ADHD Coaching – A Practical Guide (2022)
Authored by our coaching subgroup, this guide aims to give you practical tips on how to find the right coach to help you overcome the difficulties associated with your ADHD.
This guide has been revised to provide more information to those who would like to know more about ADHD Coaching and possibly want to work with an ADHD Coach.
Existing treatment for ADHD in Europe
Some countries in Europe have official guidelines for treating ADHD and can provide suitable treatment for adults; even some coaching. In other countries, recognition of both ADHD and the various treatments may be rare.
The most common treatment for ADHD is pharmacological. Access to other options differs per country. ADHD Coaching can be effectively applied on its own or used as part of a Multimodal Treatment-package involving various methods. For example; medication and ADHD Coaching, or psychotherapy and ADHD Coaching. Two or all three of these variations can be used at the same time as part of a treatment plan.
What is ADHD Coaching
ADHD Coaching is a form of Life Coaching where the coach is specialised in ADHD. It has emerged as a profession during the last 25 years and professional organisations who provide credentials for ADHD Coaching are also growing.
ADHD Coaching is a psycho-educational and psycho-social methodology where clients learn about themselves, their diagnosis and how it affects their functionality in daily life. It may be more pragmatic compared to other interventions.
In comparison to psychotherapy its focus is the present and the future, rather than the past. The ADHD Coaching process is clearly distinguished from interventions and methods such as psychotherapy, mentoring, supervision, counselling and teaching.
The client learns how to apply individually customised tools and coping strategies to lessen the consequences of symptoms. ADHD Coaching is solution-focused and strength-based. ADHD Coaching aims to support the client towards finding strategies, building skills and empowers them to manage ADHD symptoms and traits better; it also explores and identifies the client’s areas of strengths and passion.
Who can benefit from ADHD Coaching?
Many adults can benefit from ADHD Coaching. Adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD or not been diagnosed yet, but who identify themselves as sharing similar traits and challenges as someone with ADHD. Other family members can also benefit.
Experience and Qualifications of an ADHD Coach
An ADHD Coach can have had specialised professional ADHD Coach training, or may have received training as a generic life-coach and in other ways have acquired additional knowledge and experience within the field of ADHD and ADHD Coaching. Refer to the possible questions, at the end of this document, which you could ask an ADHD Coach to verify their qualifications and experience.
The Client-Coach Relationship
The coach-client relationship is a collaborative partnership where the client and coach work together towards pursuing the client’s goals. It is built on mutual trust and respect where the ADHD Coach regards the client as always being resourceful, capable and whole.
ADHD Coaching can only be beneficial when clients voluntarily participate in the process. The coach follows the client’s agenda during ADHD Coaching sessions and throughout the coaching relationship. The ADHD Coach, together with the client, agree on appropriate strategies and effective systems that will assist the client in achieving their goals.
The ADHD Coaching conversation should take place in a calm and safe environment. It is structured and totally adapted to the client. It is important that the client and the ADHD Coach are a good match, so that they can communicate well and work together.
If the coach or the client do not find the coaching relationship beneficial the coaching relationship should be terminated. A well-educated ADHD Coach should also know when it is necessary to refer the client to other relevant professionals and also know when to ask for supervision. The ADHD Coach should work towards the client’s autonomy so that the client is not dependent on the coach.
The Coaching Agreement
Before ADHD Coaching sessions start, a coaching agreement should be established where the coach and client together:
- State the overall goals, plans and purpose for the sessions
- Agree on duration, frequency and cost.
- decide how the sessions are held; over the phone, meeting in person, over video-conference (or a combination of these)
In each coaching session, there should be an agreement on what the goal for that particular session is. This goal should be initiated by the client and not by the coach. The coach is there to support the client to articulate and clarify the goal for the session.
What can you expect from an ADHD Coach?
An ADHD Coach should be:
- Non-judgmental and neutral, with the client’s best interest and wishes at heart
- Highly knowledgeable of ADHD and co-existing conditions
- Up to date on new research regarding ADHD and share only evidence-based information
- An active listener with a deep understanding of how ADHD may impact the client
- Ethical at all times and follow rules of conduct (such as confidentiality)
- Encouraging and supporting the client with strategies to keep momentum and stay motivated on the client’s objectives
What to expect from ADHD Coaching?
When working with an ADHD Coach the clients can expect to learn more about themselves and their ADHD, meaning how symptoms and traits are manifested and presented individually in the client.
ADHD Coaching is a collaboration between client and coach to find new strategies and routines tailored to each person, enabling them to achieve the desired outcomes. ADHD Coaching can also be about the client’s wish for clarifications and strive towards change in behaviour, communication skills, thinking patterns and, also, exploring options. Whatever the client’s goals and aspirations are – the ADHD Coach is there for the client as a valuable support in finding their own solutions that can work for them.
An ADHD Coach may also provide other services that are not ADHD Coaching, such as:
- Lecturing, training and workshops regarding ADHD
- Supervision, case management, consultation, advice/training for care- providers working with people who have ADHD
- Sharing general information to schools, employers, managers and colleagues regarding appropriate accommodations for ADHD
Would you like to work with an ADHD Coach?
If you would like to go ahead with learning more and also find the right ADHD Coach for you; here are some questions you can ask a prospective ADHD Coach. You can contact more than one and ask them the questions that are relevant to you and see if you can communicate well together.
Suggested questions you could ask the ADHD Coach
About the coach
- What education have you completed in relation to ADHD and ADHD Coaching?
- How long have you been working as an ADHD Coach?
- How many clients have you previously worked with as an ADHD Coach?
- What is your personal/private experience of ADHD?
- What made you decide to become an ADHD Coach?
- Are you working independently or are you accountable to someone else?
Other suggested questions you could ask the ADHD Coach
About the coaching:
- How do you work with clients? Meet in person? Over the telephone? Video calls?
- Do you specialise in a particular area of ADHD Coaching or have a specific age group you often work with?
- What can I expect from you as my ADHD Coach?
- What do I commit to as your client?
- What are your commitments to me as my ADHD Coach?
- What ADHD-related organisations are you affiliated with?
- How do you stay up-to-date on research and continuous education regarding ADHD and ADHD Coaching?
About the terms:
- How much do you charge per session?
- How do I pay and what is the payment scheme?
- What happens if I need to terminate our agreement before time?
- How many sessions do you usually recommend and what frequency?
- What if I have to cancel one session at short notice?
- What happens if I miss a session without notifying you in advance?
- How do you keep client information confidential, safe and secure?
Created December 2022