What is a Professional Life Coach?
A Professional Life Coach is a trusted mentor who can help you identify and uncover what keeps you from reaching your fullest potential. Life Coaching is a one-on-one relationship that provides a supportive and non-judgmental space to help you create what you want for yourself. You can find a Life Coach to help you strategize and acquire the tools you need to achieve your goals. The process of Life Coaching consists of taking steps to help you identify and reframe your thoughts and attitudes. It can also help you break negative habits, acquire new methods of identification, and take action to achieve your maximum potential!
What types of people have Life Coaches?
People from all walks of life work with professional Coaches to help attain their goals. In fact numerous studies indicate that individuals from all walks of life collectively spend over $2 BILLION a year on life coaching services. Let that sink in for a minute. Not just the rich and famous, or the elite, but people from all walks of life. $2 BILLION. Life Coaches work with people in all areas of their life including relationships, career, finance, health and more. And as I just indicated, working with a personal Life Coach is not limited to any type of person, but is best for those who want to take initiative in their own life. People who get a Life Coach are committed to a more fulfilled life and are willing to do the work needed to get there.
What is ADHD coaching and how can it help me?
First of all, as noted above, there are many, subspecialties of life coaching including career coaches (a very popular specialty), diet coaches, health coaches (used by many hospitals and even insurance companies), divorce coaches, performance coaches, to coaches working with almost every aspect of the human condition. ADHD Coaching is a respected and established coaching specialty.
People have many different motivations for seeking the services of an ADHD Coach. Parents often contact me wanting assistance for their child who was diagnised with ADHD. Many people who struggle with ADHD simply get to a place where they are tired of the problems this condition can cause. Left untreated, ADHD can ruin your life. I often tell people that being ADHD is like being a sports car with three flat tires! People with ADHD get this immediately. Once you decide to make a change in managing this condition it can feel like a great weight has been lifted off of you.
Coaching works, in part, by providing much needed support and encouragement. ADHD coaching can help you develop the tools to manage your condition. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking coaching in general and ADHD coaching in particular, are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. On the flip side of that any individual, including both adults and adolescents, who is being coerced to work with a coach has only a limited chance of success. Referring to the quote at the top of the previous page, the coaching client must want to be coached in order for the process to succeed.
What about medication vs. ADHD coaching?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause typically cannot be solved solely by medication alone. And I get it that many people get that prescription and settle for taking it for a lifetime and would never consider therapy in any form. It's just a compromise they are willing to settle for. This is particularly true of ADHD.
Having said that, medications can be a critical part of the overall treatment of ADHD. Instead of treating only the symptoms of ADHD to diminish their impact or, ideally, to make them vanish, ADHD Coaching focuses on learning to manage the many and varied symptoms of the condition. In the long run, you can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness by working with professionals from various fields, including a coach.
Note also that there are no effective counseling protocols for ADHD. None. Put another way, counseling or therapy can be useful in dealing with the various emotional and behavioral conditions that often accompany living with ADHD. However, counseling or therapy alone will not be effective in “curing” the condition of ADHD. The most effective approach to dealing with ADHD is to work with your therapist, your coach and your medical doctor to determine the best treatment approach for you. In most cases a combination of medication and ADHD coaching is the right course of action. If you do require counseling to address the mental, emotional and behavioral problems that typically present with ADHD, your medical doctor or ADHD coach can make a referral to an appropriate mental health professional.
How will Life Coaching help?
The results of coaching will vary depending on what brings you to a Life Coach. As noted above if you seek coaching to help deal with ADHD and the many problems it can create in your life, then you can expect to learn new skills and new ways of facing the many challenges of this condition. If you seek out a Life Coach to help you out in your professional life then coaching can help you to make your current job more gratifying, to gain better focus on managing your work, and to market yourself more effectively. If your reasons for seeking a Life Coach are more personal, then coaching can help you to improve your relationships, to resolve ongoing negative behaviors, to improve your overall health, and to grow spirituality. With Life Coaching you can live a more balanced and enhanced life, and make your dreams come true!
Some of the benefits available from Life Coaching include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek coaching
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Learning to live effectively with the challenges of ADHD
Is there anything positive about having ADHD?
Absolutely! People with ADHD are among the most creative people around. Many creative people such as writers, actors, and playwrites manifest varying traits and symptoms os ADHD. Moreover, people whose jobs demand energy and an ability to perform under stress often show signs of ADHD. To be clear, not everyone in these unique professions is ADHD. But many are.
As a Life Coach what experience do you have in helping clients with ADHD?
- I began working with clients with ADHD almost from day one when I started my counseling practice with the Center for Counselingin Houston in 1983.
- Before that time I pursued both course work and practicum (training) experiences with clients who struggled with various types of academic challenges.
- As clinical director of the Diagnostic Learning Center at the University of Houston I worked with professional staff and the Athletic Department of the University of Houston to develop educational programs for athletes, many of whom were ADHD.
- Although I worked as a professionally trained therapist, many of the strategies I developed at the time are the foundation of my work as a coach today. As a result I have 30 years of experience dealing with clients with ADHD, as well as with the families of these clients.
What other areas of expertise do you have?
After 30 years of practice you might imagine that I have developed expertise in a number of areas. Whatever expertise I have acquired has come generally from working with clients in various occupational fields. Probably the area where I have been the most active is in coaching small business owners, commonly referred to as entrepreneurs. And, it turns out that many entrepreneurs in fact are ADHD. That should come as no surprise. People with ADHD typically do not function well in highly structured organizations. Studies show that these people tend to do quite well in three primary area: sales, small business operations, and emergency services and police work. We can probably add being in the military to that list. Again, this does not apply to everyone in these occupational areas.
People with ADHD are also commonly found in professions such as professional sports, law enforcement, the military, fire fighthing and working as EMTs. These occupations all require a high degree of risk taking and energy expenditure. Moreover, people in these occupational areas have to be able to perform under stress and to make quick and accurate decisions under very difficult circumstances. That is often (but not always) a perfect fit for the individual who is ADHD. "Never a dull moment", as was said to me by a young doctor who was giving up her work as a Family Practice Physician to begin work as an Emergency Room Physician. People with ADHD can often barely tolerate routine. I once had a client who would set fire to trash cans when he became bored. You get my point.
However, people in all these occupations still face the challenges of managing their ADHD. If they do not learn to manage their condition (which many do not know they have) they may experience considerable frustration attempting to succeed in their field of choice. Setting fire to trash cans (even metaphorically) certainly brings a lot of energy to the moment, but it also can carry some very unpleasant consequences.
I have accumulated a number of specific skills and areas of expertise and experience. These are listed in the section "About Me."
What happens in a Life Coaching Session?
Each session is tailored to the client and will vary based on individual needs. In the beginning, we will discuss what you are committed to accomplishing through our work together and we will begin to create a plan to achieve your goals. Periodically, I will give you assignments to help direct your progress. We will work together to acknowledge obstacles, explore alternate perspectives and celebrate successes. With the conclusion of most sessions, we will revisit your goals and evaluate the next steps that are needed to achieve these results.
Do I really need a personal Coach, can't I just do it by myself?
In reality, most people only seek the services of a coach after long periods of attempting to resolve the issues related to ADHD by themselves. Typically, individuals have no idea that many of the challenges they face are in fact due to ADHD. They have spent a lifetime having people complain about their "lack of motivation", or their procrastination, or their inability to finish projects including school work in a timely manner. An ADHD coach is seldom the first step taken by individuals struggling with these and so many other problems.
Someone once asked the fish, "How is the water?" The fish replied, "What's water?"
Life coaching can take you above and beyond your own personal limitations. More often than not, people are trying desperately to achieve their greatest potential, but can't seem to realize what stands in their way.
A personal coach can offer clients an unbiased and objective perspective, and can help you to realize your patterns and habits. Most people experience that they are more efficient when working with a Professional Life Coach. Clients typically come to realize that coaching provides the opportunity for them to better realize their potential. Life Coaching can make your dreams attainable and will give you support and encouragement along the way. ADHD Coaching can open doors to achievement which otherwise would have remained barriers to success and personal fulfillment.
How is Coaching different from Therapy?
While the life coaching I provide can be therapeutic, it is not therapy. Coaching is distinct from traditional therapy because it is not designed to address psychological issues. While emotional issues may arise, the primary focus of life coaching is to help you identify your goals, achieve them, and develop constructive habits and skills. There is little emphasis placed on the individual's past with coaching. Instead the focus is on identifying and facing the challenges that have kept you from creating what you want now and in the future.
What is your cancellation policy?
We are all busy people. I understand that. But typical of most helping professions I require a 24 hour notice to cancel a session. Please be sure to contact me if you will not be able to make your scheduled appointment in order to avoid being charged for the session. I try to be understanding about schedules and life crises. Working together we can work out ways to manage scheduling problems.
How long do people generally work with a Life Coach?
To experience the effectiveness of a life coaching program, I suggest clients make an initial three-month commitment. At the end of the three months, we will evaluate progress and discuss options for continued coaching. ADHD coaching typically is a longer process. While the client can terminate services at any point without prejudice, most ADHD coaching clients will spend at least one year working with a coach. It is not uncommon for people with ADHD to continue to work with a supportive Life Coach over an extended period of time.
Is personal life coaching confidential?
What we discuss will be held in confidence and not shared with others. However, our discussions are not privileged for legal purposes. The privilege of confidentiality that exists for the clergy, therapists and attorneys is not granted to coaching professionals. That said, life coaching is a confidential process, and your personal information will always be protected.
Please note that certain situations may compel a coach to reveal information to legal or mental health professionals:
- Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child and Adult Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
- If the coach has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Am I a good candidate for Life Coaching or for ADHD Coaching?
It is important to understand that you will only get results from coaching if you actively participate in the process. Coaching is something that you do in a collaborative relationship. It is not a passive experience or something that is "done to you". To find out if you are ready for coaching, go to the Helpful Forms page and download the page, “Coachability Index”. Be honest with yourself when you fill out the questionnaire. [This form, and others, will be available shortly.]
The ultimate purpose of all types of coaching is to help you bring what you learn in our sessions back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in coaching sessions, your coach will often suggest some things you can do outside of the coaching session to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. At the very least you should come to each coaching session prepared to set an agenda. Again, your coach will help you learn to do this. People seeking coaching are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
If you have any questions that are not covered above, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will attempt to answer any and all questions regarding myself, my training and expertise and experience, and the concept of Life Coaching in general. In particular, if you have questions about ADHD coaching I will attempt to respond with the information you need to make an informed decision regarding obtaining the services of an ADHD Coach. To reach me just go to the page in the menu entitled, "Contact" and choose the best means for you to reach me.
[Please note that while this site is under revision there have been instances where attempts at contact have not been successful. I sincerely apologize for this. I am working with professional web site developers to improve and upgrade the site and hopefully we can finish this task in short order.]