Proudly ADHD Podcast

ADHD Coaching VS Therapy Q & A

adhd coaching managing adhd May 09, 2023
Functional to Optimal with ADHD

An ADHD coach possesses specialized knowledge in neuroscience, ADHD brain functioning, and medication, which sets them apart from general coaches. By understanding the unique challenges faced by ADHD clients, these coaches can provide tailored support and validation. Their expertise allows for more effective coaching, as they "get" their clients' experiences in ways that general coaches may not. Source: PAAC Coaches


As an ADHD coach, I believe in a collaborative and client-centered approach that focuses on enhancing individuals' strengths and helping them achieve their goals. While therapy and coaching share some similarities, they have different goals and can complement each other when addressing certain issues. In this Q&A, I'll explain the main goals of ADHD coaching and how they differ from therapy and provide an example of how someone might benefit from both. It's important to note that this is my approach to coaching and that other ADHD coaches may have a different perspective. Ultimately, the most effective coaching approach meets the individual's unique needs of the individual.


What are the main goals of ADHD coaching, and how do they differ from the goals of therapy? 

  • Cathy's coaching approach prioritizes the client's unique perspective, goals, and strengths with an ADHD lens and competency.
  • Cathy, as an ADHD coach, has specialized knowledge in neuroscience, ADHD brain functioning, and medication.
  • Cathy facilitates a client-centered relationship, without judgment or interpretation, to enhance the client's unspoken knowledge through self-reflection.
  • Our coaching is tailored to our client's individual needs and aspirations, leveraging their unique ADHD characteristics to move from a functional state to an optimal state of being where they can thrive both personally and professionally.
  • Therapists use empirical research and clinical expertise to guide their interventions and adapt them to the individual client's needs and preferences.
  • Therapy can involve cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, interpersonal, or other evidence-based approaches that are effective in treating various mental health conditions.
  • Therapy can help clients learn and apply new coping skills, such as mindfulness, emotion regulation, or problem-solving, to improve their resilience, self-efficacy, and quality of life.

Cathy offers coaching services that aim to help individuals achieve intentional success in their professional careers, supporting them in managing their day efficiently without sacrificing their Integrity/dependability/drive


Can you give an example of a situation where someone might benefit from both therapy and ADHD coaching, and how would you go about coordination?

  • In some cases, people can benefit from a combination of therapy and ADHD coaching, particularly when they face issues that continually impede their progress. 
    • Examples of such issues could be addictions to drugs or alcohol, bad habits, or other clinical Mental Health conditions diagnosed/treated by a mental health professional.  These conditions can get in the way of moving forward if they're not being addressed.
  •  When someone comes to us with these issues, we usually suggest they seek therapy and coaching. The goal is to get the person in a good place so they can start taking steps towards achieving their goals.
  •  By combining therapy and ADHD coaching, we can help people get to a place where they can overcome their challenges and achieve their full potential. It's a collaborative effort between the person, the therapist, and the coach, and it can be incredibly effective when done correctly.


What is the structure of ADHD coaching sessions with Cathy, and how does it differ from therapy sessions?



ADHD Specific Coaching

According to Psychology Today, a typical therapy session lasts an hour, usually weekly or monthly. 

Cathy's coaching framework includes three monthly sessions, each lasting 30 to 45 minutes.

Therapy aims to discuss new ways to manage problematic emotions, thinking/beliefs, and behaviors. There's a focus on developing new skills and strategies to manage problematic behaviors and thinking/beliefs related to the diagnosed comorbidity or presented condition.

Cathy’s role as an ADHD coach is to help the person navigate their brain wiring and leverage their unique characteristics for personal and professional growth. We work with them to identify their goals, determine the steps they need to take to achieve them and provide support and accountability along the way.


Therapists usually require you to make appointments in order to see them; they are not usually available between appointments.

One unique aspect of ADHD coaching is the ability to text or voice message the coach to catch triggers and patterns in real-time. This information helps inform how to move forward.


By combining therapy and ADHD coaching, we can help people get to a place where they're able to overcome their challenges and achieve their full potential. It's a collaborative effort between the person, the therapist, and the coach, and it can be incredibly effective when done correctly!



What can you expect from ADHD coaching with Cathy?

As your coach, Cathy has immense compassion for your journey. She has created the Ready, Set, Choose framework to help you tame the ADHD beast, so their brilliance and visionary aptitude can take the lead in your careers.

      Coach Cathy’s Framework 

  1. Ready: The "Ready" phase helps increase self-awareness by recognizing habits, challenges, and ADHD-related obstacles. This understanding enables them to identify areas for improvement and better manage their ADHD symptoms in a leadership context.
  2. Set: In the "Set" phase, you accept your current situation, including your ADHD, and engage in critical thinking about growth opportunities. You develop strategies to leverage their unique ADHD-related strengths and work around potential limitations in their leadership role.
  3. Choose: The "Choose" phase emphasizes making conscious, informed decisions that guide you toward your goals. By applying insights gained from the previous phases, you can effectively navigate ADHD-related challenges and lead your way to success.

When it comes to ADHD coaching, it's different from general coaching since it's focused on ADHD specifically. Cathy has received extensive training specific to ADHD, and her clients benefit from this in the following areas: 

  •  ADHD Awareness and Education
  •  ADHD Subtypes Identification
  •  Interest-Driven Nervous System Recognition
  •  Time Blindness/Hyperfocus Identification
  •  Development of Executive Function Skills
  •  Reducing Analysis Paralysis
  •  Recognizing and Reducing Negative Self-Talk
  •  Improving Relationship Skills
  •  Emotional Regulation 
  •  Identifying Strengths 
  •  Self-Compassion, Confidence & Self-Esteem 
  •  Work/Life Balance

To get more insight into how coaching can support your journey with ADHD -- Book a Free 30 min session with Coach Cathy

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