Are you ready for a big truth? It’s really very big…
Okay, here goes:
An ADHD Life CoachTM is not a Life Coach. Let me explain.
While an ADHD Life CoachTM is trained with the same skills, competency, and ethics as any other regulating body, there is one primary difference.
ADHD Life Coaches understand how ADHD impacts behaviors, experiences, and common emotions of the ADHD brain so the person living with an ADHD diagnosis can thrive BECAUSE of this uniqueness.
A Life Coach typically does not. This does not mean that they are not great at coaching. It means that for a person living with an ADHD diagnosis, their life has unique twists and turns that are often misunderstood and require specialized training.
ADHD is a Lifelong Companion
Ultimately, there is no cure for ADHD. It is a lifelong disorder that people are born with. Unless one receives a diagnosis, they often believe that something is “wrong” with their brain. For adults who believe that they’ve “grown out” of their ADHD, they usually have moved into a life and career that actually works WITH their ADHD brain.
The question that I hear from clients is:
“Am I crazy because I think this way?”
The relief in their shoulders when I say “no!” is so powerful as they realize that it’s just a part of how their brain works…and something that can be worked with, not against!
From there, the peace and self acceptance that clients have of themselves when they learn this is instantaneous as they start to work with someone who “gets it.”
The Missing Piece for HOPE
Time and again, I’ve had clients say, “you are the missing piece.” But, it’s not me necessarily (although…I do have a bit of Laurie sparkle I suppose that shines a light on my passion for what I do). It’s the ability to help individuals struggling to live their FULL life with an ADHD diagnosis by helping them work WITH their ADHD to their advantage.
The difference between a Life Coach and an ADHD Life Coach™ is that an ADHD Life Coach™ recognizes that ADHD is just one piece of the whole person. That the ADHD is actually impacting the person’s whole life in some way – whether relationships, professional career, financial aspects, etc. – but that it’s not all who they are.
Parents and ADHD Children
“My child is so messy! Is this normal?”
When an ADHD Life Coach™ works with a child, we work with their whole family. Part of our ability is to help people distinguish between ADHD behavior and what’s considered “normal” behavior.
A messy room could really be a symptom of an ADHD brain. It’s the reason behind the child’s reason for a messy room. For example, out of sight, out of mind. This is not a direct act of rebellion that their room is messy. It’s simply that it’s not right in front of them so they truly have no idea that the room is messy.
From there, we are able to provide tools for both the child AND the parents to work together in supporting the strengths of their child and areas that require help.
A Life Coach is typically not able to understand the neurobiology, behavior, and emotions that accompany ADHD so they can blend them with the strengths of the individual. ADHD Life Coaches have this additional layer of expertise.
A great example of where a number of ADHD clients struggle is with time management. They either:
- Underestimate time, giving themselves too much to do in too short a period,
- Overestimate time, causing overwhelm with “all that must be done,” so they don’t even start, or
- Become time blind and get lost in time, not knowing that time has actually passed.
Because an ADHD Life Coach™ understands these unique aspects of ADHD brains, we are able to provide tools that work with their specific time hiccups.
At the end of the day, both Life Coaches and ADHD Life Coaches want to empower the individuals we work with. But, with ADHD, there is the added layer for the client of having to be an advocate for themselves within the medical system; of helping them realize that they are not broken, but are truly unique; and help to reignite hope by using their ADHD rather than silencing it.
More than anything, there are over 500 million people around the world who live with an ADHD diagnosis. This is not a small population. We, as ADHD Life Coaches, are passionate about helping people accept and love themselves as they are because we understand how their brain works. No longer do they have to try and figure out how to work with other people’s brain styles. They can FINALLY feel confident working with the one they have – their true lifelong companion.
If you are curious as to whether ADHD Life Coaching™ is for you, I highly recommend the iACTcenter’s ADHD Life Coach Training program. It gives you the tools to know how to confidently support persons living with an ADHD diagnosis and make a positive difference in their life. Learn more here: https://www.iactcenter.com/coach-training/
If you yourself have ADHD, or suspect you do, I recommend talking to someone who has this specialty to help you navigate your brain style, behaviors, and emotions so you can live a truly fulfilling life!