About Neil Swanson

ADHD Journey

Version 2

For decades, typical ADHD traits challenged my functioning in school, and work, and family life, causing me considerable frustration, confusion, and disappointment. I kept thinking I was simply failing to exercise good self discipline and just needed to “shape up.” My inability to change in that way, however, baffled me and left me feeling ashamed and discouraged.

Finally, I discovered what was going on for me was completely understandable in terms of something called ADHD. As I learned more about ADHD, I learned how to respond to its challenges in ways that are productive and satisfying. This learning was so transformative in my own experience that I chose to take extensive coach training to be able to help others experience their own transformation.

I have been thrilled to be able to play a role in the unfolding of new visions and possibilities in the lives of others. I would love to have the chance to share in your discovery of who you are and who you can be.


Linda and I have been married for 48 years. We have two lovely children and four beautiful grandchildren. As I have grown in my self-acceptance and understanding of my ADHD, my relationships within and outside of the family have become  increasingly open, authentic, and meaningful.


  • BA  in Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1964
  • MA in Theology, Union Theological Seminary, NYC, 1969

 Some Relevant Training

  • Pastoral Counseling, American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, NYC, 1968-70
  • Parent Effectiveness Training, Ridgewood, NJ, 1971
  • Restorative Justice, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, 2007
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC), 500+ hours, mainly with Robert Gonzales, Portland, OR 2006-2012
  • Coaching for Transformation, eleven-month life coach training with Leadership that Works, Troy, PA, 2012
  • Simply ADHD, ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), Albany, NY, 2012
  • Personal Transformation, ADDCA, Albany, NY, 2012
  • Advanced ADHD Coach Training, seven-month 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

 Professional Memberships

  • International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
  • Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)


  • CPC (Certified Professional Coach) – Leadership That Works
  • ACC (Associate Certified Coach) – International Coach Federation
  • PACG (Professional ADD Coach Graduate)  – ADD Coach Academy
  • CACP (Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner) – Professional Association of ADHD Coaches

Volunteer Leadership

  • Co-Chair of Partners for Community Resources, Warrenton, VA
  • Consulting Member – Special Education Advisory Committee, Fauquier County School Board
  • Facilitator – CHADD Parent Support Groups in Haymarket and Warrenton, VA


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. Ultimately, having Neil by my side, allowed me to have a greater perspective, that grew and grew as we worked together. 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. I canceled last week and when he called this morning, I had forgotten that we were scheduled. It was all I could do not to cancel again, and I was sure it was a waste of time. But 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

Thanks again for all your help and great advice. I’m feeling much better about things and life in general. I greatly appreciate it!

JW, Virginia

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. As if my ADHD was left out on the front porch during each visit. 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

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

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