Can An ADHD Coach Help Improve Your Productivity?

The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

If you have ADHD and feel like your medication isn’t doing quite as much as you might need it to, you should consider looking into a professional ADHD coach. Having ADHD as an adult can make it more challenging to hold down a full-time job or be as productive as neurotypical people might be at the same job. Having ADHD does not mean you are weak, immature, or unintelligent—it means your brain simply works differently than other people’s.

You may find tips on the internet to help minimize the impact of ADHD on your day-to-day life. It can seem unfair to have to shoulder the burden of keeping up with everyday responsibilities while also being your own ADHD doctor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In addition to medication and talk therapy, a certified ADHD coach can help you manage challenges that arise when your ADHD symptoms collide with real-life circumstances.

What Is An ADHD Coach?

This professional works directly with ADHD-diagnosed individuals to help them reach their goals. An ADHD coach can help their client identify barriers preventing them from moving forward in their personal or professional lives. While psychologists can prescribe medicine that aims to treat the root causes of ADHD, a coach can meet clients exactly where they are in life with ADHD and help them when the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

ADHD Coaches Are Not…

Therapists or medical professionals. They cannot prescribe medication. They also cannot confirm a suspected ADHD diagnosis or diagnose any co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. 

Additionally, no overarching entity grants licenses or credentials for ADHD coaches, like a state department would for mental health professionals. Several entities are legally allowed to bestow credentials for individuals who complete the respective requirements, so it is ultimately up to you to decide which organization you trust. For more on ADHD coaching credentials and qualifications, see this BetterHelp article on managing ADHD symptoms with the help of a coach.

How Does A Session Work?

After you select an ADHD coach, you’ll meet for an extended first session to get to know each other and establish clear goals. You will probably need to provide some context about your ADHD journey and how it affects your life. The coach will try to ascertain the main hurdles you must overcome to reach your goals.

Be prepared to meet with your coach every two weeks or so for progress reports. The two of you will likely reflect on how you’re moving toward your goals and how you’ve confronted roadblocks. You will likely agree on how long you will work with your coach by the end of the first session.

Specific Items To Discuss With Your ADHD Coach

The great thing about having a coach is that you receive personalized instruction on how ADHD interacts with your unique circumstances. A few topics you might need help with include:

  • Time management
  • Focusing on important tasks
  • Managing anger and other strong emotions correlated with ADHD
  • Effective communication
  • Maintaining meaningful interpersonal relationships
  • Academic study skills

How To Choose An ADHD Coach

Finding the right ADHD coach is not unlike finding the right therapist. It’s important to find someone with whom you have a good connection; it also helps if your coach has experience working with similar clientele with similar goals.

Other details you may want to think about could be:

  • How long has this coach been in the profession? 
  • What credentials, if any, does this coach have?
  • What is the fee structure for this coach’s services like?
  • Is this coach high-energy or more subdued?
  • Would this coach consult with my therapist?
  • How does this coach handle communication outside of sessions?
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