What is ADD/Life Coaching?
“People are creative, resourceful, and whole.” The co-founders of the Coaches’ Training Institute coined this widely held belief in the coaching world. Life coaching is a wellness model. Rather than focusing on people’s weaknesses and disabling conditions, coaches help clients tap into their strengths, passions, and desires to create a more fulfilling life. Coaches use powerful questions to help clients pause and reflect on what they truly want out of life. But even a good idea requires a realistic plan to become an accomplishment. So coaches also help clients develop steps they are willing and able to take to pursue their goals.
Coaching is a co-active process. This means that the coach and the client openly discuss how they will work together. They consider things such as: how often to meet, how those meetings will take place (e.g., in person, via Skype, over the phone), how the client can be accountable to the coach for taking action on his/her goals, and what kind of feedback the coach can provide to motivate the client. In this way, the client becomes an active partner in co-designing the coaching relationship. The client’s goals are the ones that matter, not the coach’s. These goals are referred to as the client’s “agenda.” There are two main goals in a coaching relationship:
- Forward the client’s agenda (help him/her achieve important personal goals)
- Deepen the client’s learning (help him/her increase self-awareness)
Who Can Benefit from ADD/Life Coaching?
Coaching can be very helpful for many people at different points in their lives. Life coaching was developed to help a wide variety of individuals. Later, ADD coaching developed as a specialty area. ADD coaches use their knowledge of ADHD and slightly more structure to coach individuals with attentional/executive functioning issues. That said, coaching isn’t for everyone. Most people who can benefit from coaching:
- want to live a more fulfilled and balanced life
- are motivated to take action on their goals
- have addressed any significant psychological issues (such as anxiety or depression) that could impede their ability to take action
- have the ability to be honest with and accountable to a coach
What Does ADD/Life Coaching Entail?
Coaching services begin with an intake meeting. We discuss your goals and what helps or hinders you when you want to take action. I ask clients to fill out a “Wheel of Life” prior to this appointment so we can discuss any parts of your life you would like to be in greater balance. ADD coaching helps clients address just about any life goal: academic success, finding a good college or job, getting more organized, completing a big project, getting in better physical shape, etc. The intake meeting helps me help you determine whether coaching is a good fit. Sometimes it is best to seek help from a therapist or physician prior to, or in conjunction with, coaching. We talk about this at intake. We also begin to design our alliance during intake. This simply means that I begin asking your preferences for how often to meet, whether you want to meet in person/over the phone/via Skype, what kinds of feedback motivates you, etc.
We then establish a plan for regular coaching sessions. Many people with ADD benefit from “point of performance prompts” and frequent feedback. Examples of point of performance prompts include a post-it note on your bathroom mirror or a reminder beep programmed into your cell phone. These tools can help you remember your goals, carry out your plan, maintain motivation, and stay on track. In addition to sessions where we talk to each other, we will likely set up a way to exchange brief contacts with each other in-between sessions. This can be done with texting, emails, or voicemail messages. This communication allows you to be accountable with your coach on any progress you’re making – or barriers you’re encountering – as you take action in between our sessions.
Many people use coaching as a tool for success at different points in their lives. I look forward to exploring whether coaching is right for you and whether it’s just a few sessions or for longer periods of time. What can you gain by creating a more fulfilling life?
Where Can I Learn More?