ADHD COACHING FOR KIDS, TEENS AND ADULTS

Have you ever heard of moonshot thinking? It means thinking big, and then thinking even bigger than that! It means striving for the biggest goal imaginable, and going for it, even when your chances of making that goal happen seem very, very small.

When President John F. Kennedy spoke to Congress on May 25, 1961, his words came to be known as the moonshot speech. He promised that the US would land astronauts on the moon within a decade; and that’s exactly what NASA did on July 16, 1969. At the time of the moonshot speech, American engineers weren’t even close to having the know-how, or the technology, to make a moon landing possible. But thinking big pushed the dream forward, making it real.

Moonshot Thinking in ADHD
Moonshot thinking is exciting and inspiring. But it’s not easy thinking in moonshots, especially if ADHD is part of your life. Maybe you struggle to complete work tasks. Maybe your child with ADHD forgets about homework, misplaces sports equipment, and consistently loses wallets and cell phones. Without treatment, ADHD will remind you or your child (again and again, day after day) about goals that can’t be accomplished rather than ones that can.

Coaching can be an effective therapy for individuals with ADHD who want to make goals happen—not just the daily tasks, but bigger moonshots, too. At Possibilities, we now offer ADHD Coaching for kids, teens and adults.

Here are some common questions we are asked about ADHD Coaching, in general, and about our own Possibilities Coaching Program for kids, teens and adults.

Why is coaching such a popular treatment in ADHD?
In ADHD, it’s hard to stay focused on tasks and get them done, especially if tasks are demanding and not too exciting. It’s also hard figuring out the steps needed to work through tasks, and to estimate how long those steps are going to take. Coaching is effective in ADHD because clinicians help clients tackle goals systematically by identifying concrete steps, estimating more objectively how long steps are going to take, brainstorming strategies, and checking in regularly to see what worked and what didn’t. Coaching can help move individuals with ADHD move forward, bringing them closer to goals and dreams.

    What is an “ADHD Coach”?
    Generally, an ADHD Coach is someone who helps people with ADD or ADHD achieve specific, meaningful goals. At the Possibilities Clinic, all our coaches are Registered Allied Health Professionals. We have registered Psychotherapists, registered Psychologists, and registered Social Workers on our Coaching Team. That means our coaches are all licensed mental health professionals who adhere to specific mental health training and practice guidelines defined by their profession.
    What kinds of approaches or strategies do your therapists use in their coaching sessions?
    Our coaches use various approaches—from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)—to Psychoeducational approaches that explain how the brain works and how specific strategies can support skills called executive functions.
    Do coaches use different strategies with children and teens?
    Our coaches rely on the same kinds of therapies used with adults, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to support executive functioning, but these therapies are delivered in ways that are accessible and meaningful for younger clients. For children and teens who like to draw, doodling in a blank comic book is a big part of our unique Kid Coaching Program developed by experts at Possibilities! Instead of writing out the steps in a task, clients choosing the drawing option doodle the steps they need to follow to reach their goals. Over the sessions, the personal comic books that our young clients create become great motivators for getting tasks done and drawing the next goal-setting comic strip. 

    Who can benefit from ADHD Coaching?
    Our coaches work with children, teens and adults who are struggling to get tasks done and reach specific goals. The approaches and strategies we use in our Possibilities Coaching Program are adjusted in ways that are appropriate for clients of different ages. If adults like to doodle, we can incorporate a journaling/doodling approach into an adult coaching program, too.
    What happens in an ADHD Coaching session?
    If you are an adult seeking coaching, you’ll work with a coach in your first session to identify personal strengths, and review challenges that keep getting in the way of successful problem-solving. You’ll discuss some myths and facts about ADHD with your coach, too—to ensure you have the most up-to-date information about ADHD and how it may have been holding you back. Next, you’ll begin working collaboratively with your coach to craft goals and actions for achieving them.

    Generally, here’s what you’ll do with your coach within our Possibilities Coaching Program:

    • Identify 3 to 4 meaningful goals that you want to work towards
    • Identify smaller steps to be taken over a specific period of time—usually a week or two—to accomplish specific goals
    • Learn how to write small, easy-to-follow weekly goals or objectives
    • Explore organizational tools to help you stay on track with your goals
    • Use critical problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles that get in the way of your accomplishments
    • Identify effective strategies that can be applied to all areas of your life

    For children and teens, goals and strategies are also explored with the coach. Parents are involved in some of the child and teen sessions, too, to help provide information about school and home goals, and to help with strategies that will happen outside of the coaching session.

    Is coaching just about getting tasks done?
    No, not entirely. Setting goals that are meaningful to you—and that you can achieve with support—is a big part of any ADHD Coaching program. But when goals become reality, you can begin to revise the stories you tell yourself about who you are, and what you’re able to accomplish. Maybe your stories have started with the words, “I can’t” or “I’ll never be able to…” When you start making goals happen, you can begin to see yourself as a person capable of achieving great things. The same change in thinking can occur for your child or teen, too, when success starts to happen more consistently and more often. So no, coaching isn’t just about getting tasks done. It’s about changing self-perceptions. It’s about giving discouragement, defeat and disappointment a much smaller role in crafting the stories you tell about who you are, or who your child or teen is. Coaching is about encouraging through success, and growing confidence and esteem along the way.
    How many coaching sessions are there?
    At Possibilities, coaching is offered in six-session blocks. Each session builds on the previous one, starting with a check-in on progress over the previous week. You and your coach will discuss what worked well, what challenges arose, and what changes can be made going forward.

    Can there be more than 6 sessions?

    Of course! On your sixth coaching session, you and your coach will discuss next steps. You have the option of continuing another 6-Week Coaching Program or adding on individual Booster Sessions (e.g., 1 to 2 appointments per month) for maintenance and check-ins.
    How often do coaching sessions occur?
    Coaching sessions typically happen once, every one to two weeks. More than two weeks between sessions will make it difficult to determine which weekly goals were met, and which ones need to be revised. A one-to-two week pace also means you’ll see change fast when it comes to accomplishing what you’re determined to achieve.
    What goals are covered in coaching sessions?
    The goals covered in coaching depend on what is meaningful for each client. You may have goals that relate to work and home. Your child may have goals that relate to school, and to tasks you want them to accomplish at home, too. In the child and teen coaching program, parents participate for part of each session so goals can be identified collaboratively, and parents can help support strategies between coaching sessions.

    For all clients, whether adults, teens or kids, some “right now” goals are identified and tackled. But some time is spent on Moonshots, too—or the long-term, big and starry dream goals that you or your child have always wanted to accomplish. Maybe you want to be the manager of your division at work, the lead designer on your team, a published graphic novelist, or an employee who soars through probation and lands a permanent position with your dream company. Maybe your child wants to be an astronaut, an archaeologist, a singer, or a chef! Our coaches can help you or your child explore those dreams, too. At Possibilities, ADHD Coaching is about more than improving day-to-day functioning. It’s about creating exciting possibilities for the future, too!

    How will you know if ADHD Coaching is working?
    In ADHD Coaching, we work collaboratively with clients to increase their chances of reaching meaningful goals successfully. We work hard to tailor your goals, and the work needed to get there, in ways that maximize the chances of success, keeping in mind personal strengths and strategies that can be leveraged, and anticipating challenges you and your child are likely to encounter along the way. If well-crafted steps are followed, work gets done, and goals are met, then that’s success. And when you or your child learn through coaching how to approach new goals systematically, then that’s success, too!

    What is the cost of a coaching session?
    The cost of one coaching session ranges from $180 to $255, depending on the clinician providing the service.

    For more information about the Possibilities Coaching Program, please contact us at info@possibilitiesclinic.com or call 1-833-482-5558. You can also get started right away by completing our Child and Adolescent Intake Form or our Adult Intake Form. Once this form is received, our Care Coordinator will review your needs, match you to an appropriate clinician, and get back to you with booking options.