Is an ADHD Life Coach for You?
An ADHD life coach may be for you if you can easily imagine your day going like this… You wake up late (again) and cannot find your left shoe. You found the right one, and it goes perfectly with your outfit. Dang! Where is the left one? Did the dog take it? Quick—find another pair of shoes. Oh yeah, you’ve got to make an appointment with your doctor. You are two days away from running out of your meds. You’ll call during your drive to work.
You cannot find your travel coffee mug, so you use a normal mug. Of course, you spill coffee on your white blouse as you are driving. There is construction on the road, only adding to your stress. (remember—you are ALREADY late). The day continues one frustration after another. Oh shoot! You still haven’t called your doctor!! How are you going to remember that? What if this day weren’t unusual, but the norm? And, what if, despite medication and traditional therapy, you still live like this? This is the life of many people with ADHD.
The good news is that within the past 10 years, life coaching has developed into a really effective approach to helping adults with ADHD. Medication, therapy, and neurofeedback can be helpful (and often necessary), but ADHD Coaching can offer a missing piece. I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture that included an expert in the field of ADHD–David Giwerc, the President and Founder and President of the ADD Coach Academy. This lecture was sponsored by ADDItudemag.com which is a great resource offering the latest in ADHD research.
Reasons an ADHD Life Coach can be transformative:
- The relationship: the coach/client relationship is a unique partnership. Rather than being told how to change and to be “fixed” by an expert, the coach walks along-side the client. They both collaborate as they explore new approaches to the typical challenges of an adult with ADHD. The coach prioritizes establishing a good rapport with the client. Oftentimes, the client feels seen and heard for the first time in their lives.
- Questions: The coach asks powerful questions, getting the client to wake up to the current narrative they are living. How may this narrative be inhibiting them? With these questions, the coach inspires the client to stretch into a better version of themselves.
- Education: The coach teaches the client about the ADHD brain. They show how their brain is unique and comes with both gifts and challenges. The coach makes clear that the client is NOT broken. Rather, they teach the client to work around their challenges. For example, adults with ADHD tend to have poor memories. The coach will, therefore, encourage them to use visual prompts so they don’t need to rely on their memories. This is a new habit they must build that the coach reinforces.
- Play to their strengths: The coach is trained to see the strengths of their client and guide the client to see what they have to offer. The client is REPEATEDLY told to play to their strengths. This can be an excellent source of confidence and motivation for adults with ADHD. Also, inspiration is fundamental to adults with ADHD as their brain is low in dopamine receptors. Learning to tap into their own sources of inspiration leads to more positive emotions. The coach helps them to shift from focusing on their weakness and their problems to their possibilities.
- Responsibility: the coach holds the client responsible for agreed-upon actions. This involves giving homework assignments and new practices that help the client to reinforce their learning, making it more likely to stick. Coming from a place of inspiration, coaches seek to create a supportive environment where their clients become motivated to create and reach meaningful goals. With coaching, adults with ADHD begin to see the many possibilities they have to live an empowered and fruitful life, despite their challenges.