So you got ADHD and you want to start doing things differently. Good for you! Deciding to work with an ADHD coach is a big step. It takes tremendous courage to admit conquering ADHD all alone is, well…it’s hard! Many often feel unsure of what ADHD coaching is and even more unsure of what to expect from an ADHD coach. Here’s what to look for in an ADHD coach.
1. Expect Your ADHD Coach to have life experience with ADHD.
Expect your ADHD coach to understand ADHD from a personal level. Some with ADHD want a coach that has ADHD too. Others want a coach who doesn’t have it, but knows what it’s like to “live with it” through a close family member.
2. Expect your ADHD Coach to be trained in ADHD.
Hanging the ADHD shingle out does not mean the coach has done anything more than read an ADHD book. ADHD causes problems with what’s called Executive Function, which makes things like planning, organizing, prioritizing, tracking progress, finishing and managing time super challenging. ADHD Coaches? They’re specifically trained to help you with Executive Function. Your coach should have oodles of hours of training in ADHD from a specialized coach-training program.
3. Expect your ADHD coach to embrace a unique approach to managing ADHD.
ADHD looks and acts uniquely and differently for each person, even those in the same family! Managing ADHD isn’t one-size-fits all. Articles and books about how to manage ADHD are everywhere and some are way off the mark for what’s realistic for an ADHDer to actually do.
Come on, if everyone could just stop losing their keys, who would need coaching in the first place? Expect an ADHD coach to be able to draw on a deep well of practical experience to help you tailor solutions for you and the way your brain works.
4. Expect your ADHD coach to know coaching is not the same as therapy.
A good coach will know the difference. Simply put, ADHD coaching is about moving forward to create the future you want. Therapy is about healing the past. They are both vital for ADHD treatment but they’re different. A good coach recognizes when you need support from a therapist and encourages you to get it.
5. Expect compassion from your ADHD coach.
He or she needs to be content to guide and support you as you take baby steps to learn a new approach to life. Look for a coach who understands that learning to cope with your ADHD will take time. Also, as the client, you’ll do better if you’re compassionate with yourself as you learn how to manage your ADHD one step at a time, too.
6. Expect your ADHD Coach to have the ability to let you go.
Sometimes after working with a client for a while a coach realizes the person just isn’t ready to change. Or, the coach and client chemistry just isn’t there. Hey, you wouldn’t marry everyone you meet either. Coaching is personal. You want a coach who’s willing to make that call and let you move on to a different coach or ADHD treatment plan. Expect your coach to lookout for what’s best for you without being attached to having you as a client.
If an ADHD coach isn’t right for you, does that mean they’re not a good coach? Not at all.
Each client who comes to ADHD coaching needs something different. Get what you need.
Thanks for listing these expectations that I should have of an ADHD coach. My son has started showing signs of struggling with ADHD, so I’m hoping that hiring a coach will help him do better in school. I liked your suggestion to hire a coach that either struggles with it themselves, or know what it’s like to live with it from observing a family member that has ADHD. It seems like a coach that has struggled with it would be able to empathize best with my son since they have the life experience to tell him strategies that have helped them in the past. Those strategies would be more likely to help my son since they have helped a coach that struggles with ADHD every day.