For a long time in my life, I didn't know it, but I could've used an ADHD coach. From constantly forgetting things to always running late, it seemed like I could never get it quite right. But my condition, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), is entirely manageable.
Suddenly, the disorganization of my life had a reason behind it. Personally, I struggled for years with my ADHD. However, my life could have possibly improved much more quickly with the aid of an ADHD coach.
Tell Me If This Sounds Familiar
Though this is not an exhaustive list of ADHD symptoms (and this article does NOT replace proper healthcare), it might help you piece some things together:
ADHD is not as scary as it sounds, and it's even better when you know about it! So if that list seemed familiar to you, you should have a conversation with your doctor about next steps.
If you already know that you have ADHD, one of those steps can be an ADHD coach.
One of the key problems with ADHD is disorganization in the first place. You may not be good at doing it on your own yet, but there is hope! An ADHD coach can help you accomplish your goals and give you techniques to manage your condition.
Having someone help you can also show you the great aspects of ADHD, and how to use them as strengths, while minimizing the more frustrating side effects.
What Is An ADHD Coach?
ADHD coaching is a relatively new industry, so there are constantly exciting new developments. It's best to think of an ADHD coach as a mentor, not an "easy fix." They won't come in and magically make your life perfect.
However, they can guide you, offer advice, and help you feel more in control of your life.
Here are some things you need to know about ADHD and ADHD coaching:
History Of ADHD
While ADHD used to be viewed as an "abnormal defect of moral control," things have changed a lot since then. Since 1995, when researcher Joseph Biederman published one of the first papers published on children with ADHD, the study of the illness has become much more complex and holistic, along with the realization that ADHD affects adults.
The rise in diagnoses has resulted in more people reporting their symptoms, and receiving medications and coping mechanisms for the condition. One of those coping mechanisms is an ADHD coach.
What Kind Of Person Has An ADHD Coach?
Unfortunately, a tendency to associate a coach with weakness may dissuade many from getting one. However, there is only one type of person that gets an ADHD coach: Someone who's struggling.
If you feel that your ADHD gets in the way of being organized, getting on with your life, or achieving the things you want, it could be a good fit for you. Because ADHD is largely an invisible condition, you may see your grades drop or your bank account empty with no clear idea why. It doesn't feel great when you try as hard as you can and everything falls apart for seemingly no reason.
Coaches can help contextualize your experiences, and empower you to change them. Dana Rayburn, an ADHD coach, has a few suggestions about what an ADHD coach can do for you:
Most of what a coach does for you is breaking the world down into something you can understand, navigate, and conquer — even if it doesn't happen overnight.
As mentioned before, it can be easy to confuse ADHD coaching with a host of other professions:
While coaching inevitably involves many aspects of these jobs, it is, strictly speaking, none of them. Your best ADHD coach experience will come when you know exactly what to expect from the experience — especially when considering your coach might not be trained to provide those services.
Who Can Be An ADHD Coach?
With ADHD coaching being a nascent profession, it can be hard to find one that you trust. Also, with a lack of industry regulations, you'll need some resources for finding an ADHD coach that will help you rather than hinder you.
According to The A.D.D. Resource Center, consumers should be more willing than usual to poke around at their coach's credentials. If they are providing a service to you, you deserve to know that they are a professional who knows what they are doing.
This can include asking questions about where they were certified, how long their training was, and what it consisted of. You can also call any institutions your coach namechecks to make sure their answers line up.
To start you off with a couple of suggestions, here are a few options when looking for an ADHD coach:
Even if you do all your homework, you might not click with your first ADHD coach, and that's ok. Finding a person you feel comfortable working with can take time. However, if ADHD coaching is right for you, keep at it!
What To Expect From Your ADHD Coach
Having ADHD can be tough, and finding the right coach can be tough. After jumping all those hurdles, it's easy to expect results too quickly. So here is a short list of things to expect:
They Help You Achieve Specific Goals
"Make my life better" is not a specific goal. "I would like more control over my finances" is a goal. Coaches are not wizards that magically cut through the chaos — they are guides to help you do it.
The more targeted and specific you can be with what you want to accomplish, the better your ADHD coach can tailor their program to your needs.
Interview Before You Hire
If you really want to know from a coach before you hire them, ask them! Many coaches offer initial consultations free of charge, where you can feel out whether or not their services are right for you.
Pay close attention to the coaches styles and philosophies, and if you have any doubts, do further research before committing to anything.
As you further investigate the world of ADHD coaching, keep your eye on testimonials. Simply Wellbeing has some testimonials on their website. We have added some of them below.
Hearing directly from people who have hired ADHD coaches is invaluable. It might even open you up to creative options for a regimen for you.
For some, working with a coach in person would be uncomfortable or inconvenient. In that case, phone coaching might work better for you.
For example, Gillian, a coach and therapist, found great success when she linked up with her coach Andrew, via phone. Like her, if your life doesn't coincide with in-person visits, you can still get the help you need on your terms.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box!
From Chaos To Calm
Some clients describe an overwhelming sense of calm when speaking to an ADHD coach. Whether you've known about your ADHD for a while, or your coach gives you language for your condition, it can be beautiful when someone understands you.
Before meeting their ADHD coach, Alex described a life that was chaotic and overwhelming.
However, once they got the sessions they needed, they were even able to relate better to those in their lives. By teaching Alex's mother about ADHD, Andrew was able to humanize him to the people around him.
It can be incredibly difficult to live with ADHD with unaware friends, family, or partners. Getting an ADHD coach can also empower them to understand your conditions and work on it with you.
It's important to remember that life isn't always collapsing — ADHD can just make it feel like it is. And if you happen to be in charge of a family, like Richard and his wife, you can get real relief by managing it. The couple even claimed it was the most positive thing they'd done since their children were born.
Richard's wife describes a house out of control, children in trouble with the law, and general dysfunction. She didn't say that Andrews made all those problems go away.
However, she did say that Andrew's guidance made them happier and healthier.
What It Might Cost
Prices for ADHD coaching can vary wildly, so it's worth looking around before you buy. One coach might be a manageable price while another charges through the roof. Again, with industry regulations not being fully formed, vigilance is key.
Some coaches will take pro bono work. Keep in mind that costs can be defrayed by services provided (i.e. if you want your coach to help you manage your finances better, the investment might be worth it).
And if you truly can't afford an ADHD coach, not all hope is lost. There are still options for effective treatment to help guide you to your best self.
Therapy And Medication
Though an ADHD coach might not fall under the purview of your insurance, therapy and medication might. Depending on how great your need is, this can be a better option. Seeking out a trained medical professional has helped millions of people manage their ADHD, so don't be afraid to go for it.
You might gain a lot from an experience with other people with ADHD. Even better, the sessions are usually cheaper than one-on-ones. Being around others who know more and less about ADHD than you do can motivate you.
Beyond that, sometimes it's simply good to know you're not alone.
Online Support Groups
Personally, online support groups have been immensely helpful. For everything from a love of Harry Potter to a desire to talk about current events, everyone needs a community. I also live in a different country, far from those I feel closest to, and the internet can help bridge that gap.
For those with ADHD, finding community can take the unbearable weight off of their shoulders. Talking and relating to others who struggle in the same ways is therapeutic on its own.
Remember to take any advice online with a grain of salt, and that it should NEVER be used as a substitute for quality medical care.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, should you get an ADHD coach? We hope that by the end of this article, you know. And if you don't know, you know how to figure it out. Scams exist in the industry, as well as overpaid coaches and fake credentials.
But many ADHD coaches are people that are passionate about helping others manage their illness. And many who receive those services find their lives richer for them.
Having a good experience with an ADHD coach can change your life. And if you're feeling as if things continue to spiral out of control in your life, it might be time to get some help.
What you can expect from the right ADHD coach is a renewed sense of confidence and control over your life. By managing your ADHD, you'll no longer feel constantly scared, confused, or overwhelmed by daily life. You will accomplish tasks in a structured manner, and if you choose later on, teach others to do the same.
Finally, the most important thing that any coach can teach you is how to live without them. A good coach will teach you techniques that you'll use long after they leave. That way, your empowerment, and progress don't end when your coach is gone.
But if you follow these tips, research, ask questions, and find the right coach ... it just might change your life for the better.