Chances are, if you’re on the ADHD discovery path, you’ve come across various ADHD coaching services through Google searches and following hashtags on social media.
Services you read about may range from group coaching, to online courses, to high priced one-on-one coaching sessions.
Since coaching isn’t a regulated service, unfortunately there are folks out there selling courses and online groups that haven’t been properly researched and are simply looking to make a profit.
Sadly, these programs can cause more harm than good and can be very expensive, sometimes adding up to thousands of dollars.
Caution is advised of course. But for the neurodiverse person, desperate for some strategies to help with organization and time management, they can be very tempting.
What’s a curious ADHD’er to do? Read on for some advice on how to choose wisely for your well-being and success.
It’s vital to note that coaching is not therapy. Coaches help with any number of challenges, including time management, organizing your workspace, relationships, studying for school exams, professional development, career advancement and more.
It’s important to understand that coaching can be an incredible part of a well-rounded toolbox for managing ADHD. Medication can help with focus and impulse control, but cultivating sustainable habits takes more effort and practice.
In tandem with a medical professional such as your family doctor or nurse practitioner, a clinical therapist, and a well-rounded exercise habit, working with a coach can yield incredible results.
Do your research
A good coach will usually have some form of certification and some may offer references or testimonials.
Keith Gelhorn is the founder of ADDvocacy a certified ADHD coaching and training provider.
He says it’s wise to choose a coach with lived experience of ADHD.
Keith struggled with mental health challenges before being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.
His deep understanding and compassion for the many challenges that ADHD brings are strong assets for a coach. He says implementing executive function strategies takes time, prolonged effort, and commitment to become habit.
He also advises being wary of astronomical claims from online coaching programs that promise quick fixes but don’t deliver. If group coaching makes sense for your schedule and/or budget, choose online courses that have a cohort/group coaching component with weekly or bi-weekly interaction from the coach.
While he is open about his own ADHD discovery, Keith is also a seasoned coach and can offer clients tangible exercises and tools to reinforce their commitment to improvement. It’s an effective strategy and he works with clients to meet their academic and career goals with a high success rate.
Once you’ve found a coach that feels right, don’t be shy to ask for a discovery call. Most coaches offer a 15-30 minutes of free consultation so you can ask questions.
Here are a few sample questions to get started:
Have you taken accredited training directly focused on ADHD?
How long have you been coaching?
What brought you to ADHD coaching?
Do you have lived experience with ADHD or have a close relationship with someone who does?
What can I expect in a session? Do you use frameworks or guides?
How do you measure results?
Can you offer any references or testimonials from other clients?
How much will it cost?
After a phone call, you should have a good sense of whether it’s a good fit.
Trust your gut
Always trust your instincts! ADHD’ers have often spent a lifetime not trusting themselves due to negative feedback from peers, family members, and colleagues. But your gut is usually right so if a coach feels too high pressure, or not firm enough, keep searching until you find the right fit.
Depending on your work situation, some coaching may be covered by extended health benefit programs. But if you’re freelance or a sole proprietor, it might not be covered. All the more reason to practice due diligence and research carefully before signing on with a coach or online program.
Students may find some financial relief through federal education grants.
Remember, this is about you finding healthy ways to manage some of the challenges that come with ADHD. It’s your choice and your well-being.
Whatever route you decide to take, researching and learning about how to best support your success will yield great results.
Robbie McDonald was diagnosed with ADHD in mid-life and writes about mental health from her home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.