An ADHD Coach is your partner in creating success for yourself. She helps you discover and work with your unique brain wiring, leverage your strengths and passions and create an environment that supports your success. Finding the right coach for yourself or your loved one is of paramount importance to this process. Here are 3 things to consider when looking for your Coach:
1. Training and Education
First, consider the coach's training and background. Coaching is not a licensed profession, which means that anyone can call themselves a coach, with or without training. To find a truly qualified coach, inquire about where they trained and what their credentials are. At the minimum, I would suggest looking for someone who has graduated from an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited training program and is ICF credentialed. This tells you that the Coach has met a certain standard of skills, has had some rigorous training, takes continuing education courses, and abides by the ICF Code of Ethics. There are only a few ADHD Coach Training programs that are fully accredited by ICF.
You can also look for Coaches credentialed by the Professional Association for ADHD Coaches (PAAC) which is the main body that credentials specifically ADHD Coaches through a rigorous review process. The professional directories at the PAAC and ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) websites are good resources to find coaches who have been vetted for their training and skill level.
2. Passion and Conviction
Another important piece for me is the Coach's passion and conviction. You want to work with someone who is passionate about coaching and has a deep belief in the coaching process that comes from evidence, experience and understanding. With ADHD Coaching, you especially want to work with a coach who has a depth of understanding, not just breadth of knowledge. The coach should be able to connect the dots for you between the biological basis for the ADHD symptoms and challenges you are experiencing, how these symptoms and challenges show up for you and what to do to manage them successfully. Ask lots of questions and feel out their responses.
Another thing you can do is to ask if the coach gets coaching herself. The best coaches out there believe in coaching enough to invest in it for themselves and to be the best that they can be personally and professionally. They work with senior mentor coaches who ensure continued training for the coach much like an apprenticeship.
Finally, trust your instinct and gut. You will be working closely with your coach, so you want to choose someone that you trust, feel comfortable talking to and like. Avoid feeling pressured into any coaching arrangements, but do take action when it is the right time and the right coach for you. Most coaches are happy to talk to you up front and answer all your questions without any obligation. The best coaches are as interested in finding a good fit as you are and are happy to refer you to someone else if they think that would better serve you. Coaching is an extremely positive experience for most people with ADHD and can be truly transformational.