The Benefits of an ADHD Coaching Partnership
Young adults with ADHD and unhoned executive function skills may have problems with planning, organizing, prioritizing, self-regulation, and sustained attention. They may also have difficulties managing frustration or modulating emotions. Coaching can help these individuals achieve success in their daily lives by helping them to:
1. build structure,
2. develop skills & habits to achieve goals,
3. understand their learning styles & needs,
4. identify resources & self-advocate,
5. gain confidence & independence, and
6. appreciate their many strengths.
ADHD coaching is a partnership between a trained coach and a student client who wishes to manage his/her life more effectively. Coaching is individualized and action-focused so that the student is working to build productive habits and systems leading to the fulfillment of personal goals. ADHD can affect academics, relationships, responsibilities, wellness, and transitions to college. Coaching can help in all areas of life affected by ADHD, but more importantly, coaching can help weather the storm of reaching adulthood with ADHD by building confidence through the development of more effective executive function skills.
An evidence-based intervention, coaching is increasingly seen as a valuable component of a multimodal approach to ADHD management. Since 2000, five studies have documented the effectiveness of coaching adolescents with ADHD. In 2013, the Edge Foundation completed a pivotal two-year study demonstrating the benefits of coaching students with ADHD (www.edgefoundation.org), and at the 2011 Annual CHADD Conference (Children and Adults with ADHD), Harvard psychiatrist Timothy Wilens, MD addressed the importance of ADHD coaching, citing a growing body of research documenting its efficacy (www.chadd.org). According to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (www.adda.org), “Coaching intervention can make a real difference in how people with ADHD negotiate their own particular deficits and cope with life on a daily basis.”
What is VEC Coaching?
- A partnership between a trained coach and a young client
- An approach that puts young people in the driver’s seat, empowering them to find their own solutions to problems affecting:
Transitions; e.g., College
- A means to develop life skills and personal habits that will help students manage their lives effectively and reach personal goals independently
The coaching partnership begins with a student who seeks positive change. From there, goals are identified and a plan is developed with short and long-term strategies to work toward reaching those goals. Specific action steps are defined, and modifications are made as the student learns what works best for his/her individual needs. The relationship between coach and student client is contractual: coach-monitored accountability supports progress toward a successful outcome.
Coaching does not replace but can complement other effective strategies. These strategies may include individual and/or family therapy, academic support, medication, lifestyle modification (e.g., exercise, diet, sleep), and supportive friends and family.
Valerie English Cooper
VEC Coaching, LLC