The ADHD Coaches Association (ACO) recently published the following “Definition of ADHD Coaching”:
Like all life coaching, ADHD Coaching addresses the specific needs and aspirations of the individual being coached. Unlike life coaching, however, ADHD Coaching also addresses the specific needs of clients who have ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. Therefore, ADHD Coaches focus on working with clients on their personal goals and the pragmatic issues of achieving them while living with ADHD. It is a supportive, collaborative, goal-oriented process in which the coach and the client work together to identify the client’s goals and then develop the self-awareness, systems, and strategies necessary for the client to reach those personal goals and full potential.
Because ADHD Coaching specifically addresses the needs of people affected by ADHD, it is a seamless blend of three distinct elements, each employed by the coach as needed:
- Life Coaching – The client is regarded as an intact, creative, and resourceful person, and the authority on who they are, what they want, and what is best for them. The coaching is client-centered, client-driven, and confidential. The coach partners with the client in a thought-provoking and creative process to facilitate the client’s actions toward self-awareness and the identification and achievement of the client’s self-identified goals, providing structure and accountability, as needed, to help the client achieve those goals.
- Skills Coaching — The coach and client collaborate to develop conscious awareness of the client’s strengths, challenges, and resources and, leveraging that awareness, develop conscious competence; creating systems and strategies tailored to the client’s assets and environment that support and strengthen the client’s ability to manage the pragmatic aspects of life.
- Education – The coach shares research-based information regarding aspects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder relevant to the client’s needs and interests. The coach may also offer information regarding tools, resources, and referrals as needed or requested by the client.
The ACO combines this definition with its existing definition of an ADHD Coach:
- First and foremost ADHD coaches are coaches.
- The ACO endorses and accepts the coaching paradigm of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
- In addition to meeting all requirements and qualifications of a coach as defined within that paradigm, ADHD Coaches have specific training and expertise in coaching people and/or groups affected by ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).