About Linda Swanson
The challenges of living with ADHD are quite familiar to me. I lived with my husband for thirty-five years before we finally discovered that ADHD was underlying most of our challenges. Neil was diagnosed about thirteen years ago, at a time when not all doctors and counselors were aware that adults could even have ADHD. Most thought ADHD was a condition of childhood, to be outgrown in adulthood. No wonder it was so hard to find an explanation for what we were living with!
Once we had the diagnosis and Neil began treatment, I naively assumed everything would immediately smooth out. Not so! Both of us had a great deal of growing and learning to do. The growing and learning continue to this day; in fact, we expect growing and learning to be the structure of our lives from now on. If seems there is always more to learn about each other, about ADHD, and about each person living with ADHD. To my great surprise, I have discovered that I have quite a few ADHD traits myself!
Today my passion is to work with folks who are challenged by ADHD, from adolescents to older adults. As a graduate coach trained through the advanced level by the ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), I approach each client with curiosity and caring. Together we discover unique strategies and techniques that will make life easier. We identify strengths that may have lain dormant during years of trying to compensate. We create a partnership that leads to long-desired changes in the client’s experience of life.
Neil and I are the proud parents of two grown children and the proud and delighted grandparents of four. We live in a lovely area of the Virginia Piedmont, not too far from either of our children’s families.
Work, Volunteer Experience, and Interests
Over the years, I have had many jobs, since after a year or two I was usually ready to move on to something new, more interesting, and more challenging. Some of those jobs were church organist, choir director, and director of religious education; pre-school teacher’s aide in a Montessori school; volunteer coordinator in an elementary school; legal secretary; office manager of our contracting and building consulting business; editor of books and articles; restorative justice practitioner; organic herb gardener; and coach.
Some of my volunteer work has been with churches, schools, CASA, our local hospice, environmental and political groups, our local Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and a local civic organization that I co-founded.
I enjoy being involved in political action, hiking, knitting, reading, photography, working with kids, singing, puzzles, and learning to play the autoharp.
My Coaching Philosophy
As a coach, I have the privilege of supporting individuals who are on a quest to find (or rediscover) their inherent creativity and resourcefulness on their way to meeting their goals (some of which may be unclear to them before coaching). Through curiosity and careful listening during our sessions, I raise a number of issues for my clients to consider by, for example,
- naming limiting beliefs they appear to have accepted
- suggesting that self-compassion rather than self-condemnation might serve them better as they become acquainted with the way ADHD has affected their lives
- noticing strengths they may not value properly or even recognize
- recognizing opportunities for celebration they hadn’t noticed.
While the coaching relationship is a partnership, it is the client’s responsibility to bring an attitude of openness and even vulnerability to each coaching session. My responsibility is to offer a nonjudgmental, supportive, confidential space in which the client can feel accepted and thus safe trying on new ways of thinking about themselves.
- BA from Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA, with a major in music, 1965
- Master’s in Religious Education from Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, 1968
- MA with a concentration in Restorative Justice from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, PA, 2009
- Simply ADHD, ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), Albany, NY, 2012
- Personal Transformation, ADDCA, Albany, NY, 2012
- Basic ADHD Coach Training, , ADDCA, Albany, NY, 2012
- Advanced ADHD Coach Training, ADDCA, Albany, NY 2013
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification, 2015
- Mental Health First Aid Certification, 2016
- McShin Foundation Leadership Training Institute, Peer Addiction Recovery Training, 2016
- International Coach Federation (ICF) – Global, and Metro DC Chapter
- ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
- Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
- ACCG (ADDCA Certified Coach Graduate) – ADD Coach Academy’s highest designation
- PCC (Professional Certified Coach) – International Coach Federation
- CACP (Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner) – Professional Association of ADHD Coaches
- Certified ADHD ARTGuide
- Group Certified Coach
- Board Member – ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia
- Board Member – Editorial Advisory Board, Attention magazine, a publication of CHADD
- Facilitator – CHADD Parent Support Groups in Haymarket and Warrenton, Virginia
Linda coached me for over a year. She is very compassionate and non-judgmental. She never made me feel bad about my ADHD or the shortcomings I have as a result of it. She helped me to understand that it’s not a personal failure. She is very encouraging and patient too – even when I got frustrated she continued to support me and offer suggestions. I was able to make great progress with her help. I highly recommend her as an ADHD coach.CP, Virginia
These past 12 weeks working with you proved more than I could’ve imagined. I’ve hit so many personal and professional milestones and have gone through some of the toughest challenges in my life. Having you there supporting, listening, celebrating, and cheering me along helped keep me grounded and able to celebrate those little things I wouldn’t have normally noticed and learn that I do not need to be ashamed of or make excuses for who I am. 🙂CB, Virginia
Linda is an incredibly insightful and intuitive ADHD Coach. I always feel more focused and ready to face my challenges after I talk with her. Her compassion and empathy are gifts she easily shares. For me, having Linda as my coach is like having a huge shortcut to reaching my goals.PB, North Carolina
“My experience of coaching with Linda has stayed with me in a very positive memorable way. I found Linda to be a calming and insightful presence whilst coaching. Partnering with me, she enabled me toward coaching goals that I found very helpful. Thanks again, Linda.”ML, New Zealand
Linda’s compassion and calm presence allows her clients a place to feel completely free to explore what is getting in the way of achieving their goals. Linda’s success as a coach stems from her ability not only to create a safe space for her clients to explore their struggles, but also she partners with her clients to investigate possible strategies to put into place. It is this skillset as a coach that helps her clients move forward into the direction of their goals. . . . Thank you, Linda!CCL, California
Linda is extremely warm and caring. She seems to be very familiar with ADHD issues and was able to get right to the heart of mine very quickly. She also was able to help me to figure out new ways to deal with them in a way that worked for me, instead of just offering general techniques that haven’t worked for me in the past.TM, Virginia
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