ADD coaching. Is it effective? Worth the investment?
July 28, 2013 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Therapy and medications help, but I need more. Should I give coaching a shot? If so, how much should I expect to pay, what should I look for in a coach and who should I go to in Portland, Or.? Thanks!

ADD inattentive type here with the not-too-usual depression piggy back. It's slowly dawning on me that I've underestimated my degree of impairment and need to take my condition more seriously. It took a long time to nail down an accurate diagnosis and I finally seem to be on a good combination of Adderall and Lamotrigine.

For the most part I've been pretty resistant to the idea of coaching - it strikes me as bit cheesy and generally subject to all manner of charlatans and quackery. Buuuuut, I'm not getting as far as I want with the meds, therapy, and books on organization/time management. I'm thinking I need something of a benevolent task master - someone who can help me stitch together what I am getting out of therapy/meds/books into a cohesive way to manage my condition. It seems like a coach could be useful.

What should I look for in a good coach? What are reasonable fees? What should I expect? Referrals for folks in the Portland, Or. area would be greatly appreciated - I'd like someone I can meet with in person at least a few times.

Thanks so much.

PS. My therapist and I have talked about working together in a more "coach like" way and we both decided that it's best to keep the roles/function of therapist and coach separate.
posted by space_cookie to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have a writing coach who specializes in ADHD and the creative process. She charges a separate rate for editing and individual calls (I think it's 60 for an hour, and most individual sessions are 30. I can't remember the paper rate, but I think it's by page?), and also offers small group rates (60 for an hour, split between 3 group members).

She helps you both manage your work/writing life and your ADHD symptoms.
posted by spunweb at 2:17 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

My friend with ADHD hired a personal assistant to come in for a few hours a couple of times a week and help him keep on task with stuff that otherwise slips past him. The PA helps him put together a "to do" list for the next few days, talk through the previous one and what got done and what didn't, and what the roadblocks were. They help with some of the roadblocks if possible, e.g. if that skype meeting didn't happen because my friend's headset broke and he never got around to getting a new one, the PA will pick one up for him on her way there next time. The PA also helps him create and stick to a budget, analysing expenses and sorting tax paperwork and so on. She also points out household stuff that he wouldn't notice otherwise (e.g. the mailbox is stuffed full like he hasn't checked it for a week, or the fridge is nearly empty and wasn't he planning on having friends over for dinner tomorrow?)

I don't know how my friend found this person, but I gather her previous experience was mainly general PA work in offices. It took them a while to figure out exactly what he needed from her and where the boundaries should be, but they've been doing well for a few years now.

I don't know if this is the sort of stuff you have in mind under "coaching", but if so, maybe consider someone with a PA background, if you can afford that.
posted by lollusc at 5:02 AM on July 29, 2013

I don't have a coach but I do have an organizer who comes in and helps me put together all the crap that I miss. In the beginning she came about every 3 weeks or so until my mess was in order now she comes about once every couple of months. I actually found her through the local adhd help group. She's been pretty helpful. I'm not good at putting together a system and tend to leave stuff as I found it. That coupled with kids and a husband plus pets and other kids in and out of our house tended to make everything a mess. She helped me organize our stuff but also get rid of lots of stuff that cluttered up my vision and made it impossible for me to get any complicated tasks done. It helped relieve a lot of anxiety I had about missing important documents and events. I have a horrible habit of writing things down on anything and then losing it completely and spending stupid amounts of time trying to find out what it was. She got me to use a planner (a really big one since my writing is messy) and I am not allowed to write anywhere but there. We worked slowly but I got such a feeling of accomplishment it is great. She does charge a lot ($55/hr) but I will only work with her for about 2 hrs at most so I thought it was a good investment. Interestingly enough I only had this problem in my real life, my work life is incredibly organized almost OCD like. Memail me if you need any other info.
posted by lasamana at 10:43 AM on July 29, 2013

Oh and I forgot to say-- my sessions with her have been life saving, both because of the help and how upfront she is when something is hard for me because of my adhd. Like she doesn't let me dismiss or criticize myself as flaky because that both shames me and makes it a trait that's part of me as opposed to a treatable and manageable symptom of adhd.
posted by spunweb at 8:28 PM on August 1, 2013

I was just wondering about this too. Does anyone have experience with virtual coaching? I feel like I could get a lot just from having someone to email and chat with online about what I have to do, and wonder if that might be less expensive.
posted by jsbww at 6:17 AM on August 3, 2013

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