What Game do You Play?

Maureen Nolan
Maureen Nolan
Circle Editor

I decided to up my game in 2012, taking to heart the ACO 2012 conference message:

Undiagnosed ADHD is a Social Injustice.

On December 17, 2012 I will finish my first year in a master’s program in community counseling. I enrolled believing the degree would give me power for social change and access to more undiagnosed  ADHD clients. Early diagnosis is critical for our client base and a counselor is frequently the first professional seen when seeking help. I personally saw at least a half dozen professionals before my self-diagnosis at 45 years.

I also wanted to raise ADHD awareness among our sister profession. My master’s program gives short academic shrift to ADHD as a serious diagnosis and only a mention of the importance of co-morbidities. I raise ADHD awareness in every class. Believe me, my counseling classmates and professors know I live with ADHD.

I enrolled in graduate school wary of the benefits of counseling vs. coaching. This year though, I’ve learned

  • to value emotional responses for healing purposes. I prefer not to mine them nonetheless, due to my coach training.
  • that counseling is moving toward coaching in specific practice apparently due to insurance regulations
  • that counseling education gives coaching a professional nod and an accurate academic representation
  • that I won’t lose my coaching skills as much as I gain theoretical knowledge. There’s more that the two professions share than I first thought.
  • that Strategic Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is the future of the counseling profession and it’s as close to coaching in practice as any counseling theory.
  • that I’m not less a coach through this training. I appreciate my coach training (ADDCA) more in fact.
  • research training is a critical skill for the advancement of the coaching profession. I am receiving this training with an eye toward serving my ADHD clients and community.

October Circle Follow Up

I met with my professor to share how hurtful his words and tone in class had been. I accepted his apology and we discussed how it was to be in the classroom. For him, I was a challenge because he prepared one way to teach the topic and my questions didn’t support his class plans. He said it took more energy to teach me because he couldn’t anticipate how I would respond. I asked him if I frustrated him and he said ‘yes.’

On my part, I shared how frustrating it was to follow him in class. I said that I needed concrete directions for assignments as he tended to drop an assignment in the air. I even became a little emotional talking about what it’s like to live with ADHD and that even I can’t anticipate my responses, my impulses and my focus and their impact on my audience.

A big thank you to respondents to my October editorial. I did not expect the impact of my words to be so profound. Thank you for reaching out and touching my heart in return. FYI: A fellow student told me after class that she loved my class comments. I was so out of the box that it made her think more deeply.

How Will You Up Your Professional Game?

2012 has flown by and I have many of my fellow ACO coaches to thank for their support and encouragement on my path. I know I’m not alone upping the game – how have you upped your game in 2012? These are not bragging rights, these are our professional rights in service to our clients. What did you do this year? Maureen editor@www.adhdcoaches.org wants to know. Next month, let’s celebrate your successes.

Looking Ahead to the 2013 Conference Message

Connections: Coaching the Heart and Mind. 

  • Increase the awareness and presence of ADHD Coaches around the world
  • Inform partnering professionals of the value of ADHD Coaching
  • Have a more profound effect on people with ADHD, by joining forces
  • Understand coaching boundaries with partnering professions
  • Learn to design strong alliances
  • Create business building opportunities
  • Expand our knowledge through research

The ACO has trained me professionally and has profoundly influenced my behavior and career choices. The impact of the 2012 conference on my career was enormous. I can’t wait to reap the professional rewards of attending the 2013 ADHD Coaches Organization conference. See you in Atlanta!

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
Maureen Nolan
Editor, Circle