behavior. Learning productive and satisfying ways to respond to my ADHD challenges was so transformative it inspired me to enroll in and graduate from two coaching schools so that I might become a coach to help others transform themselves.
As I have grown in my self-acceptance and understanding of my ADHD, my relationships within and outside of my family have become increasingly open, authentic, and meaningful. Linda and I have two lovely children and four beautiful grandchildren whom I thoroughly enjoy.
In recent years, I have been thrilled to be able to be a coach to many as they discover their own new vision and new functioning. My role as a coach is to ask you powerful questions that help you gain clarity about who you are and what is possible for you. Rather than sharing advice or promoting a specific outcome, I support and assist you, without judgment, as you discover your own best solutions to your challenges. Your own personalized solutions are the ones most likely to be effective and enduring for you. I would love to have the chance to support you in your discovery of who you are and who you can be.
Experience and Education
Professional Coach Experience and Credentials
- Self-employed Life Coach (2012 – present), Warrenton VA
- CPC (Certified Professional Coach) – Leadership That Works, 2012
- ACC (Associate Certified Coach) – International Coach Federation, 2013
- PACG (Professional ADD Coach Graduate) – ADD Coach Academy, 2014
- CACP (Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner) – Professional Assoc. of ADHD Coaches ,2015
Parish Ministry Experience
- Assistant Minister (for one year), WestEnd Collegiate Church (Reformed Church in America), NYC
- Ordained in United Church of Christ, Ridgefield, NJ
- Pastor (for three years), Morsemere Community Church (United Church of Christ), Ridgefield, NJ
Business Leadership Experience
- President of Small Residential & Commercial Remodeling Company (8 years)
- President of Small Building Consulting Company (20 years)
College and Grad School Education
- Two years at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
- BA in Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Two years at Wartburg Theological Seminary (Lutheran), Dubuque, Iowa
- Clinical Training in Pastoral Counseling at Andover Newton Theological Seminary (Baptist and United Church of Christ), Newton, MA
- Masters of Divinity, Union Theological Seminary (nondenominational), NYC
Relevant Postgraduate Training
- Pastoral Counseling Training, American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, NYC
- Parent Effectiveness Training, Ridgewood, NJ
- Restorative Justice Course, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA
- Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Training, 500+ hours
- Life Coach Training with Leadership That Works, Troy, PA, (11-month program)
- Advanced ADHD Coach Training, seven-month training, ADD Coach Academy, Albany, NY
- Mental Health First Aid Certification, Warrenton, VA
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification, Warrenton, VA
- Addiction Recovery Training, McShin Foundation Leadership Training Institute,
- International Coach Federation (ICF)
- Professional Association of ADHD Coaches (PAAC)
- ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
- Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
Current Volunteer Leadership
- Co-Chair – Partnership for Community Resources, Warrenton, VA
- Ethics Committee Chair – Professional Association of ADHD Coaches
- Pro Bono Coach – Leadership Fauquier
Recent Past Volunteer Leadership
- Member – Special Education Advisory Committee, Fauquier County School Board
- Facilitator – CHADD-sponsored ADHD Parent Support Group, Gainesville, VA
Before becoming a client with Neil, I looked at my ADD as a weakness. Coaching has allowed me to see myself in a new light. This new light allows me to focus on my innate strengths and abilities, as I move forward with a stronger sense of self. The impact and understanding of my life that I have gained from working with Neil has been invaluable.
It has been a great pleasure to have Neil as my coach. It felt natural to share whatever was going on at the moment. I knew Neil would listen without judgment, with only my best interest at heart. Having Neil as my coach has helped me to practice more compassion with myself. He guided me to a peaceful place. . . . It’s a funny thing, because at the start of every session, I didn’t even know that perspective was what I needed, but by the end, when I had it, I knew that I had all that I would ever need. What a great experience to have. Thanks, Neil!
Neil has been working with me on my ADD about two months. . . . By the end of the call, Neil had led me to generate two strategies that I’m optimistic will help me address my biggest challenge: avoiding planning. I’m not there yet, but Neil has once again helped me find some optimism and chip away at my challenges. Ultimately I have to do it myself, but Neil’s thoughtful guidance and caring are helping me make the way.
Neil offers a warm and friendly environment that puts one at ease and in a relaxed state. I consistently found myself in a more aware and articulate state during our sessions. . . . Neil was able to understand my ADHD issues and could relate to them very easily. His knowledge and experience in this area allows him to identify the specific issues that make life more difficult for the ADHD individual. Neil was always able to provide me with the right “tools” to address my ADHD issues. I always felt that I had something useful to take away after each session. I highly recommend Neil to anyone looking for an effective ADHD coach.
I have worked with Neil for several months and have learned much about myself. He is practical, insightful, caring, and funny. He has a way of cutting through the “stuff” I talk about to the essence of what’s important. He encourages me to look at things from different viewpoints that result in my realizing I can make different choices. I highly recommend Neil if you want to move forward in your life.