Excerpted from CHADD website:
ADHD coaches work collaboratively with their clients who have ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms to address specific needs and personal goals. Most current ADHD coaching programs acknowledge the biological underpinnings of the disorder in addressing the core symptoms of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity); however, coaching addresses the academic, vocational, emotional and interpersonal life difficulties that are a result of these symptoms and helps clients find ways to overcome these challenges. Through individualized or group assistance and support, coaches help people concentrate on where they are now, where they want to be and how they can get there.
A coach helps people with ADHD carry out the practical activities of daily life in an organized, goal-oriented and timely fashion. In close partnership, an ADHD coach helps the client learn practical skills and initiate change in his or her daily life. A coach may help an adult with ADHD:
- maintain focus to achieve identified goals
- translate abstract goals into concrete actions
- build motivation and learn to find ways to use concrete and abstract rewards effectively
Coaches help individuals with ADHD learn how the symptoms of ADHD play out in their daily lives. Coaches primarily ask questions to help the client reflect and discover their own answers to these questions. The following are examples of questions coaches may ask:
- What changes do you want to make in your daily life?
- What small steps can you take today in the direction of your goals?
- How can you motivate yourself to take action towards this goal?
- When must this action be completed?
- What steps have you taken already, and when will you take the remaining steps?
- How will you evaluate the impact of your plan?
Coaches support clients by providing encouragement, feedback and practical suggestions to address specific challenges as well by supporting them and holding them accountable for following through on their goals. They may offer reminders or suggest time management methods. Regular meetings and check-ins are an essential part of the coaching process. These sessions can be conducted in person, online, by phone, by e-mail or by text message depending on the client’s preference. However, before the coaching process begins, the client and the coach should have an initial session that addresses issues such as client needs, expectations of the client and of the coach, fees and payments (coaching services are often not covered by traditional health insurance) and length of time for the coaching contract.
The first coaching session is typically an in-depth, 1–2 hour meeting to allow clients to reflect on their satisfaction in all areas of life and to develop clear, long-term goals to guide future coaching sessions. Regular coaching sessions may last 30 to 60 minutes and are used to report progress on the previous week’s goals, reflect on factors enhancing and inhibiting progress and develop a step-by-step plan for identifying and achieving the next week’s goals.
At the end of the specified coaching contract period, an evaluation session is held to determine objectively if progress has been made and to decide upon the client’s next step. Clients may choose to continue with the same meeting schedule, readjust it or terminate coaching.