What is Coaching?

Psychologist Session

ADHD coaching is a rather new field that has become quite popular in recent years, as it is being used to complement the medication and other non-pharmacologic treatment alternatives for ADHD patients. It mainly targets core ADHD impairments such as time management, planning, problem-solving, and organization. 
The idea of ADHD coaching was first presented by Dr. Edward Hallowell, in his 1995 article, “Coaching: An Adjunct to the Treatment of ADHD”. In this article, he suggests that “despite most ADHD patients' desire to succeed, their symptoms keep holding them back. In fact, most patients’ big problem does not lie in determining what they should do, but in following through with it.” At this point is where a coach's skills come in handy, as he or she can help provide support, guidance, and accountability.

Supportive Friend

The main purpose of ADHD coaching is to help patients improve their focus and productivity as most ADHD patients tend to be easily distracted from tasks that no longer interest them, and instead end up jumping from one task to another as their minds wander.

However, through coaching one can easily change the motivational block or mindset behind this form of thinking. The best way to explain how ADHD coaching actually works is through an illustration: When a child comes home covered in dirt after playing outside for hours, they may want to go and watch their favorite TV show or even go straight to bed, or even do what comes to their mind next. But the parent/guardian tells them to take a shower first every time they come home. This behavior is slowly instilled in their mindset and even as an adult, each time they come home from work exhausted or after a long hike, they will want to take a shower straight away because it was instilled in their routine by their parents. 

This is exactly what ADHD coaching is all about, building those routines and getting the patient used to them. ADHD coaching is totally different from regular coaching since its main aim is to help organize and declutter your life, by offering a one-on-one approach on how to improve one’s functioning capabilities through tailored coaching designed to fit the patient and his/her specific symptoms.

Support Group

ADHD coaching mainly tends to benefit individuals who are aware of their problems, and know that they need help in order to change their behavior. In most cases, it has proven to be quite effective for school-going students as it helps them focus on time management and staying on task. 

Young children with ADHD can also seek the help of a coach as long as they are accompanied by their parents/guardians. As the coach helps them both learn more about the disease and the appropriate way to approach life with its symptoms.