ADHD Coaching

Coaching for Adults with ADHD

Coaching is particularly well suited to helping adults with ADHD better manage and improve their lives.  As an ADHD coach, I help you understand the various ways that ADHD may be impacting your life, and partner with you to make lasting, positive changes.

Adults with ADHD frequently say that they feel misunderstood by others.  Certain ADHD tendencies, such as forgetfulness or interrupting, are often misinterpreted as rude or careless.  These behaviors are unintentional, yet it’s easy to see how they interfere with relationships.  

In addition to developing more helpful behaviors, an equally important goal in coaching is to help you stop blaming yourself.  By accepting that ADHD a real neurobiological difference, you gain a clear explanation which allows you to develop appropriate strategies and create plans for moving ahead.

If a professional is not trained about effective ways to manage ADHD, the approach may be inappropriate and actually detrimental.  For example, performing poorly under pressure and being highly sensitive to perceived criticism are both characteristics of ADHD.  If a professional pushes too hard in an attempt to achieve progress, the client could easily shut down. A trained ADD coach is aware of the inner experiences of those with ADHD and will choose approaches that supports and draws them out.

Medications are an option. It is not my role as a coach to recommend particular medications, but I can collaborate with a prescribing doctor upon request.  As an ADHD coach, I do not advocate for or against the use of medications.  It is entirely up to you whether or not you want to explore this option.  There is evidence that medications can be very helpful in addressing many of the symptoms of ADHD, but I am aware that, for a variety of reasons, some clients do not want to pursue this option.  I work to find the approaches that you feel comfortable with, whether or not it includes the use of medications.

What Does an ADHD Coach Do?

  • Listens without bias or judgment to allow a safe space for exploration
  • Informs you about ADHD and its impact
  • Helps you address concerns, by creating effective strategies based on individual strengths
  • Openly communicates observations and impressions to raise awareness
  • Helps you identify and replace negative attitudes
  • Offers support and new approaches to move you from contemplation into action
  • Provides support and follow-up every step of the way

Definition of Coaching from the ADD Coach Academy:
“Built upon unconditional acceptance and a powerful appreciation of the client’s potential, uniqueness, strengths, capabilities, and wholeness, coaching is an ongoing collaborative partnership created to facilitate personal growth and awareness that leads to conscious choice, focused action, and a meaningful, rewarding life.”

Coaching for ADHD Spouses or Partners

I also work with the partners/spouses of those living with ADHD.  It can be confusing and exhausting to live with someone with untreated ADHD.  In addition, since children sometimes inherit ADHD, you may be coping with their challenges as well.  Partners can benefit from coaching, and it’s useful to have a coach knowledgeable about ADHD and its impact on the relationship/family.

Please contact me about the ways I can help you address your own needs.  Staying away from the Parent/Child dynamic with a partner is important, but not always easy, especially when you want to help. Learn to know your limits, get support and reduce your level of stress.

Please know that since I work as a coach and not a therapist, I do not provide couple’s counseling. However, in the course of working with either a partner or a person with ADD, it is often helpful to bring in the other half to get on the same page at some point.  In addition, for couples who do not need therapy but want to work together on particular relationship goals, I do couples coaching in that capacity.

About ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  The terms ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD are often used interchangeably and many prefer ADD, as it’s easier to say and can also imply that hyperactivity is not present .  The American Psychiatric Association, however, refers to all subtypes under the heading of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,

ADHD is a neurobiological condition that affects children and adults who consistently experience challenges in their ability to pay attention, stay focused, and resist impulses.  Many also struggle with hyperactivity.  There are three subtypes of ADHD – predominently inattentive, predominately hyperactive-impulsive, and the combined type.  In addition to the subtypes, there is considerable variation amongst those with ADHD in terms of severity and types of symptoms. People are often interested to learn that not all persons with ADHD exhibit hyperactivity and many are very detail-oriented with an uncanny ability to focus.

The general public often thinks that ADHD only affects children, and are surprised to learn that a reported 4.4% of American adults have ADHD.  That amounts to about 1 in 20 adults in the U.S., or 8 million people, as well as an additional 2-3 million children.  Only 15% of adults have been formally diagnosed and treated; the remaining 85%, therefore, are either unaware of their ADHD or are undiagnosed and untreated.*

To be diagnosed with ADHD, at least five symptoms must be present in two or more settings (school, work, home) and these characteristics must have first appeared by age twelve.  In addition, the impairment must cause significant challenges in at least one aspect of life – social, academic or work.  Persons with ADHD will often have co-existing conditions such as anxiety, learning disabilities or sleep issues.  To be officially diagnosed, one must be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist.  To find more information about the diagnosis of ADHD, a helpful site iswww.add.org

It is crucial to realize that those with ADHD are often highly intelligent, creative, and caring people.  They may also have strong emotional reactions and frequently fear not living up to their potential.  By understanding the “upside” of having ADHD, life gets much easier, fear subsides, and goals can be met.

Albany, NY Adult ADHD Support Group

If you live in the Albany, NY area and would like to attend a free adult support group that I facilitate, please click on this link: www.AlbanyADDSupportGroup.org

This group provides an opportunity to discuss living with ADHD in an informal, supportive and friendly setting.

A Note about Neurodiversity

It’s important to introduce the term neurodiversity in relation to ADHD.  This idea proposes that instead of seeing ADHD as a disorder, we view it as a difference that is respected just like any other human variation.  Ultimately, who can say what form of brain wiring is “best” or “normal”?  Our differences make the world richer and more interesting place.  The neurodiversity movement supports the unique expression and contributions of all individuals.

* Figures referenced in a book by Ari Tuckman and Kevin Murphy, titled, Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD, from a 2006 survey by Ramsay and Rostain.

Contact Information: (518) 461-6513      coach@susangesten.com