Is an ADD Coaching Career for YOU?

Do I have what it takes to become an ADD Coach?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
with Peggy Ramundo, 
In support of The ADD in the Spirit Coach Training Program Series

Caricature of Madelyn with a visor, pearls, earrings, and a striped t-shirt with an ADDCoach logoAre there prior requirements?

Do I need to have completed a specific level of education before I enroll in the ADD in the Spirit Coach training program?


Must I have completed some other kind of coach training for coaching basics?


Other than advanced ADD Coach training, educational or training prerequisites for ADD Coach Training of any type makes NO sense!

ADD coaching is about leading from the heart, not the head 

  • There is very little from the educational paradigm that relates
    — to coaching of any type, but especially to “ADD-flavored” coaching.
  • ADD Coaching techniques are ADD-specific.
    “Vanilla-flavored” coaching skills don’t help ADD clients much.
    (Some vanilla skills actually makes things more difficult for them!)

What do you mean by ADD-specific?

Much of what is taught in the “vanilla” flavored coach training programs was designed to be effective with neurotypical brain styles, developed with no understanding or consideration of Executive Functioning differences what-so-ever.

ADD Coaching often seems counter-intuitive to coaches who don’t know much about the brain and aren’t trained in brain-based coaching techniques, because our primary objectives are frequently at opposite ends of the spectrum:

Vanilla clients are helped by encouragement to stretch, grow and “think outside the box”

  1. In the vanilla brain, filtering and focusing is not only NOT impaired, it sometimes results in thinking that can become rigid, or “uncreative.”
  2. Besides lack of skill or knowledge, when a vanilla client is stuck (not taking action), they generally need their coaches to help MOTIVATE them, or to help them “think outside the box.”

ADD clients need help filtering and focusing!

  1. The ADD brain is sometimes accused of being “too” creative!  ADDer’s are more likely to need help “locating the box” – they are already thinking outside it!
    (Your ADDers won’t be helped much by techniques and skills designed to encourage them to think of MORE things they can do, or an expanded range of choices they must sift through to make a decision!)
  2. When an ADD client is stuck, it’s rarely for lack of motivation.
    Techniques designed to connect them with the importance of action, or the benefits of action are actually DE-motivating because they add stress that activates the amygdala, which shuts down the Pre-frontal Cortex [PFC] — the very part of the brain they need to be ABLE to do the work!

ADD-flavored coaching requires:

  1. an ADD-specific “tweaking” or “spin” to vanilla core competencies, focusing on ACTIVATION, not motivation — different concepts with different neuro-chemical combinations driving them.
  2. the addition of a great many new skills developed to assist ADD clients to work with and work around what you will learn about ADD brain wiring.

Still wondering if you have what it takes?

As long as most of the statements below ring true for you, you DO have what it takes to become an effective ADD coach:

  • I feel like I have been doing something like coaching most of my life already.
  • My friends and family often seek me out when they need a friendly ear or help reaching a decision.
  • MORE than being understood, I need to understand
  • I am able to listen without judgment to various points of view
  • I am curious and eager to learn along with my clients
  • ADD has had a personal or professional impact on my life
  • I have handled my own issues well enough to be able to show up fully present, ready to shine the flashlight on my client
  • I am passionate about being of service to others

I understand and accept the following realities:

  • I don’t have to be “an expert” to coach ADDers with expertise
  • None of us must have perfect lives to begin coaching others
  • ADDers don’t need to be “fixed” —  they aren’t broken.
  • ADDers need acceptance, love, and encouragement to find their own solutions through a process of self-discovery designed to help compensate for impaired Executive Functioning that is part and parcel of an ADD diagnosis. 

ADD in the Spirit Coach Training
(Links below turn RED on mousover)

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

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