How ADHD Coaching Can Help You Manage Life With ADHD

An ADHD coach is a trained professional who helps you come up with ways to handle the responsibilities and activities made harder by your ADHD symptoms.

Coaching is a tool you can use with medications and other ADHD treatments to help you get organized and reach your goals.

What Is ADHD Coaching?

It focuses on practical ways to deal with everyday tasks that might be tougher because of your disease. The process is a lot like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy that works to change the way you react to situations.

Both use methods like:

  • Goal setting
  • Prioritization
  • Motivation
  • Organizational skills
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management
  • Impulse control
  • Confidence and self-esteem building
  • Relationship and communication skills
  • Memory improvement
  • Homework activities

But while CBT focuses on your thoughts and emotions, ADHD coaching teaches you how to adopt positive behaviors. An ADHD coach will work with you to pinpoint how ADHD affects you. Then, they'll help you learn how to problem-solve issues as they happen.

Your coach can also be a regular accountability partner who can encourage you as you work to change your habits.

ADHD coaching can help you learn to:

  • Keep your focus long enough to carry out a plan
  • Figure out the specific actions you need to take to reach a goal
  • Find the motivation to help you work toward a goal

It also deals with your everyday habits and teaches you to form healthier routines.

For example, you may focus on:

Like other types of mental health counseling sessions, ADHD coaching can happen in a one-on-one setting (in person, on the phone, or online) or in a group setting on a regular basis. Typically, sessions are 30 to 60 minutes. You and your coach will decide how long your coaching periods need to be, based on your progress.

Who Can Benefit From Coaching?

It works best for people who are aware that they need help and feel ready to make a change. It can be especially helpful if you are a student, because your coaching can focus on time management and staying on task with assignments.

A child with ADHD can also see a coach with their parents, or parents of a child with ADHD may see a coach separately. The teacher can help both the child and their parents learn more about the disease, and find new ways to approach life with its symptoms.

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Finding an ADHD Coach

Many different types of professionals can offer ADHD coaching. It’s important to remember that an ADHD coach may not have professional training in mental health. If you're looking for help with emotional or psychological issues like depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, you should see a licensed mental health professional.

An ADHD coach may be:

  • A licensed mental health professional who focuses solely on ADHD coaching, or one who includes it as part of their practice
  • A certified teacher or degreed professional who has an ADHD coaching practice at a school or college
  • An ADHD coach not licensed in mental health

ADHD coaches can be certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF), but anyone can start an ADHD coaching practice. Before working with a coach, you should be sure they’re providing the right kind of care. You can ask:

  • What is your educational background?
  • Are you certified or credentialed in ADHD coaching?
  • How long have you coached?
  • How many clients do you see?
  • Are you a part of any professional ADHD coaching organizations?
  • Are you a licensed mental health provider?
  • What are the fees involved with your services?

Depending on the coach you find, your insurance may cover part of the fee, or you may have to pay out of pocket. Many ADHD coaches provide services that aren't reimbursed by insurance.

To find a list of coaches in your area, you can ask your mental health provider for recommendations, or look online at national resources like Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), the ICF, or the ADHD Coaches Organization.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on June 11, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

CHADD: “Coaching.”

Journal of College Student Psychotherapy: “ADHD Coaching With College Students: Exploring the Processes Involved in Motivation and Goal Completion.”

American Psychological Association: “Coaching adults, students and young kids with ADHD.”

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