What it takes to become a Successful ADHD Coach

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Do you think you have the passion to become an ADHD coach? How much about the profession?

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Who is an ADHD coach?

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A professional who is trained to coach a client with symptoms of ADHD. A coach helps a client set goals, identifies obstacles and defines strategies to achieve the desired outcome.

A coach gives a client necessary tools, techniques and systems to cope up practical problems such as procrastinating, poor organization and dealing with distractions.

It not only helps a client achieve a specific goal but can also enhance the overall quality of life.

Sounds good? Sure does. Before I tell you more about an ADHD coach, let us first discuss…

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Sounds complex? Let me simplify it for you.

It is a brain-related disorder that impairs some vital functions of the mind. Finding it hard to focus, poor memory and highly impulsive behavior are a few symptoms of ADHD.

An ADHD patient often displays three major conditions:

1. Inattention:

• Inability to concentrate.

• Few indications of this condition are:

• Careless mistakes in writing and reading.

• Unable to capture details

• Not able to follow instructions.

• Misplacing things very often.

2. Hyperactivity:

• Marked by excessive restlessness.:

• Continuous tapping feet or hands.

• Fiddling with random objects

• Difficulty balancing things

3. Impulsivity:

• Prompt actions without a prior thought

• Interrupting others while they talk

Unable to listen quietly.

Trouble standing in queues.

Based upon the above conditions ADHD Is classified in 3 categories.

Combined presentation: displaying symptoms of both inattention and Hyperactivity/impulsivity

Predominantly inattentive presentation: having more symptoms of inattention

Predominantly Hyperactivity / Impulsivity presentation: Hyperactivity and impulsivity are in majority.

(Too much detail? A good coach should know the details)

What are the causes of ADHD?

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Research has proved that ADHD is a genetic disorder. ADHD is caused due to chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain.

Dopamine levels and volume of the brain’s gray & white matter are directly linked to the symptoms of ADHD. Past traumas, poor parenting or head injuries definitely do not cause ADHD.

How is ADHD treated?

Officially is no cure for this disorder yet. But don’t worry, as it is possible to reduce the symptoms and improve functionality.

Medication is considered a primary tool for managing ADHD. It is critical to consult a physician before starting the medication.

Even though it offers a great relief from symptoms, medication alone is not enough.

For dealing with practical problems one needs to seek the help of an expert. This why coaching is considered essential for patients dealing with ADHD.

One can get the best results when coaching is used alongside medication. Even going for psychotherapy is considered a good option. It is proven that Cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness can do wonders for ADHD patients.

Is it a common disease? Very, approximately 5% of adults in the USA suffer from ADHD, which is more than 10 million people.

Yes, this profession offers you a huge market.

Let’s get back to the point!

Why is an ADHD coach required?

Once a person is diagnosed with ADHD the primary treatment is of course medication. A coaching is often considered a supplementary support for coping with the effects of ADHD.

Many may feel that there is sufficient information available online and ignores the necessity of a coach. Yes, They are mistaken, a professional coach is exactly what they need…

Dealing with ADHD is really hard! And it does not simply fade away. But suffering is optional, and help is now available. Coaches have transformed countless lives who fought ADHD for years, who are no longer controlled by it.

For the real-life issues such as time management, task, and organization is where one can take help of an expert ADHD coach

How does an ADHD coach help?

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An ADHD coach typically follows a goal-oriented approach, working hand in hand with the client to overcome specific practical issues. A  coach first identifies the needs and aspirations of a client, and then handholds him towards the goals avoiding the pitfalls.

There are fundamental aspects of coaching an ADHD client

Understand the need: The most crucial responsibility of a coach is to figure out what problems need to be addressed immediately. The client may be facing many issues at once like procrastination,  poor organization, under-performance, etc.

There may even be some hidden issues that may be affecting a client in a major way. Only an experienced professional is able to dig out these underlying problems and make a client aware of them.

Goal setting: Next is step is to set a realistic goal with a defined timeline to achieve it. This should always be done as per the client’s expectations and keeping in mind his ability.

This will outline the outcome of your coaching and will also keep the client motivated during the process.

Improve decision making, reduce clutter, managing conflict  could be a few simple goals that can be chosen to work upon

Remember – One should choose realistic goals

Strategize: this simply means ‘how to make it happen’. This is a client-centric approach, customized as per his needs. Coach carefully chalks out the strategies keeping in mind client’s strengths and weaknesses.

A coach should plan out certain activities so that would help a client develops certain skills. the skills which would be beneficial in one’s daily routine. ( Breaking down of tasks, managing distractions/ impulse).

Emotional well being: quite often patients with ADHD have low self-esteem, get easily stressed out and frustrated. They may tend to easily give up before making any substantial progress.

This proves to be a great hurdle for a coach as well as a client. So it’s a coach’s responsibility to keep a close watch and regularly motivate the client.

One has to make sure that a client learns from his mistake and is given a constructive feedback.

Education: a coach must make a client become aware and understand his ADHD conditions .  A Coach must explain various bottlenecks on a client’s path.

One should continuously update the clients on latest research relevant to them.

One can even recommend different therapies that can be helpful in managing their ADHD symptoms.

At times, A coach even has to assist a client on relationships management, offer career counseling and give professional advice.

Now let me tell you

How does an ADHD coaching session takes place?

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A session typically lasts for about an hour. With mostly one or two sessions per week

Most coaches take face to face session, while others are open to conducting group sessions. Each type has its own advantages.

A face to face session is more tailor-made, especially for an individual. Here a client can easily open up and can connect well the coach. Group sessions are more affordable than one on one sessions. clients feel more accepted in large groups and may learn from others.

Nowadays sessions are also being conducted over Skype and telephones. There are not only quiet economical but also more convenient to both clients and coaches.

In between the sessions, coaches may offer additional support via emails or text messages.

How long does ADHD coaching need to continue?

ADHD coaching is a goal-oriented approach, and duration varies accordingly. As standard practice coaches go for a minimum three-month contract with a client. Wherein the sessions are planned once or twice a week.

However, there are also a few coaches who work on an hourly basis.

How much does an ADHD coach earn?

Charges may vary based on how far you want to take your ADHD coaching.

Many coaches get into a contract with a client and get paid in advance.

On an average, this may cost between $300-$600 per month. There are a few coaches who charge an hourly basis. Each session may cost a min $50, & can go up to $250 for hi-end coaches.

Note: Health insurance does not cover the coaching fee.

Now let discuss….

How to find the right ADHD coach?

Once a client has identified his requirements and finalized the budget, its time find a coach.

Finding a coach is no problem as there is a huge database of coaches available online. The problem is finding the right one. And it’s the right one that makes all the difference. Most clients evaluate their prospects on a number of criteria before they consider to hire one.

Here are a few points that could help get you on the top of the list.

Training: It’s absolutely necessary that you trained in coaching ADHD patients from an accredited institution. Before you start your practice you should first get the advanced knowledge and skill set in the field. Training not only equips you to deliver results but also gives you a good credibility.

Specialization: Clients prefer to seek a coach who is experienced in dealing with the kind of issues they wish to address. Therefore defining your niche gives an edge over the competition.

You may specialize at coaching parents or students with ADHD, or a business executive on time-management issues, it’s up to you. But before that, you must get relevant experience to gain proficiency in handling a particular area.

Approach: Coaching style and philosophy play important role in achieving goals for a client. Each individual has his own way of getting the results, which may or may not work for a client.

For example, there are some coaches who give accountability to a client, while others may themselves follow through each task. Key is to understand each clients perspective and delivery accordingly. A coach should be willing to adapt as per client’s requirement

What are the challenges for an ADHD coach?

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Finding success as an ADHD coach is not an easy road. As a coach one often has to face a number of roadblocks. You might anticipate a few issues, while others might hit you out of nowhere.

Here are top 5 challenges for an ADHD coach:

Takes too long: It takes a min 3-6 months time for a coach to achieve set goals. Often clients seek quick results and not willing to wait that long. Many clients lose interest after the first 4-5 weeks.

Change does not happen overnight, and it takes dedication and commitment to break the old patterns. A coach has to ensure that a client understands this. Coaching is a journey and a coach has guided a client step by step.

Connectivity issues: After the first few sessions a client might feel they don’t have the right chemistry with the coach.

Don’t blame the client! Blame the coach. It’s a coach’s primary responsibility to make a client a feel comfortable to open up and trust. A good rapport lies at the core of successful coaching. This is what enables a coach to understand the client and define his approach.

Mental blocks: Such as lack of confidence, poor self-esteem, and fear of failure. These issues are very common among the one who suffers from ADHD.

These are often the reasons why a strategy does not work and there are no outcomes. Sometimes clients are not willing to succeed and all efforts go in vain. Coaches have to identify and clear out these unhealthy beliefs right from their roots. This will not only help effective coaching but also will also influence the personal and professional life of a client.

Hidden Issues: After a few initial sessions a coach begins to get a deeper understanding of the client.  One may figure out that a client may suffer from depression or serious emotional/psychological issues, which need to be addressed immediately.

It is not advisable to go ahead with the coaching in such cases. Usually, a coach recommends a professional physician or a therapist to the client.

Money matters:  As the health insurance does not cover the costs involved in coaching, the client has to pay from his own pockets.

There may be cases where a client drops out of a coaching. It is usually when he is unable to pay the fee.  Also, it is known that ADHD patients have a problem managing their finances. This can be really frustrating for a coach, not just one loses a steady income, but also one is unable to help the client.

How to become an ADHD Coach?

This is not a regulated industry and there are no standard certifications. There are plenty of courses available that give specialized knowledge and skills relevant to ADHD coaching.

Most programs are accredited by ICF (International Coach Federation) or PAAC (Professional Association of ADHD Coaches)

You may do a training course organized by following the Institutes:

ADDCA (ADD Coach Academy)

ACA (American Coaching Institute)

OFI (Optimal Functioning Institution)

MentorCoach.

Courses are available for both beginners and advanced level training.

Each certification has its own requirements and each individual may have to attend ADHD training for a min number of hours (250-1500). You may also have to gain hands-on experience in coaching ADHD clients, around 50 hours of pro-bono coaching.

Post your training you may have to clear in an exam to be your certification.

An advance coach training program by ADDCA costs around $ 10,000, while is beginners course is only for $5,500. The amount can be paid in yearly instalments.

Are you ready to become an ADHD Coach?

If you’re still with me, I think you are.

And it’s time to take the next step. What is it?

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Written by

Sai Blackbyrn

I’m Sai Blackbyrn, better known as “The Coach’s Mentor.” I help Coaches like you establish their business online. My system is simple: close more clients at higher fees. You can take advantage of technology, and use it as a catalyst to grow your coaching business in a matter of weeks; not months, not years. It’s easier than you think.

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