Six Unique Ways ADHD Coaching Fulfills Your Life with Empowerment

You want to make your life ADHD-friendly but it’s more complicated than you expected. Whether you’re a parent or adult, you decide to seek out a coach so you can better manage living with ADHD, so it doesn’t manage you. 

You’ve heard that ADHD coaching helps, but what makes it so special for individuals living with ADHD? 


Here are six unique ways ADHD Coaching fulfills your life with ADHD with empowerment.  


ADHD Coaching Focuses on Actions  

Coaching closes the gaps between what's important to you and what you're doing. You learn skills that support you to live a life that fits with who you are.  


According to leading ADHD expert Russell Barkley, individuals with ADHD don’t have a skill deficit, but rather a performance deficit. He says that “ADHD is more of a problem of doing what one knows rather than knowing what to do.” 

In coaching we work together on actions you can take in your natural setting, and experiment with when, where, and how optimal conditions work specifically for you and your life situation. 

• You know you need to work on submitting a report on time, but because of distractions with screens, you have difficulty meeting the deadline.
• You know you need to be on time and keep your appointments, but you are consistently late because you’re not aware of the passage of time.
• Your child knows it’s important to share, but is having playdate problems because getting what she wants is more immediately rewarding.  
You and your coach work together to look at your patterns, values, and needs so you can build optimal actions and best practices relevant to your situation.

ADHD Coaching Enhances Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

According to Russell Barkley, “ADHD involves deficits in self-restraint, self-awareness, self-speech, self-sensing, and imagery, self-control of emotion, self-motivation, and self-directed play for problem-solving.” (Barkley, Russell, 1997, ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control). 

Rather than lacking skills or knowledge, Barkley argues that individuals with ADHD have challenges with self-regulation and executive functioning that prevent them from using their proficiencies and expertise effectively. These difficulties show up as delays in the development of self-awareness and self-regulation.  

Coaching helps you develop an awareness of who you are so that you understand your strengths, your innate abilities, your unique brain, your patterns of behavior, and your strongest learning styles, so you can improve your abilities to self-regulate, motivate, problem-solve, and follow-through on what’s important to you. 


Using the Examples Above: 
• You and your coach may work together on your self-awareness when it comes to using screen time, and your distractability. You can partner around skills to monitor your distractability and how to manage your screen use. According to ADHD expert  Thomas E Brown, Ph.D., this is the executive function known as "Attention Management." 
• You and your coach may focus on time awareness and skills related to measuring and keeping track of time. Thomas E Brown, Ph.D., calls this the "Activation Management" executive function. 
• You may work with your coach on managing outbursts and frustration tolerance with your child. Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D. may refer to these challenges as "Emotion Management and "Effort Management" in executive functioning. When working with your child, your coach will assist you to manage yourself and your own patterns as well as those of your child. 
The more aware you are of yourself and what drives you, the more equipped you will be to partner with your coach to create optimal actions, systems, and structures for you to achieve your goals and aspirations.

ADHD Coaching Assists You When You Feel Stuck 

There tends to be some confusion around processing emotions in coaching, but ADHD Coaching IS a place to process emotions. In coaching, rather than staying with your emotions, the goal is about understanding your emotional experiences so that we can do something with them and move forward with the situation. 
By acknowledging attitudes and emotional responses, we can explore underlying obstacles that could be getting in the way.  Once we address these emotions and attitudes, a shift in perspective can move you forward.
You may have a history of failure when it comes to working with large quantitative projects. As a result, you tend to procrastinate on getting started and have trouble following through on jobs that involve lots of complicated figures. Your low self-confidence has led to some challenges with perfectionism and decision-making that make it difficult to prioritize short-term and long-term goals.

In the above example, you and your coach may home in on skills for breaking down the project into steps, prioritizing those steps, and getting the project done.

At the same time, it’s important to address any underlying obstacles that may also be at the root of the problem. In this example, it could also be relevant to work towards some perspective-shifting and skill-enhancing around low self-confidence, fear of failure, perfectionism, and decision-making.


Coaches are trained to build a safe, transparent space for processing uncomfortable emotions and experiences. Coaching is kept strictly confidential as is instructed by the International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics.  

Emotional reflection and self-awareness in coaching can assist you to remove obstacles that may be getting in the way of living a more fulfilling life. 


ADHD Coaching Helps You Set Goals

When you live with ADHD, challenges with planning, decision-making, and future orientation can make goal-setting difficult. Your ADHD coach partners with you to help you clarify and achieve your goals.


You may ultimately know what you want, for example, a meaningful and viable career, but you aren’t sure how to set manageable weekly and daily goals to realize the big picture goal. 

You may feel frozen at times when it comes to setting a goal for a session. Life is chaotic, and it can be tough to zero in on a specific topic, especially when executive functioning challenges are involved. At the same time, a topic of focus centers the session, so you’re continuously moving forward.

I tell my clients not to be too concerned about their initial agenda if they are having trouble narrowing down a topic. Your coach will assist you in funneling down from a variety of ideas that are on your mind to zero in on a session topic that is most relevant to you.

Even if you come to the session with an initial topic, as the session continues, the initial agenda may diverge to another topic of focus. 

You start off focusing on time awareness, but as you begin discussing your challenges, you discover that the obstacle with your time is more about setting boundaries and learning to say “no” to “everyone” who seems to want a piece of your time. You and your coach decide to work on boundaries: how to set them, actions you may want to experiment with towards holding boundaries, and any obstacles that may get in your way for setting and keeping those boundaries. 

ADHD Coaching Encourages You to Develop Skills and Become More Accountable

You may have experienced missed opportunities and failures which have led to disappointment, decreased motivation, or reduced self-esteem. Without judgment, you and your coach look at the learning in an action taken or not taken. This is the key ingredient for real and effective change as you develop new skills and become more accountable. 


Maybe you want to experiment with taking study breaks and working in alternative places besides your bedroom. You decide to set a timer for no more than forty-five minutes for your work periods. You make a list of ideas for what you can do when you take short breaks and long breaks. You also brainstorm options for various study spaces. 

You and your coach work together to learn new skills and help you become more accountable to yourself. In the above example, you learn that setting reminders for your breaks and study periods are effective. You also learn that your best work happens when you take short, productive breaks and when you switch between working at the coffee shop and the local library.

You partner with your coach to apply your new learning, as you build your most suitable practices into other facets of your life. Using the above example, you learn from studying at the coffee shop and library that you focus best in communal, open spaces rather than alone.  You apply that new learning towards building partnerships with study partners and co-workers which enhances your accountability. 

With increased self-awareness and mastery, you move forward with confidence, transforming your life from surviving to flourishing. 

ADHD Coaching Supports Your Unique Relationship with ADHD 

Your challenges with ADHD are not your personal shortcomings and many individuals with ADHD live with similar challenges. At the same time, the impact of your experiences and how they manifest are exclusive to you.


It’s important to understand your unique ADHD brain. Your coach will help you understand how your executive functions direct your unique thoughts and actions. 

Your child with ADHD comes home from school and is resistant about starting their homework. They’re stomping around, and getting more and more worked up about a particular assignment. You’re feeling frustrated and defeated because you know your child is capable, you keep asking them (and yourself) why can't they just do it, and you can't seem to get them to cooperate. 
In the above situation, your child could be struggling with several executive functions that make it difficult to manage getting started on homework, especially for the ADHD brain. Your child could have expended much of her energy into her classes all day and could be exhausted by the end of the day. (Thomas E Bown, Ph.D.'s executive function of "Effort Management.") Planning, organizing, and getting started on homework is a demanding executive function that can be even more stressful when the brain is saturated and drained. (Thomas E Bown, Ph.D.'s executive function of "Activation Management.") The ability to regulate emotions is also an executive function that can be challenging for individuals with ADHD. (Thomas E Bown, Ph.D.'s executive function of "Emotion Management."


Your ADHD coach draws from their understanding of the ADHD brain to help you understand the challenges you’re experiencing.
If you are a parent, as in the above example, whether or not you live with ADHD, your coach also works with you on optimal ways to respond to your child with understanding and calm, so you can enhance your relationship and have less stress in your home.  
When you consider that certain behaviors are neurologically based, your mindset is in a better place to shift from frustration and resentment to resolution and peace. You explore solutions that make the most of your strengths and creative energy.  
To sum up, six unique ways ADHD Coaching fulfills your life with ADHD with empowerment are:
ADHD Coaching:

• Focuses on Actions

• Enhances Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

• Assists You When You Feel Stuck

• Helps You Set Goals

• Encourages You to Develop Skills and Become More Accountable

• Supports Your with Your Unique Relationship with ADHD

If you'd like more information about ADHD coaching or ADHD in general, check out some other articles on my blog here!




Want to try a sample session so you can empower yourself with a more fulfilling life?

Contact me for an ADHD Strategy Assessment and we can talk about some realistic actions you can put into place now!



Barkley, Russell, Ph.D., This is How You Treat ADHD Based on Science, 2012, Burnett Lecture

Brown, Thomas, E., Ph.D., A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function Impairment, First Edition, 2013, Routledge. 

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