This happens all the time. I’ll meet someone new at a party or something. Eventually, they ask me what I do and I tell them I am an ADHD coach. “What’s an ADHD coach?” they ask. They look amazed as I explain how my career is dedicated to helping adults live easier with ADHD.
Even people looking for help with ADHD don’t know what an ADHD coach is.
In fact, I’ve received more emails from people unnecessarily struggling with ADHD symptoms than I can count. Just like the one I received the other day from a woman named Christie.
She’d just discovered the oodles of articles on my blog. Christie wrote, “You mean an ADHD Coach is a real thing? There are actually people who can help me with my ADHD? How does it work? I’m so tired of struggling!”
Yes, Christie. There’s a growing number of ADHD Coaches.
The fact is, though, lots of people who could use ADHD coaching have never heard of an ADHD coach. That’s why I’m writing this quick guide of 16 facts about an ADHD coach. I’m determined to share the message about how to live easier with ADHD!
(For the record when I talk about ADHD, I mean all types. Inattentive, Hyperactive, Combined.)
16 Facts About an ADHD Coach
1. What is an ADHD Coach?
An ADHD coach is a professional trained to help people live easier with ADHD. Think of it as a mentor. Your coach won’t do the work for you. Your coach teaches you coping skills, gives you insight, helps solve problems. They act as a sounding board to untangle living with ADHD. The best ADHD coaches have a lot of training and experience in attention deficit. Some even have it. There are ADHD coaches for all types of people — all ages, sexes, professions, life situations, and types of ADHD. People officially diagnosed or not. People on medication or not.
2. Why Would I Work With An ADHD Coach?
Are you tired of banging your head against that wall of your ADHD? That’s why you work with an ADHD coach. Running as fast as you can and not getting anywhere sucks. (Forgive me for mixing metaphors.) Being overwhelmed, late, disorganized, scattered? ADHD doesn’t have to be a roadblock. Life can be easier, as a matter of fact. ADHD coaching helps you discover detours around your ADHD roadblocks so you can stop struggling and start succeeding.
3. How Can an ADHD Coach Help?
Here are some of the ADHD coping skills people work on with their ADHD coach:
- Organizing stuff at work and at home
- Focusing on work priorities and productivity
- Being held accountable for stuff they want to accomplish
- Clearing all kinds of clutter – paper, digital, and stuff
- Using time wisely and getting things done
- Planning and finishing projects – what a concept
- Finishing a gigantic project
- Building simpler, smarter habits and routines
- Getting the important things done
- Tons of time management skills – using a calendar, planner, task list, reminders, apps, etc.
- Understanding what’s ADHD and what isn’t
- Setting and reach goals
- Getting places on time
- Studying and homework skills
- Being a more patient and consistent parent
- Being a more supportive spouse or partner
- Building better diet, sleep and exercise habits
- Improving relationship and communication skills
- Knowing what to say to other people about your ADHD
I know there are more. I just can’t think of them right now. During the more than 20 years I’ve been an adult ADHD coach, I’ve helped so many people on so many things.
4. How Often Would I Meet With My ADHD Coach?
Working with an ADHD coach is a close, ongoing partnership. Coaches work in different ways. In a typical private coaching relationship, coaches meet with their clients three or four times each month. Most ADHD coaches provide support and accountability between sessions by e-mail, text, or phone. Clients often set mini-goals in the coaching session and check in with the coach between sessions.
Though each coach works a bit differently, here’s an example of what I do. My private clients get three coaching calls a month. Plus, lots of text or email check-ins between calls. When they get really strong and consistent on the ADHD coping skills we’re working on, we reduce our sessions to a once a month check-in. My ADHD Success Club group clients get two coaching calls a week. They get additional call support through a secret Facebook group.
ADHD coaches have different ways they like to work. The fact is you need to find a coach who can help you get the results you’re seeking.
5. Do I Meet With My ADHD Coach In Person?
This is one of my favorite facts about working with an ADHD coach. Sure, some coaches meet face to face with their clients. BUT most work by phone or Skype. It depends on the coach and how they like to work.
For example, though I am an ADHD coach in Oregon, I work with clients from all over the world. I even have a man from India and a man from Paris call in for the ADHD Success Club. How cool is that! I’ve coached some clients for years, and I’ve never met them face to face. It’s remarkable.
I know it sounds odd, but virtual coaching works particularly well with ADHD. Most people find telephone coaching less distracting than meeting face to face. Plus, it makes it easier to pick your coach since the coach doesn’t have to live in your area. Also, you don’t have to get dressed up or leave the office or home to meet with your coach. Or, get distracted running errands after driving to see your coach. Telephone and Skype make coaching easy peasy!
6. How Much Does ADHD Coaching Cost?
Fees vary depending on the coach and whether or not it’s a private ADHD group or group session. Experienced coaches, for instance, charge more for private coaching than new coaches. Coaches in training typically charge very little since they’re trying to get experience. Group ADHD coaching is less expensive than private ADHD coaching. I understand affordability is a big problem when it comes to coaching. One of the reasons I focus so much on group coaching is I can charge lot’s less and still provide the best ADHD coaching.
7. Does Medical Insurance Cover an ADHD Coach?
It sucks but, in the USA, an ADHD Coach is not covered by health insurance. I have had clients pay from their medical Flexible Spending Accounts. Canadian clients have paid me using medical insurance. Some of my business clients deduct my fees from their income tax as a training expense. In other words, know your system and your options.
8. How Does an ADHD Coach Fit With My Other Treatments?
An ADHD coach blends nicely with the treatment you get from your doctor or therapist. You’ll talk to your coach often so he or she will have a clear idea of how well you’re ADHD symptoms are managed. Your coach can help you get clear on what to tell your doctor or therapist. ADHD coaches can’t legally advise you on ADHD medication but they can help you see when your medication isn’t controlling your symptoms.
9. Is ADHD Coaching Different from Therapy?
ADHD Coaching is not psychotherapy. Here’s how I look at it: coaching focuses on building skills and taking action to create the life you want to have. Therapy tends to focus on your past and emotional healing. Both are important for living easier with ADHD. Lots of folks work with both a coach and a therapist. Before hiring a coach, it’s best to get a handle on your emotional stuff so you CAN take action. Fact is, many people work with an ADHD coach and a therapist at the same time.
10. What’s The Difference Between Group and a Private ADHD Coach?
With group coaching, an ADHD coach works with multiple people at one time. Private coaching is a one-to-one relationship. Frankly, I am a huge fan of group ADHD coaching. Odd as it sounds, I think my group coaching clients get more complete training. Groups provide recordings and more support materials. Clients find it healing to join a community working on the same challenges and listening to me coach other people. Plus, I can charge LOTS less for group coaching, so more people can afford it. It’s a fact: Group ADHD coaching lights me up!
11. How Do I Find An ADHD Coach?
Do an Internet search for ADHD coaches. Look at websites and read blogs. Subscribe to newsletters. See what the coach has written and if it resonates with you. The various ADHD organization websites are also good resources. The ADHD Coaches Organization has a Find-a-Coach feature. You can also check the general ADHD organizations such as CHADD and ADDA. Take advantage of the free coaching sessions or interviews most ADHD coaches offer. You and your coach need a good personality click. Also, make sure the coach has the training and background to help your situation and offers services that fit your budget. It’s a good idea to talk to a couple of coaches before you pick.
12. Do I Have To Have An Official ADHD Diagnosis to Work With an ADHD Coach?
No. Often clients come to me to help navigate getting an ADHD diagnosis. Some people aren’t interested in getting a diagnosis. As long as someone is willing and able to make changes, they can work with an ADHD coach. Getting an ADHD diagnosis is a good idea, though. So you know what’s really going on and if it’s ADHD or something else.
13. How are ADHD Coaches Trained?
There are a few different ADHD coach training programs. Not all ADHD coaching training programs are created equal. The one I took lasted two years and was very detailed. In my opinion, a weekend coaching training program doesn’t cut it. You need your coach to have a deep and broad knowledge of working with ADHD. You also need a coach who specializes in ADHD. The last thing you need is a coach who tells you to just try harder, right?
14. Does My ADHD Coach Need a Certification?
There are different certifications. Each training program and certifying body promotes their own gig. I wouldn’t get hung up on the specific certification. Certification does mean the coach has experience and training. Plus, coaches have to get continuing education to maintain the certification. There are some long-time ADHD coaches who aren’t certified. What’s really important is that your coach understands ADHD and has a track record of transforming ADHD lives.
15. Is ADHD Coaching Always Successful?
This is my least favorite ADHD coaching fact. No, it’s not. Working with an ADHD coach isn’t easy. Coaches don’t have magic wands. Sometimes the coach and client aren’t a good fit. Sometimes the client runs out of money. Or, commitment flags when coaching stops being the next shiny thing. Sometimes if ADHD coaching isn’t successful; we uncover things like depression, anxiety, perfectionism that need to be stabilized. If coaching isn’t working, talk to your coach about it.
16. How Does An ADHD Coach Measure Client Success?
This depends from coach to coach, so I can speak only for myself. I find there are different levels of success. Some people learn new ADHD coping skills and habits and improve their lives for the better. Their lives get easier. That’s cool. What am I really after? When a client does what I call “totally rewrites their image of themselves”. So, they start thinking of themselves as an organized person, or a person who is always on time. Or, someone who is aware and productive. Who works to their strengths and reaches their goals. When their ADHD no longer frames who they are but becomes their superpower. That’s what gives me goosebumps. That’s what I live for.
Whew! That’s a lot of information. I hope you’ve found my 16 facts about an ADHD coach helpful. Please, use the contact form on this site to ask me any questions. Click here to find more information about my ADHD coaching services.