adhd coach los angeles

What is an ADHD Coach and Do I Need One?

What is an ADHD Coach and Do I Need One?

Over the years, I have been described as an ADHD coach by colleagues. Although I am an executive functions coach, 90% of my client load has some form of attentional challenge. I am constantly helping them navigate a maze where organization, focus, and time management are paramount but seem impossible. Some of my clients get an ADHD test as an adult, while some have had their ADHD diagnosis their entire lives. Regardless of which population, the daily struggles are always the same. Motivation is difficult when the path to success seems unreachable. Why work on my quarterly presentation if my supervisor is just going to be unhappy with it. How will studying help me pass my exams when it has never helped in the past. That is where an ADHD coach can help. 

What Does an ADHD Coach Do?

Okay so an ADHD coach will help someone with an ADHD diagnosis work through their challenges to find the motivation to the previous impossible? That sounds great but how does an ADHD coach actually do that? My process is multifaceted, combining personalized strategies, continuous support, and practical tools tailored to my client’s individual needs.

It All Starts with an ADHD Test

  • Firstly, I like to administer an ADHD test that helps me identify the areas that need work. This involves an in-depth assessment of the client’s strengths, weaknesses, and daily routines. Even though the criterias for an ADHD diagnosis is standard, how it affects each client is particular to their lives and circumstances. My holistic approach helps me customize a plan that addresses areas in need of improvement while utilizing each client’s area of strength.

Let’s go over an example. Dave is a client that I work with that has an ADHD diagnosis along with an OCD and autism diagnosis. He has been struggling for many years with a consistent way of tracking his to-dos for personal and academic success. Previous ADHD tests have suggested calendaring and planners, but none have worked because each tool failed to resonate with Dave. Since he couldn’t find motivation in these tools, they naturally didn’t work for him. As a result, the typical tools an ADHD coach would use were destined to fail before they started.

What I came up with wasn’t necessarily out of the box. When I redid Dave’s ADHD test, I noted from both his parents and himself that he really loved writing. As an ADHD coach, one of the integral skills I like helping my clients build is metacognitive reflection. This is just a fancy term for reflection with an emphasis on explaining our thought process. This is typically done through discussion, but since Dave liked writing, I had him start every session with metacognitive journaling. Most individuals with an ADHD diagnosis will find it extremely challenging to translate thought into written words since it requires a great deal of working memory. However, for Dave, this was his strength.

Breaking Tasks Down is Integral for Those with an ADHD Diagnosis

  • An ADHD coach will teach their clients how to break down their challenges into manageable and measurable steps. Oftentimes, those with an ADHD diagnosis find many tasks overwhelming and challenging. This is partially because they require multiple steps and also because previous failures have scared their ability to put their best foot forward. A good ADHD test should help identify these failures so that there can be enough sensitivity to ensure a successful attempt in the future.

When it came to metacognitive journaling with Dave, it was really important for me as his ADHD coach to be sensitive and not call his journal a planner or calendar. Furthermore, it was critical to identify the reasonable levels of journaling that Dave should do during each session. From his ADHD test, I identified that he had a strong belief in the 21-day rule for habit building. Therefore, we set a goal together of working on journaling together for 21 days. After each journal entry, Dave had to identify what he would like to work on based off of the journaling. To really help reinforce measurable outcomes, we checked in each time on if identifying his goals helped him create more awareness around them. As we progressed, I would talk to him about his ADHD diagnosis and how it relates to the struggles he identified in his journaling. 

After each 21 day chunk, we would slowly introduce different elements of journaling to address Dave’s ADHD diagnosis and associated struggles. At first, Dave only worked on expressing his achievements and challenges and identifying his goals. Then we created measurable steps towards his goals. Today, we break down his goals into actionable steps, set times for them, and measure their progress together.

An ADHD Coach is There to Provide Mental Clarity

  • Lastly, the most critical role an ADHD coach provides for their clients is mental clarity. Oftentimes, it can be really hard to see how step 3 leads to Step 6 and ultimately to accomplishing the goal at hand. However, an ADHD coach is there to provide both structural and emotional support.

For Dave, my role was to help him see where all of the hard work led. Someone with an ADHD diagnosis can find it hard to visualize long term results since the short term challenges feel insurmountable. Through metacognitive journaling, I had Dave focus on understanding his thought process. Here is a common example. Dave wanted to track his expenses in order to save money and become more financially independent. One of the goals we identified in his ADHD test was to take pictures of his receipts when he got it. Through his journaling, he admitted that he didn’t forget but chose to not do it. He remembered but said to himself “I am so socially drained right now, I can do it later.” However, after a few sessions of working through this challenge, he coined his motto “I won’t regret it later.” As in if he does it now, he won’t have regrets later. As his ADHD coach, I will testify that this didn’t work at first, but with consistency, he got there. 

So Should You Get an ADHD Coach?

Deciding whether to get an ADHD coach depends on your personal needs and challenges. If you are struggling with organization, time management, and focus despite trying various strategies, an ADHD coach can help. At EFC, we offer tailored support, continuous motivation, and accountability, helping you transform seemingly insurmountable obstacles into manageable steps. Our ADHD coaches can assist in building self-awareness and reinforce positive habits, ultimately fostering a sense of achievement and progress. Whether you have a new ADHD diagnosis or have been managing ADHD for years, our structured and empathetic approach can help you break through barriers and achieve your goals. If you’re ready to make meaningful changes, schedule a free consultation and ask about our ADHD test today.

Feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of ADHD? Struggling to reach your full potential? An ADHD coach at EFC could be the missing piece in your puzzle. We offer personalized strategies, ongoing support, and practical tools tailored to your unique needs and goals. Schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards a more fulfilling life.

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