Recently I had the following question asked by someone who follows me on my Facebook page and I thought the answer might be useful to many of you.
What is the best way to find an ADHD coach?
There are a couple of ways to find a trained ADHD coach who understands the challenges of ADHD.
Use the Internet
It may surprise you that traditionally, coaches are trained so they can work equally as well with their clients over the phone as in person. Many also use Skype or other virtual tools to connect over long distances. This allows you to not be limited by geography.
A great place to start looking for an ADHD coach is with the ADHD Coaches Organization at www.ADHDcoaches.org. It is a community of ADHD coaches who are active in the profession. You can search geographically if you like or by the type of coaching they do. For instance some coaches specialize in working with adult women, children and families, college students and specific professions.
And even though it may seem like you are searching for a needle in a haystack, I encourage you to do a Google search, using the words “coaching for ADHD” and contact some of the coaches you find. Professional ADHD coaches will have a website with information about themselves online and often a complimentary opportunity to have an initial conversation to learn about their coaching so you can get a sense of who they are.
Check out their background
Next, when choosing a coach, pay attention to where or how they received their training and if they have an International Coach Federation credential (www.InternationalCoachFederation.org ). Unfortunately these days, people can legally call themselves a coach without any specific coach training. Professional ADHD coaches will have had specific ADHD Coach training and have a credential with the International Coach Federation, the regulating body that sets the standards for credentialed coaches. An easy way to determine this? Look at the letters after their name. If they have an ACC, PCC or MCC, then they have successfully completed accredited training programs and received credentials or certification.
Ask prospective coaches what their experience has been working with people like you. Ask them, how long have they been a coach? What is their approach to coaching? Coaches will differ in how long their sessions last, how often they meet with their clients and the level of support they offer. Experienced coaches will have no problem sharing this information with you. I recommend interviewing at least three coaches before you make a decision.
Below is a list of questions you might want to ask a prospective coach:
- How long have you been an ADHD coach? Do you coach full-time or part-time?
- Approximately how many people have you coached—and over what period of time? What percentages of your clients have ADHD?
- What kind of ADHD coach training do you have?
- Are you credentialed by the International Coach Federation?
- What is your personal experience with ADHD?
- Why did you become an ADHD coach?
- What is your personal belief about ADHD?
- What are your areas of expertise (working with entrepreneurs, artists, parents, couples, men or women, parents, students, relationships, career development)?
- Can you describe for me your process of coaching someone?
- What is a coaching session like?
- How often would we have a coaching session?
- What will you expect from me during coaching (filling out forms, doing homework, emailing or phoning you between sessions)?
- How will my progress be monitored?
- How will I know when I am ready to end coaching with you?
- How will coaching work with my therapist, teacher, boss, doctor, etc.?
- When would my coaching sessions be scheduled? Can we meet in person? Over the phone? Skype?
- Can I email or call you between sessions?
- How long do clients typically work with you?
- How much does your coaching cost? How do you accept payment? When do payments need to be made?
- What is your policy if I have to cancel an appointment?
Trust your gut
Finally, pay attention to how you felt when you were talking or meeting with each candidate. Did you feel comfortable, listened to, connected to them? Your “gut instinct” is an important criterion for choosing the right coach. You will get a sense that a certain coach just “feels right”.
Knowing these steps you can begin to compare apples and apples when interviewing prospective coaches and have the best chance to find a coach that fits you best.
NOTE: Another option if looking for a coach – you can fill out this form here (and send it to Meg at firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will share the information with our IACTCenter coaches who I have personally trained and mentored!
Thank you Laurie! Great articles with sound advice! I continue to share your wealth of experience with others.
Great content Laurie! I see you are recommending ICF credentialing. It’s my understanding that ICF only credentials life coaching. So how can a consumer be assured that an ICF credentialed coach has the specific knowledge and coach training on ADHD?? I’m thankful that you included ADHD knowledge in your questioning, however, I feel important that your readers should also know that there is ADHD coach training credentials out there in addition to ICF.
Hi Lee! There is no other additional ADHD coaching credential or certification that is recognized by the ADHD coaching profession or the ICF. An organization called PAAC (the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches) has emerged that claims to “set the global and gold standard for ADHD coaching”, and that coaches need their certification. However this is very misleading because you do not need their certification to be an ADHD coach and borders on unethical because the training program it is associated with, ADDCA, tells it’s students they need this additional certification at an additional cost, not to mention that ADDCa’s staff are also on the board of the PAAC.