ADHD coaching


More about ADHD coaching

As an ADHD coach with ADHD I have over 50 years of lived and family experience, as well as around 10 years of working with ADHD clients. Life coaching is very powerful (it’s how I first trained), however ADHD coaching may include any or all of the components below, in varying proportions, in each session:

“Sarah took the time to understand my unique challenges & strengths, & helped me with strategies to manage my time more effectively. I gained a better understanding of how my ADHD affects day-to-day life, & developed tools to help me stay organised.”

Y, Birmingham
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1. Coaching

This emerged from therapy in the last century; after people had been discharged from therapy they recognised how valuable it would be to have a supportive space to think and grow.

Coaching accepts that you, as the client, are healthy psychologically, capable of growth and ready and willing to make changes**

You may have come for coaching sessions hoping that I as your coach will fix your problems or tell you what to do. But we rarely change our behaviours just because someone else told us to. For most of us, we need that ‘aha’ moment – a sudden realisation which shifts us into action. This is what coaching is for. It gives you a thinking space away from pressures of everyday life or work, where I can help you think beyond your usual limits.

Coaching may help you to identify and challenge all those ‘shoulds’ you’ve been carrying. It also challenges any fixed mindsets you might have.

“I have ADHD and so I can’t get to appointments on time – I’ll always be late”

You might tell friends this to avoid disappointing them, but this belief keeps you stuck here as a ‘victim’ of your ADHD. And actually science tells us that our brains are always capable of neuroplastic changes (even someone with dementia can learn). Believing that you can change old patterns of behaviour, makes change possible. 

**NB If you are at a crisis point in life then therapy is likely to be more appropriate.

2. Psycho-education

This is a fancy name for learning more about your ADHD. The UK NICE guidelines recommend that:

“Following a diagnosis of ADHD, {healthcare professionals} have a structured discussion with people (and their families or carers as appropriate) about how ADHD could affect their life.”

Here are some examples of what might be included:

    • How you’re adjusting to your diagnosis
    • Your ADHD symptoms
    • Managing perfectionism & overwhelm
    • How ADHD shows up in your relationships;
    • Managing your meds

Sadly, due to limited funding, this kind of support is rarely offered by the NHS. However if you do ADHD coaching with me you’ll have an opportunity to understand exactly how your ADHD impacts you personally. This is a big part of developing a new, more ADHD-friendly approach to your life.

3. Skills development

Post-diagnosis, we are often looking for ‘the magic bullet’ or tools to fix our ADHD. But be suspicious of any coach who offers you a single solution for ‘How to Manage your Emails’. ADHD coaching is NOT about me telling you the right way to ‘do ADHD’. My ADHD brain is not the same as your ADHD brain, and what works for me may not work for you.

Take the analogy of food: If you didn’t know how to cook, I could just give you a ready-meal – but in the long term that wouldn’t be much help (and you might not enjoy eating my meal choices either!). It would be more useful to find the best recipe books for you – working with your current skill level. Then we might work on tweaking the recipes to suit your tastes. (Starting with a Michelin-starred chef’s book would be really discouraging!)

How does this work?

This approach acknowledges your individual preferences and also recognises your own potential to learn a new skill. So if you have absolutely no idea where to get started, we can explore a few different ideas. (Having worked as a professional organiser since 2014, I’ve helped hundreds of ADHD clients develop better systems to manage stuff at home and work.)  However, my ADHD coaching concentrates less on specific techniques or tools, and more on introducing ADHD-friendly principles. You’ll discover what works best for your particular ADHD brain and experiment with this at work or at home. We will work together collaboratively and experimentally – using curiosity to find out what works for you.

Ready to get started?

You will already have some unique mix of strengths (what you do best), values (what is important to you) and environmental preferences for how you like to live or work (where you’ll thrive best). ADHD coaching will help you identify these, understand better how to use this knowledge to find a way forward that fits you better.

During our coaching sessions, you’ll have your own personal and private experimental thinking space – where you can talk about anything. You are free to use this space to explore ADHD or Non-ADHD issues or tackle challenges – wherever you’d like to see change. As you begin to use this ADHD coaching space to think more deeply, I’ll be right by your side. I’ll be your non-judgmental ally, listening hard, reflecting back what I’m hearing, and sometimes asking questions – helping you on this part of your ADHD journey.

Find out more about getting your ADHD coaching funded by Access to Work.

If you’re ready for change and prepared for a challenge then contact me to find out more.

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