Neil Swanson ADHD Coach headshot image

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 engaged in volunteering and activism in an effort to make a positive difference in the world. This diversity of experience, combined with learning how to overcome many of my own challenges, has helped me prepare to be an effective coach for others.

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 and my research into 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 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 myself, my relationships within and outside my family have become increasingly open, authentic, and meaningful. My wife and business partner Linda and I have two remarkable children and four beautiful grandchildren whom I thoroughly enjoy.

In recent years, I have been thrilled to coach many individuals on their journeys toward discovering their uniqueness and unlocking their potential. 

As your coach, I will partner with you as we discover your best strategies for managing your challenges and maximizing your potential. In the process, you will likely gain clarity about your uniqueness and what gives meaning to your life.

Rather than sharing advice or promoting a specific outcome, I will support and assist you, without judgment, as together we uncover your own personalized solutions, knowing they are the ones most likely to be effective and enduring.

To explore how my coaching can support you in bringing about the change you want in your life, let’s schedule a Free Exploratory ConversationIf not now, when?

Experience and Education

Professional Coach Experience

  • Professional ADHD Coach  –  2012 – present

Professional Coach Credentials

  • PCC (Professional Certified Coach)  –  International Coach Federation, 2019
  • CACP (Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner)  –  Professional Assoc. for ADHD Coaches, 2015
  • PACG (Professional ADD Coach Graduate)  –  ADD Coach Academy, 2014
  • ACC (Associate Certified Coach)  –  International Coaching Federation, 2013
  • CPC (Certified Professional Coach)  –  Leadership That Works, 2012

Business and Leadership Experience

  • Owner and Coach at Free To Be Coaching, LLC (2012 – present)
  • Owner/Manager (part-time) of Product Design Company (2005 – present)
  • Owner/Manager of Building Consulting Company (20 years), Reston, VA
  • Owner/President of Residential & Commercial Remodeling Company (8 years), Reston, VA
  • Pastor (3 years), Morsemere Community Church (United Church of Christ), Ridgefield, NJ
  • Assistant Minister (1 year), West End Collegiate Church, NYC

College and Grad School Education

  • Masters of Divinity, Union Theological Seminary, NYC, NY
  • Metropolitan Urban Service Training – 1 year of living and working in East Harlem neighborhood, NYC, NY
  • BA in Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Coach-Specific Training

  • Positive Intelligence (PQ) Coach Training with Shirzad Chamin
  • Advanced ADHD Coach Training at ADD Coach Academy
  • Life Coach Training at Leadership That Works

Other Coach-Related Training 

  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Training, 500+ hours, primarily Portland, OR
  • Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification, Warrenton, VA
  • Addiction Recovery Training, McShin Foundation Leadership Training Institute, Warrenton, VA
  • Restorative Justice Course, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Pastoral Counseling Training at Andover Newton Theological Seminary, Newton, MA
  • Pastoral Counseling Training, American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, NYC, NY
  • Parent Effectiveness Training, Ridgewood, NJ

Professional Memberships

  • International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • Professional Association for ADHD Coaches (PAAC)
  • ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
  • Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
  • ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia

Volunteer Leadership Experiences

  • Co-Chair – Partnership for Community Resources, Warrenton, VA
  • Ethics Committee Chair – Professional Association for ADHD Coaches
  • Pro Bono Coach – Leadership Fauquier
  • Member – Special Education Advisory Committee, Fauquier County School Board
  • Facilitator – CHADD-sponsored ADHD Parent Support Group, Gainesville, VA


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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.   

DL, Oregon

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!

SW, Connecticut

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.

KB, New Mexico

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.

TK, Virginia

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.

CF, Pennsylvania

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