Recently, ADDitude Magazine published a slide show on The Ten Worst Therapists for Adults. I immediately flashed back to my misdiagnosis in 1983 of Bipolar and spent nearly 10 years on Lithium. I kept telling the psychiatrist that while my moods were leveled out, I still couldn’t focus or recall much of anything. After seeing a segment on 20/20 about ADHD, the lightbulb went off. I went back to the psychiatrist, only to hear that he had heard of ADHD for children, but not for adults. At the time, I just accepted that because I knew nothing about ADHD.
When I viewed ADDitude’s slide show on therapists, I recalled my own experience. I couldn’t say my psychiatrist was one of the 10 worst therapists, but he was close to the ‘Researcher’. Like so many of my clients, I didn’t know what to expect from a therapist. In my study, Efficacy of ADHD Coaching for Adults with ADHD, available to all ACO members through the Journal of Attention Disorders, I asked the question about the effectiveness of coaching and therapy. Ninety-nine per cent said ADHD coaching was more effective (this is a group of people who had sought coaching after trying therapy). What I realized was that my clients had expected therapists to also do the work of an ADHD coach. Their responses aIso told me I needed to do a better job of educating clients on the different roles.
While therapists today have greater knowledge about ADHD and how to treat it, I think it is the job of all coaches to be certain our clients have a clear distinction between the roles of the ADHD coach and therapist. Many of our clients are coming to us from a recent diagnosis. They turn to us for help and knowledge on the best way to manage ADHD whether it is for the family or themselves. We can save them time and money if we help them avoid the ten worst therapists. ADDitude’s slide show can help you do that or you may want to send/post the link to your clients.
There are also many articles written on how to find a good therapist for ADHD. But here’s another idea! The ACO conference in Phoenix, May 1-4, is a great place to gain knowledge on this topic from a workshop given by a therapist. There will be many opportunities to network with colleagues, as well as the speakers – a great way to discuss and ask your questions. The conference theme is Partnering in Pursuit of Excellence, and I encourage you to attend.
Until the next time . . .