ADHD Coaching Grows in Popularity as a New Method for Dealing With ADHD

ADHD Coaching Grows in Popularity as a New Method for Dealing With ADHD

About 4.4 percent of the adult United States population has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, but less than 20 percent of the individuals reported to have it seek help for treatment according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Individuals with ADHD deal with difficulty maintaining attention, problems with working memory and conflicting executive brain functions causing completing small or routine tasks to be more challenging.

Although medications exist for ADHD treatment, another option many have tried and found results in includes a form of life coaching pertaining to strictly ADHD clients and their problems.

Braelyn Smith is a Phoenix resident with ADHD who has attempted ADHD coaching and said she has found many benefits in being a client of the industry.

“For me, the biggest things are focus and my motivation to getting things done,” Smith said. “I really struggle with anything that is tedious and that is something that (ADHD coaching) really helps you overcome is getting those really tedious difficult tasks done.”

ADHD coaching assists clients with ADHD to help them stay focused on setting and obtaining goals as well as addressing core ADHD-related issues like time management according to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.

“I was on medication from age 6 to 22,” Smith said. “I didn’t get a coach until after I graduated college. It would have been a huge life safer to have done it earlier. Medication solves a lot of things, but I think a coach is better personally.”

Smith’s advocacy for ADHD coaching has come from her relationship as a client with Peggy Barber, an ADHD coach in Phoenix who has ADHD herself and said that having the same diagnoses helps her perspective to better understand her client’s problems.

“I have it myself so it’s very personal to me that other people understand how their brain works,” Barber said. “In coaching, we help people understand how their brain works. We relate people’s interest to their goals because ADHD is all about the brain and interest.”

Although Barber and her clients have found progress in her coaching sessions, Barber said the industry is not well known and says more of the population would benefit from knowing ADHD coaching is an option.

“Most people don’t even know it exists. I will go to a networking event and people will say, ‘I didn’t even know that was a thing,’” Barber said. “I think you have here one of the challenges of the industry is educating others.”

Allison Burns, a leader of a local ADHD support group through the nation’s leading nonprofit organization serving people affected by ADHD, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, said treatment of ADHD is not simply about finding a singular solution and results differ among everyone.

“Find a solution is working with all pieces of a puzzle,” Burns said. “Medicine can work, but not always. It depends on the person.”

Burns said while there is no evidence of a big trend in the industry’s presence causing more ADHD coaches to appear, this could be due to a huge part of the population not knowing it exists.

“A lot of ADHD coaching pertains to word of mouth,” Burns said. “Coaching has been around, but it’s still not necessarily on the rise.”

According to Barber, another challenge facing the industry is coaching is not offered as an option under health insurance providers.

“The other big challenge for our industry is health insurance,” Barber said. “People ask me, ’Does health insurance pay for this?’ and right now it does not.”

Smith said her experience with Barber did not last long for strictly financial reasons, but says if she was able to afford it, she would continue to be a client of ADHD coaching.

“I feel like maybe if doctors knew about it and could tell people at their diagnoses, ‘Here is all your treatment options,’ and people are scared of medication or don’t want to try medication, I think that ADHD coaching can be a great replacement for that,” Smith said.

Smith is hopeful that as time goes on, more people will become aware of the benefits of ADHD coaching and the possibility to obtaining results the way she did in places where medication may not be as helpful.

“I hope that more people find out about it because it is really so helpful and with so many people being diagnosed, I think it is something that’s really needed in society.”

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