Hi, my name is Diane O’Reilly & I am a professional ADHD coach. Today I would like to introduce you to the idea of ADHD coaching, as a treatment for ADHD.
During this presentation I will give you an overview of ADHD & some of the main challenges that are associated with it & the current treatment models. Then I'd like to give you a clear understanding of what ADHD coaching is, what the main benefits are & why it's an optimal treatment for ADHD. I will also share with you why focusing on strengths rather than weakness is an essential part of the coaching credo and why that philosophy needs to be an integral part of ADHD treatment.
My path to becoming an ADHD coach has been a personal & lifelong one, it began with my own undiagnosed ADHD, A few years ago when my first son was diagnosed with ADHD I also surprisingly found out about my own, it was a revelation & not a completely unpleasant one for me as it explained so much, finally here was a concrete reason for a lot of my negative experiences in education, career and relationships. It took the pressure off in a way , because it meant that it had not been entirely my fault, I had always assumed full blame & that there was something inherently faulty about my character, that I was weak willed, lazy or mentally sub par & that’s why I struggled to get through the stuff that seemed so easy to others or why I never finished anything I started. By far The biggest victim of My ADHD was my low self esteem, because of my beliefs about my abilities or lack thereof I had a pattern of avoiding all challenge, I took menial jobs for years that were below my reach in hopes of flying under the radar, I actually didn’t want to ever be in the all too familiar position of failure and humiliation that I was frequently exposed to in my school years…. The ultimate sadness being that my gifts and talents & even my belief in my own gifts and talents went un-mined for years This experience of discovering My own ADHD at the same time as my sons was the catalyst for what I do today.
Pre-dominantly hyper-active and impulsive, predominantly inattentive, The combined type (which is what it sound like, a combination of all of those traits) Next; I am going to outline some of the more common traits that are associated with all these types of ADHD
Here is a description of the negative sides of these traits, there is definitely an upside to all of these traits too, Though often that is overlooked.... Impulsivity; is primarily an inability to modulate or inhibit emotions, thoughts or behaviours, leading to blurting or actions later regretted which can have devastating effect in social situations and relationships. possible involvement in risky behaviours. Poor transition skills . An inability to again modulate behaviour by moving from one task to another successfully, or to know when to break from one task to begin another. Hyper- activity, physical or mental; Trouble sitting or staying still, a valued behaviour in our society which is expected in many work and school settings. The mental component leads to sleep problems, day-dreaming, or not being able to switch off mentally or wind down, constant trains of thought or negative thought patterns that spiral without interruption, which can lead to negative/destructive self talk. Inability to sustain focus . Can be a crippling trait, the ADHD’ers inability to pay attention to a task long enough to see it through to the finish.
The ADHD symptoms & traits vary from person to person These traits are the basis of all our challenges, If you were to ask the average ADHD er “what it is that you struggle with the most?” or” what challenges would they like to see the most improvement in?” the answers are not the bigger things but the seemingly small everyday challenges, these are the daily potholes in the road that impede progress or success
These secondary traits are not so widely known, but each can be as challenging as the primary traits. Black & white thinking, a tendency to view things in extremes, good or bad, wrong or right, can lead to inflexibility and tendency towards dramatic emotional reactions. Rumination. Is the tendency with thoughts to revisit and replay situations, conversations or thoughts over and over, can lead to anxiety and poor self image. Overwhelm ; is the shut down that occurs when too much information, input or pressure is put on the ADHd ‘er, when that cannot be processed , they simply switch off. The consequences and risks for the ADHD er who is undiagnosed and untreated or for those who are diagnosed but remain untreated are many and well documented, From higher rates of addiction and alcoholism to higher divorce rates, difficulties in the work place, suicide, depression, more delinquency and altercations with the law, more school failure and drop outs, more rejection, ridicule & punishment, it is a downward spiral once entered difficult to get out from under, the sadness too is that these behaviours only exacerbate their negative self image, which makes successful outcomes harder to attain
You all may be nodding and thinking, wow! when I look at those traits it looks like me and every one else I know is ADHD too! that’s a natural reaction, many of these traits are common to all of us but for the ADHD’er it’s the higher degree and severity that makes the difference between manageable and unmanageable.
Many of the children and adults estimated to have ADHD are infact still undiagnosed. The co-morbid conditions can be as equally problematic as the ADHd itself.. School failure on any level
Many people do not want to label their children, mistakenly thinking by avoiding the diagnosis they avoid the problems. Infact substantially more esteem problems are created in a person who knows something is wrong but lacking a diagnosis tends to blame themselves as did I.
The usual treatments; I am not an expert in these areas but this is the statistical data available which I bring to you today to give a broad overview of all the current treatments on offer for the ADHD’er Medication has been used for about 50 years, for some with great success, lessening the impact and severity of symptoms enough to allow them to be able to function, for others the benefits are not so optimal, the efficacy rate for medication is about 70%, in other words for 30% of us the medication would do nothing at all at best, & have side effects that are too severe to be beneficial at worst. Diet & nutrition ; Improving diet or nutrition does not have any measureable impact on ADHD symptoms although there are several studies that prove that some food colourings and preservatives cause hyper-activity even in non ADHD children. And certainly it makes sense if you have a healthy diet and your blood sugar levels are on an even keel all day you will be in a more optimal place to deal with your ADHD traits. Naturopathy/traditional medicine, helps optimise health and if relevant uncover issues that can exacerbate or even look like ADHD , like Aneamia, hypo-glycemia, thyroid problems, depression, allergies & many more. Then thes can be treated seperatley, Also there are herbal& nutritional substitutes for medication Physical exercise ; The benefits are already proven & widely known, but for the ADHD er they are even more important, excercise change s the brain, calms the nervous system & has an positive impact on mood and self esteem. for ADHD ‘ers should be essential part of their treatment. Bio feedback is still largely an unknown quantity although there is increasingly positive results from recent studies. Electrodes are placed on the head & you are asked to manipulate data on a screen to increase or decrease particular brain wave activities leading to supposed better control of certain brain patterns. Accomodations . Are a proven strategy for optimising the environment or type of tasks to allow for traits and symptoms to have as minimal an impact as is possible, these can be implemented in school through an IEP (individual education plan) or classroom plan or in the workplace with the ADHD er advocating for these accommodations themselves Phycho-social/behavioural therapy . Offered through therapy or in the case of children through parenting techniques, it is accepted practice that if you increase rewards to encourage good behaviour and have clear but firm boundaries, and a predictable routine you will help lessen the impact of some of the traits and symptoms in all people, especially helpful for the ADHD er who needs more rewards & interest to encourage desired behaviours, and for whom structure and routine can lessen the anxiety and emotional outbursts associated with un-predictibility. Cogmed a fairly new and well studied seemingly effective video game based method for increasing working memory,which is that part of executive function in the brain that is the most affected in the ADHD er It is a widely accepted wisdom that there are no silver bullets in the treatment of ADHD and a multi-modal approach is necessary. Most ADHd ers find their own comfort zone after some trial and error to see what works well for them
In this hall of fame you have the people who admit their ADHD and talk openly in the media about it, Whoopi goldberg, Jim carrey, Michael Phelps & Dustin Hoffman next you also see a list of people who, given what we know about their histories & were they around today would probably be diagnosed ADHD….. JFK, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Leonardo Davinci etc Another thing that really pops for me as I look at this list is, that they are all innovators, unique, out of the box thinkers who knew their own strengths and talents and single mindedly pursued their careers or dreams that fit their gifts & strengths…. This list is a wonderful example of what can go right with ADHD…..
In this hall of fame you have the people who admit their ADHD and talk openly in the media about it, next you also see a list of people who, given what we know about their histories & were they around today would probably be diagnosed ADHD….. Another thing that really pops for me as I look at this list is, that they are all innovators, unique, out of the box thinkers who knew their own strengths and talents and single mindedly pursued their careers or dreams that fit their gifts & strengths…. This list is a wonderful example of what can go right with ADHD…..
When a client first comes to an ADHD coach then the coach will either take information via an interview (intake session) or with intake forms, the purpose of which is to determine the greatest areas of need and the direction the coaching may take based on the cleints goals and wishes. The coach uses practical proven strategies that crucially must be SMART (Specific, measurable,attainable,realistic and timebound) and comfortable for the client to ensure a success story.. The coach & client are continually designing and redesigning the partnership, to make sure that the direction of the sessions are going according to the clients plan. In therapy the emphasis is on the past and why certain things happened and how that has affected a person, in coaching you do also need to touch on the past in order to understand where some behaviours or thoughts began, but then the emphasis is on the changing of that thought or behaviour in order to keep them moving forward A good coach will be on the look out to ensure that the client is creating systems and support networks of their own, to guard against an unhealthy dependency & ensure continued success can be maintained in the future when the coach and client may have parted ways.
Coaching is one of the only available treatments that specifically works on all the traits, using the tools for change & coaching techniques It works on the whole person, all of their life at all levels not just the ADHD & not just the traits. Coaching is unique because it works from the inside out, It unpacks your thoughts, negative & positive, thought patterns, beliefs, values, drivers (negative motivators) & motivators,& emotions to name a few. This is why it is so successful with ADHD traits It is mainly a philosophy of forward moving actionable success, that ensures the client begins to perceive themselves in a new light of higher self expectations and confidence
Coaching can only work if the client is ready, they need to be coachable, not everyone is coachable at any given moment. During the coaching relationship you may be inviting the client to try on some new behaviours and ways of thinking/being sometimes this may mean stepping away from comfortable but limiting beliefs, therefore the willingness to try new things is essential for success. As is the right fit in a Coach, the rapport created between you will only enhance your success, A good coach will be on your side always, but also on the side of your highest good. Confidentiality and a non judgemental attitude are needed to foster trust, intimacy, exploration and growth. At this point I would like to warn against Coaching from a regular life coach for the ADHD er, because the coach will be using motivational techniques and ways to get the client moving forward that may be unsuited to ADHD ers & their specific challenges. It could exacerbate the situation because more failure without understanding will be created…. So to re-iterate Coaching for ADHD should be from a qualified ADHD coach only
What is coaching/how does it work Coaching has been successfully used for years in sports, the entertainment industry, in business & personal settings. Its primary purpose is to maximize an individuals or a teams talents & assets, moving them forward to a place of actualization of their goals & vision. It is a customized approach, it hold the clients goals and vision for the future uppermost, it is a dynamic tool for change, I believe this is what the ADHD-ers needs most for transformation. What could be a better antidote for the low self esteem that hounds the ADHD-er than continued, concrete, measurable success? The coach uses their skills of active listening, reflecting, witnessing, direct communication & powerful questioning, in a structure that moves always towards the clients agenda, they are a support, a champion, a confidant, and will co-create the relationship with you to work with your strengths instead of against them.
the client chooses the frequency & duration of the sessions depending on their needs, but as a standard the coaching sessions are generally 30-45 mins long & are 2-3 times a month with a week or two off to assimilate some of the concepts agreed to in the sessions. In-between sessions there may be phone calls of 5-10 mins to clarify or help celebrate succesess, also e-mail blasts from the coach if agreed to by the client to help keep them on track or to summarize and reaffirm the agreed to outcomes. Some times during a session the client will have moments of clarity or as Oprah would say ‘AHA’ moments where transformational changes have begun, but for the most part the biggest growth will occur in the days or weeks between sessions where the client will be stepping into new ways of thinking or being and actively trying them on in his or her life. It is reccomended that for lasting positive changes to occur you should be prepared to enter into coaching for at least 3-6 months.
Here is a one of the models used in ADHD coaching (reprinted here with permission from the ADDCA scool of ADHD coaching)t o give you a brief overview of how the structure of coaching supports the goals and aspirations of the client. you will understand that I am making very brief a structure which may take anywhere up to 3 months to go through depending on the circumstances, But for the purpose of this presentation to make clear what coaching is, showing you one of the models goes some way to help you visualise the structure of the partnership. Launch is exactly what it sounds like- The beginning, the getting to, the un-covering, the re-finding ofs ome of those goals, sometimes this step takes a bit of digging. Once clear on the direction ,we move in to exploration, discovering as mentioned earlier what it is about this goal that is meaningful for the client what they envision it doing for them, how will they know when they have achievd the goal etc, what are their measurse of success? this section often takes the coaching in a completely new direction altogether and may have us back at launch, depending on what some of the motivating factors for the goals are; Any one of these steps can be several sessions long or they can be worked through in one session, it really depends . So when ready and enough exploration has occured we step into action, Clearly actions that need to be supported by systems and strategies that work with the ADHD ers individual strengths and overcome any challenges. Here we look for possible obstacles and specific ways to support the client Lastly when all three of these steps are completed the passion step is the natural by- product of the client stepping into an area of desire and strength and succeeding in a concrete way that ignites their passion, which then begins to change the way they see themselves and leads to more launches. .... And so on... An upward spiral!
This case study will also help you to see for yourself how the coaching partnership works
During exploration as noted earlier, this may take quite some time with Hannah as the layers are many, it wouldn’t be beneficial to Hannah to go in and try to fix all her disorganisation problems without some research into some of the underlying causes, or else you may find yourself back at square one in a few weeks time. Possibly, depending on what we find in launch we will then be exploring what it is Hannah wants to specifically achieve, what that looks like etc There will be some education and reflecting back to Hannah about some of her ADHd traits here too, which ones are in action and how they are impacting her She may be in overwhelm which is why she does not know where to begin and sounds like she has given up. Once into action we will be looking closely at Hannahs strenths and favouyred ways of working to help her begin to tackle some of the things that are hindering her. We will need here to identify any blocks or obstacles, create some systems and strategies and make sure she is supported with whatever tools are going to work best for her
Most of us believe that if we help a person by focusing on their weaknesses and try to get them to improve them they will succeed. but I would say that by focusing on their weakness you only increase their feelings of inadequacy, you affirm that something here is broken! and most importantly you miss their strengths! can you imagine how different our world may be today if they had tried to help Thomas Edison stay in school and focus on improving his poor behaviour and writing skills? would he have gone on to invent? would he have found his strengths? Or Albert Einstein who was described by one of his teachers as &quot;mentally slow and forever adrift in a world of dreams,&quot; what a world we would have if they had never found and stuck to their strengths..... I am not saying we should ignore the challenges, they are very real and need attention, but what I am saying is that by ONLY focussing on weakness without trying to find out what are their gifts are and do your utmost to promote & highlight them is an omission In our communities today are boys and girls, young women and men who have no idea of their gifts, talents or strength, only of their failures, defeats & challenges and if they do know about their strengths they don’t always get a chance to uncover & utilise them. what a difference could it make to our community if the ADHD person could see themselves from a place of strength and confidence, rather than weakness & challenge?
As coaching is a fairly new treatment when it comes to ADHD you may be wondering what they say about it; Ned hallowell in his book wrote; blah blah blah. There are not many studies that prove the efficacy rate of coaching but here is one;
As you can see from the list of traits, they all made a marked reduction after coaching. These traits are not easy to measure, most participants would be asked to rate their own traits on a scale of 1-100, 100 being the most troublesome, whether the results for the client are real or percieved does not matter as the result is the same, if you percieve that you don’t interupt so much, are less anxious and have less difficulty completing tasks that will be your reality. You will have an increased self image and self esteem.
Thanks so much for your time & attention today…. I’d like to thank the Learning Disabilities Association for asking me to speak today, for the opportunity to be able to spread the word about ADHD coaching I hope you take away a new perspective today about ADHD and its treatment options, If you have any more questions I will be around after the talk to hear them. Thank you….
Adhd Talk V3.0
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Uncover the gifts with ADHD Coaching….
Objectives of this session…. <ul><li>Describe and Discuss ADHD. The challenges and treatments </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce you to the concept of ADHD coaching </li></ul><ul><li>Describe why coaching is such a great fit for ADHD </li></ul><ul><li>Show you how the focus on strengths, gifts and talents is essential for creating success & self esteem with ADHD. </li></ul>
But to start with….. <ul><li>About me </li></ul><ul><li>Quick ADHD friendly facts and myths </li></ul>
So what is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? <ul><li>ADHD is a neuro-biological & behavioral condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are the 3 main types* </li></ul>Predominantly Hyperactive Impulsive Predominantly Inattentive * - as classified by DSM-V (diagnostic statistical manual of mental disorders) Combined type
<ul><li>Impulsivity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>inability to modulate or control impulses emotions or desires) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poor transition skills: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>find it difficult to move from one task to another </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hyperactivity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>physically or mentally high energy & movement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inability to sustain focus: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>difficult to see tasks through to completion </li></ul></ul>Common traits / challenges
<ul><li>Black & white thinking: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>all or nothing, no grey areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rumination: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tendency to over think analyse/worry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overwhelm: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The mental or physical shut down that occurs when there is too much information or pressure put on the ADHD er </li></ul></ul>Common traits / challenges
ADHD Facts & Common Myths <ul><li>Fact ; Between 5 & 12 % of school age children have ADHD </li></ul><ul><li>Fact; 80% of children with ADHD go on to suffer from ADHD in adolescence, 60% go on to be adults that still suffer with the disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Fact; up to 70% have a co-morbid condition; (Anxiety, Tourettes, OCD. oppositional defiant disorder, depression, tics) </li></ul><ul><li>Fact; Up to 58% have failed one grade at school </li></ul>
Common Myths <ul><li>Myth - It is over diagnosed, in fact it is still under diagnosed & under treated, especially in females </li></ul><ul><li>Myth ; It is a new age, made up condition. It is actually a scientifically proven and widely accepted neurological/behavioral condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Myth; ADHD 'ers are less intelligent than average people </li></ul><ul><li>Myth: It is not well researched. In fact it is one of the most well researched psychiatric conditions today </li></ul>
The usual treatments Medication (stimulant and non stimulant) Diet & nutrition Naturopathy Physical Exercise Bio-feedback Accommodations (work or school) Psycho-social/behavioural therapy COGMED (a computer based program to increase working memory)
What is ADHD Coaching? <ul><li>Individual programme, customised to the goals the client wants to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>Uses S.M.A.R.T goals to create sustainable success </li></ul><ul><li>Therapeutic partnership approach that is supported by proven systems and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>What it’s not; It is not counselling or dependency </li></ul>
Coaching benefits <ul><li>Coaching specifically works on all of the ADHD traits </li></ul><ul><li>Coaching increases positive self image </li></ul><ul><li>Coaching increases clients self awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Coaching works on the creation of success </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Client brings: </li></ul><ul><li>Readiness for change </li></ul><ul><li>Open to new thinking & concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to work hard </li></ul><ul><li>Honest communication </li></ul><ul><li>The Coach brings: </li></ul><ul><li>Non-judgemental attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Unconditional listening </li></ul><ul><li>Un- attached to outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>No “fixing” or “solving for” </li></ul>Coach-ability?
<ul><li>The coaching focus is on success </li></ul><ul><li>The philosophy is on the who not the what.. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is to discover or uncover the gifts & strengths </li></ul><ul><li>This strength based focus heals self esteem issues </li></ul>The coaching focus
How it works….. <ul><li>Typically 2-3 sessions per month </li></ul><ul><li>Field work, in-between sessions , e-mails and phone blasts </li></ul><ul><li>Most change occurs between the sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Most sessions conducted on the phone </li></ul><ul><li>session length 30 – 45 minutes long </li></ul><ul><li>To see lasting changes coaching should be a minimum of 3 months long </li></ul>
How it works…. The LEAP Model* * - Reproduced with permission from ADDCA
<ul><li>Hannah comes to coaching because she is fed up with her life: </li></ul><ul><li>her car is dirty </li></ul><ul><li>her clothes are a mess </li></ul><ul><li>she has stacks of unread books </li></ul><ul><li>she hates her life </li></ul><ul><li>she has no follow through and thinks there is no hope for her </li></ul><ul><li>she keeps making commitments to herself but gets no-where…. </li></ul>Case study of Hannah..... Summary How can Coaching help Hannah?
<ul><li>During launch & exploration discover what strengths she has & what it is she gets right / does well </li></ul><ul><li>Identify causes & educate about ADHD traits that are hindering </li></ul><ul><li>Explore desires, goals etc.. </li></ul><ul><li>Move into action with support and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Identify her blocks and obstacles and any supports she may already have but not be utilising… </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate successes to re-invent self image </li></ul>Coaching strategies for Hannah
Benefits and outcomes <ul><li>Increase in self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Increased awareness of ADHD traits & how they show up </li></ul><ul><li>More awareness of strengths and gifts </li></ul><ul><li>More successes created </li></ul><ul><li>Learn techniques to catch self in downward spiral, ability to make mental switch & coach self into an upward spiral </li></ul>
<ul><li>I am available after this talk and also at these places; </li></ul><ul><li>www.indigotreecoaching.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Please join me afterwards to answer all your questions. </li></ul>Q&A’s