The Editorial that Started It All

In the President’s Letter in the August, 2007 issue of Circle, I wrote of Sam Goldstein’s editorial challenging the legitimacy of coaching as an intervention for ADHD:

In a rather famous editorial, Sam Goldstein, PhD, challenged the legitimacy of coaching as an intervention for ADHD (Journal of Attention Disorders, 11 2005; vol. 9: pp. 379 – 381). He had done a literature search on the topic and failed to identity a single peer-reviewed or even quasi-scientific study or paper published during the previous 10 years concerning coaching as treatment for ADHD. He questioned whether coaching is a treatment that deserves to hold a place in professional care alongside medication, cognitive therapy, and behavioral strategies. He concluded that coaching may in fact be an effective intervention for ADHD, but until it is formally studied it should remain suspect along with a host of other controversial, aggressively marketed treatments for ADHD.

I viewed this editorial, not as a slight on our profession, but as a legitimate call to action. We know what we do works. But if we want ADHD coaching to be taken seriously by other professions, there should be proof in the form of well conducted studies.

In the years since Dr. Goldstein wrote that editorial things have changed. Studies have been conducted and published (I believe most of them are listed in Circle’s Research section – if you know of any other studies, please let us know and we’ll post the abstracts). More studies are either under way or have completed and are waiting their turn in print. So, the evidence is growing. I predict that the next three years will see a swell of research demonstrating that ADHD coaching is effective and that, in the words of Dr. Ari Tuckman, author of Integrative Treatment of Adult ADHD, “it is the part that was missing from many of these client’s former therapies.”

Dr. Goldstein has given us permission to post the original editorial and it is available here:

All my best in the New Year,

Sarah D. Wright
ADHD Coaches Organization, Inc.