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About coaches and coaching

October 1, 2008

The Role of the ADHD Coach

by Nancy A. Ratey, Ed.M., MCC, SCAC

The ADHD coach, who is trained in specific techniques to help those with ADHD, works with clients on tactical, not psychological, issues.

Together, the coach and client address practical issues such as managing time, maintaining focus, and becoming overall more effective in both personal and professional life. The coach asks what, how, or when, never why, such as: What can you do about it? How can you motivate yourself to take action? When must this action be completed?

The coach helps clients focus on understanding their own needs and setting their own goals for creating new behavior patterns. The coach provides encouragement, recommendations, feedback, and concrete techniques such as reminders, questions, and calendar monitoring to help the client stay on track.

The ADHD Coaching Process

The coaching process can make the difference between the client’s desire to reach a goal and the subsequent ability to attain that goal. The coach provides the external support and guidance necessary until the client learns the skills to keep himself or herself on track. Ultimately, clients learn to self-initiate change, but during the process, the coach is the external voice demanding accountability until the client’s internal voice kicks in.

The coaching process begins with an initial interview in which the client shares his or her goals, history, and current challenges with the coach. The potential client and the coach have an in-depth, one- to two-hour meeting to develop the step-by-step plans needed to achieve goals.

Regular meetings and weekly check-ins are an essential part of the coaching process. These sessions can be conducted in person, over the telephone, or via e-mail, depending on the client’s preference.

The People Who Most Benefit from ADHD Coaching

Those who benefit most from ADHD coaching are ready, willing, and able to participate in the process, and they are committed to taking action. They acknowledge they are struggling and need help, they are accountable to their coach, and they have no overriding psychological issues that would keep them from making progress.

But because coaching is not a substitute for therapy or medication, individuals with ADHD often need the collaborative efforts of various people, such as one or more of the following: physician, psychologist, therapist, social worker, schoolteacher and/or administrator, employer, family member, or significant other.

The Time Frame of ADHD Coaching

Because the coaching process is unique for every individual, the time frame for individual coaching relationships varies. Some clients need to hire a coach for a short-term project, while others hire a coach for long-term goal achievement.

Copyright 2009
Nancy A Ratey, EdM, MCC, SCAC
Strategic Life Coaching
www.nancyratey.com

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cynthia March 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Hi,
I have a 16 year old nephew whose ADHD is so severe that he is failing school. He has been but is not currently on medicaiton. His mother may be willing to home school him but would need a great deal of help. Where would you have her start and would a ADHD coach be available to counsel them both? Thank you.
(Murietta, CA)

Marie April 1, 2012 at 7:32 am

My grandson is 28 years old and I am worried, very worried.
He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. He has no motivation
is very depressed now, actually cries at times, cannot work, cannot focas, he is not capable of finding help on his own. He has no money! No insurance. He wants to be normal but tells me he just cannot do what he needs to do. HOW CAN I HELP HIM/////////////
WHO CAN I TAKE HIM TO. PLEASE HE IS A GOOD PERSON, JUST NEEDS HELP. The zip code area we live in is 32907. Hopefully, you can tell me who I might take him to. Thank you.

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