Coaching the Easter Bunny – when help hurts


EBA Client’s Story
(With Permission)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

I usually use pseudonyms in my client examples to protect client confidentiality.  When I DO use a real name, it is always with client permission — the Bunny himself has vetted this post.

How it happened

The Easter Bunny was one of my first clients, way back when coaching itself was a budding profession. (Oh, you’re a coach.  What sport?) 

This was before I founded The Optimal Functioning Institute™ — even before I began taking registrations for the first group to go through the A.C.T. program, the ADD-specific coaching curriculum I designed that launched the the entire ADD Coaching field.

At that time I was one of the very few coaches on the planet at all, and one of the fewer still who understood how to work with ADD.  So that’s the reason the Easter Bunny found his way to me. Now you might assume from that explanation that EB, as he is known to his friends, hired me to help with his own struggles with ADD

Seriously, a bunny delivering baskets of colored, hard-boiled eggs? YEARLY!? To every kid in America? One would suspect AD“H”D.

But one would be wrong.

He came for Mentor Coaching, hoping to learn how to help someone else — his business partner and very best friend in the whole wide world (who has ADD, possibly with anxiety comorbid).

BECAUSE his very best friend was no longer speaking to him — due to an incident that could have been avoided if EB had only come to me sooner.

He agreed to full disclosure of his story so that none of you would make the same mistake with someone you love (because that’s just the kind of hare he is).

A Strange Duo

It’s essential that you understand from the start that EB’s best friend is a real chicken.  No, really – a chicken (like the kind that lay eggs, right?)

In fact, the whole colored egg thing was his best friend’s idea to begin with.  He needed EB’s help since most of the chickens he knew were armless types, and the whole idea just took off from there.

Eventually it became a Big Magilla production — with an entire fleet of bunnies collecting eggs, hard-boiling eggs, coloring eggs, putting eggs and grass in baskets, and helping with deliveries.  (I mean, they’re EGGS, right?  They go bad — it’s not like they could stockpile.)

Another interesting fact you may not know is that Big Magilla was the very first company on the planet that was completely integrated. They have actively recruited both chickens and bunnies since inception, male and female, young and old — regardless of breeding, color or markings.

Where gender equality is concerned the bunny brigade has a pristine record but, for obvious reasons, the chicken cadre is primarily female — not really discriminatory since the ability to lay is what they call an essential job skill.

They employ the elderly, handicapped and mentally impaired mostly in the basket department – which has turned out to be a wonderful idea.  Some of the most talented and industrious basket weavers in America work for Magilla.

The kids are interns – grass cultivation and packaging mostly.

All things considered, it is a very forward-thinking business model.  But when one of the founding partners isn’t speaking to the other, that’s a crisis that needs a turn-around coach.

That’s when EB found an early Trainer-Team listing on the CoachU website and decided to hire me.

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Self-Harm Specifics – ADD girls at greater risk


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn
red on mouseover.

In the What Kind of World do YOU Want? series
Part III of an article on Self-Injury & CUTTING
Intenational Self-harm Awareness Day – March 1

OrangeRibbonSelfHarmThere are NO graphic photos or descriptions, BUT if you self-injure, make SURE you are emotionally protected so that reading this article will not precipitate an episode. Have a list of substitute strategies available to self-soothe in healthier ways – you are stronger than you think, nobody’s perfect and I’m on your side!

The Cycle of Self-Harm

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
CLICK HERE for Part II:  SI/Anxiety link

self-harm-cycleHow Pervasive
is the Problem?

Self-harm, or Self-Injury [SI] can be found with greater frequency in certain disorder-populations than its incidence in the population as a whole.

It has been listed in the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-IV-TR] as a symptom of borderline personality disorder.

However, according to a 2007 journal-published study it is also found in otherwise high-functioning individuals who have no underlying clinical diagnosis.

(Klonsky, E.D.,”Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: An Introduction” – Journal of Clinical Psychology &
“The functions of deliberate self-injury: A review of the evidence” – Clinical Psychology Review)

Self-harm behaviour [SI] can occur at any age, including in the elderly population. The risk of serious injury and suicide is reportedly higher in older people who self-harm.

Acording to Klonsky, patient populations with other diagnoses who are more likely to be drawn to self-harm as a coping strategy include individuals with the following disorders:

There is disagreement between experts as to whether SI is part of the symptom profile included in these diagnoses, or whether it is actually a separate diagnosis that is comorbid with a number of other diagnoses.

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Understanding the link between anxiety & self-harm


Trigger Warning for cutters

Part II of an article on Self-Injury & CUTTING
Intenational Self-harm Awareness Day – March 1
In the What Kind of World do YOU Want? series

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aaaclipart.com

What do YOU do to beat back anxiety?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Father and Mother, and Me, 
Sister and Auntie say 
All the people like us are We, 
And every one else is They.

“We’re all islands shouting lies to each other
across seas of misunderstanding.”

~ both by Rudyard Kipling

As I said in the first part of this article, introducing
The Butterfly Project, “to my knowledge, cutting and
other types of self-injury are not true ‘ADD/EFD Comorbids.‘”

ANXIETY, however, is one of the comorbid disorders  — BIGtime  (although not always at levels that warrant an official diagnosis as a disorder, or so incapacitating it requires medication to manage).

Everybody deals with anxiety

In 25 years of experience in the coaching field, I have found the attempt to avoid feelings of anxiety beneath almost all of the ineffective strategies and maladaptive behaviors I have run across, in both “vanilla” and ADD/EFD-flavored coaching situations.

Why?

  • Although humans beings crave novelty to keep us interested and engaged, anything new and different carries a certain element of risk.
  • Risk has both feet in uncertain territory. Human brains tend to prefer safety and security to risk.
  • To feel safe once more — and quickly, too — we humans have a tendency to exhibit a range of ineffective or maladaptive behaviors when we are unsure.

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