Imagine your life as climb towards the peak of a great mountain—not Mount Everest that one’s taken, but your own unique mountain. The journey is difficult, sometimes treacherous, but filled with amazing views and extraordinary accomplishments as you overcome the difficulties along the way. In order to complete your climb successfully, you might employ a number of experts to help you—a physical trainer might prepare you for the journey (In our analogy, this might be any self-education you do on ADHD). A doctor might monitor your health and well-being and address physical injuries (this could be your therapist, psychiatrist, or an actual doctor). An outfitter could sell you supplies for the journey (these could be specific tools you use to help you adapt with ADHD). You might seek out the wisdom of experts who have climbed their own mountains—in fact, you’d probably want ALL of your support staff to have at least some mountain climbing experience. Unfortunately, you can’t hire an expert Sherpa guide—since this is YOUR mountain, no one else has ever climbed it. You have to become your own Sherpa.
So, what role does an ADHD coach play in helping you climb your mountain? Stay with me here, because the analogy gets a little complex—an ADHD coach is like the documentary film maker of your journey. Think of it like this—the film maker will be taking at least a portion of your journey with you, hiking and climbing by your side. It is 100% in their best interest to see you succeed on your journey. They are there to make sure you are not alone and to help you see where you are, where you have been, and where you are going as they provide different camera angles for your journey. It’s their job to help you see things you might otherwise miss so that you can get where you want to go successfully. The change in perspective can be a powerful tool in figuring out your path forward. You are in charge of which route you take, how fast you travel, and when to stop for lunch, but your coach/filmmaker is there to support you, and maybe even hold your equipment for a minute when you need to catch your breath.
You might ask what makes a good coach and how do I know which one to pick for my journey? One of the first things to consider is training. Right now, coaching doesn’t require any licensure—anyone could call themselves a coach. Excellent coach training programs and certifications do exist, but not all coach training is created equal and not all coaches have the background to work with clients with ADHD. One of the largest and best recognized is the International Coaching Federation (ICF). ICF has rigorous requirements for its endorsed coach training programs and extensive ongoing ethics and educational training requirements for its coaches. Looking for a coach affiliated with the ICF is a good idea—it’s like choosing a documentary maker who has graduated from a reputable film school. ADHD coaching is a specialty skill since ADHD brains and lives don’t always follow the path of neurotypicals. Finding someone with coaching training specific to ADHD means they have additional skills, tools and understanding that enable them to better assist with the unique ADHD journey. Think of it as adding mountaineering training to that film school degree. If your ADHD coach also has the real-life experience of having ADHD or family with ADHD, there is an added level of understanding and empathy—they may not have climbed your particular mountain, but their own mountain might be in the same range as yours. At the end of the day, though, finding the best ADHD coach is a matter of finding someone who you feel comfortable with, who you trust, who clicks with your personality, and who makes you feel like you can become the version of yourself you want to be.
If you think I can be that right-fit coach for you, I would love to work together! If not, I have connections to some wonderful colleagues, and I would love to help you find a coach who can help you thrive.
Life with ADHD is complicated— but there is beauty in finding the balance, discovering the gifts, and building a life that is as unique as you are. I am passionate about supporting you through your journey to find your balance.