Struggling with the everyday inefficiencies and frustrations caused by your ADHD? People with ADHD often struggle with organizational skills, managing their time, planning, and sticking to long or difficult tasks. This can cause ongoing chaos in their own lives, as well as a lower quality of life for their family members. An ADHD coach may be able to help you overcome these obstacles with practical training and behavior modification.
What is an ADHD coach?
You’ve probably heard of a life coach – someone who helps people set goals and put actions in place to achieve them. An ADHD coach is like a life optimization coach for someone with ADHD. An ADHD coach helps a person with ADHD create new thought patterns and behaviors that allow them to more effectively manage their lives. What makes an ADHD coach special is that these coaches are trained on how an ADHD mind works. Many even have ADHD themselves! So they intimately understand the struggles, patterns, and benefits of living with ADHD.
For example, if you’re having trouble with chronic lateness (a common complaint with ADHD), an ADHD coach can guide you toward real-life solutions that make getting places on time easier.
A coach that specializes in individuals with ADHD usually works with people not only on single issues but on life as a whole. Working with an ADHD coach can involve every aspect of life, such as marriage, relationships, school, physical fitness, social skills, financial planning, career, and more.
Some areas that an ADHD coach can help with include:
- Organization – People with ADHD often have trouble staying organized. An ADHD coach can help develop time and task management skills as well as prioritizing, record keeping and home and office organization.
- Emotional regulation – An ADHD coach is specially trained in helping people with ADHD improve their self-esteem, reduce stress, and manage anxiety.
- Goal setting and achievement – Setting and achieving goals is part of any successful life. An ADHD coach can help you prioritize what goals are appropriate for today and the future, and guide you on what steps to take every day to achieve them.
- Skill building – An ADHD coach can teach important life skills like creative problem solving, conflict resolution, boundary setting, and social skills.
How do I find an ADHD coach?
ADHD coaching is not currently regulated, so it’s important that you do your research before selecting an ADHD coach. Like finding any other type of coach – from an athletic trainer to a career mentor – knowing how to ask the right questions goes a long way toward finding a coach that will be a good fit.
Compile a list of potential ADHD coaches by asking around, getting referrals from your friends or therapist, or checking out the professional directory of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association or the ADHD Coaches Organization.
Interview a few potential ADHD coaches to see which ones you click with. Rapport is a big part of a healthy and productive coaching relationship, so make sure you settle on someone that you get along well with. In the interviews, consider asking questions like:
- What is your education level or degree?
- What makes you qualified to be an ADHD coach?
- Do you have ADHD yourself? (Many ADHD coaches do)
- How long have you been an ADHD coach?
- How many people have you coached and for how long? What were the results?
- Do you have experience working with someone like like me – a student, parent, business owner, retiree, etc.?
- How will we meet – in person, on the phone or with a video call?
- Can you provide references?
- What are your fees?
Coaches work on a contract basis
Most ADHD coaches work on a contract basis. A typical starter contract lasts about three months. ADHD coaches rarely do individual sessions because making important changes and creating new behaviors takes time. Once you find an ADHD coach that you’re interested in working with, you may be able to have a trial coaching session before signing a months-long contract. Doing a trial session with your coach will help you and the coach see if you are truly a good fit for what is likely to become a long-term relationship.
What does ADHD coaching cost?
Unfortunately, insurance companies rarely pay for ADHD coaching. You’ll likely end up paying completely out of pocket. The cost of ADHD coaching varies wildly between providers, cities, and based on your own individual needs. On average, you can expect to spend between $300 and $1,200 a month. That being said, there are several ways you can buffer the cost of working with an ADHD coach.
- If you are low-income, ask your coach if they charge sliding-scale fees.
- If you’re seeking an ADHD coach to help you be more productive in the workplace, your employer may cover part of the cost.
- If you’re a business owner and you are investing in ADHD coaching to increase your business success, you may be able to deduct part of the cost of your ADHD coaching on your taxes.
- You may be able to deduct the cost of your ADHD coaching as a medical expense if your doctor writes you a prescription for ADHD coaching.
And remember, even though the cost of ADHD coaching will probably come straight from your pocket, it is likely to pay for itself and then some over time. Especially if you are hiring an ADHD coach to help with school, career, or financial issues, you’ll probably see a many-times-over return on your initial investment via higher salaries, a more profitable business, fewer late fees, better credit, and more.
What’s it like to work with an ADHD coach?
Your first session with your coach will be longer than the following ones. This first session is an “intake”session where you and your coach will discuss your unique issues and goals. Expect it to last at least an hour or more.
Your coach will ask you questions such as:
- What are your biggest struggles?
- What would you like to accomplish?
- What do you want to achieve with coaching?
After each session, your coach will give you homework of varying kinds to help you build new thought patterns and behaviors between appointments. Each new session will be a review of your homework, diving into what worked and didn’t work for you, and new strategies/homework for next time.
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Dr. Jeff Ditzell, D.O. is the lead psychiatrist at Dr. Ditzell Psychiatry with over 25 years experience treating people for Anxiety, Depression, OCD, PTSD, Adult ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, using ketamine treatments, psychotherapy, and so much more.
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