June 1, 2017

ADHD Coaching

Developing a training program for coaching adolescents and adults with ADHD

ADHD coaching is an intervention that complements other recommended treatment plans, such as medication and psychotherapy. Coaching programs educate potential coaches on living with ADHD over a lifetime. The programs provide insight into the psychological and psycho-educational issues of adolescent and adult ADHD, and help develop psycho-educational skills and strategies that can complement other treatment approaches. Ultimately, coaching helps adolescents and adults cope with their life challenges.

In partnership with a psychiatric institute and a university in Berlin, Dr. Jac Andrews has been involved in creating and evaluating an accredited German ADHD Coaching Program. The certificate program provides a variety of professionals (e.g., social workers, teachers, psychologists, therapists) an opportunity to acquire specific knowledge and professional skills in order to be able to help adolescents and adults with ADHD.

The program includes 6 modules, and provides 750 hours of learning over the course of one year. The training program curriculum includes basic methods of practice, an understanding of ADHD development, assessment and differential diagnosis, as well as principles of multimodal treatment. Emphasis is put on transition from childhood through adolescence into adulthood, important aspects of social law, and on the acquisition of supervised individual coaching expe­riences.

Evaluating progress

Most recently, Dr. Andrews’ work with the coaching program has focused on maintaining a consistent standard of practice within the program, ensuring that the coaching remains current and effective. This involved designing tools for feedback from the various stakeholders and for providing multiple perspectives on the program’s effectiveness.  Dr. Andrews designed a variety of questionnaires that are distributed following the completion of the modules and program. The questionnaires focus on two main areas: the students’ acquired knowledge and skills, and the effectiveness of the program itself.

Both the students and the instructors provide feedback on the program itself – such as its strengths, areas for improvement, and the students’ perceived readiness and skill-set for coaching. Once the students have begun working with clients, the students also complete a self-assessment about their coaching practices. The students then also provide a survey form to their clients, and their colleagues, to review how others evaluate them and their practice.

A case for coaching

The coaching program can serve as both an extension of traditional professional services, and as a way of expanding assessment and treatment services for adolescents and adults with ADHD. Coaching programs can offer lifelong resources and supports, connecting various services, in order to better address the needs of those living with ADHD. The ADHD Coaching Program that Dr. Andrews has helped develop now has official support from “ADHD Deutschland,” and has been officially acknowledged as a certified training program in Germany.