ADHD Coaching, the Evolution of the Intervention

By Jeff Copper, MBA, PCC, PCAC, CPCC, ACG – Published October 3, 2022

In preparing for ADHD Awareness Month in 2014, I realized that ADHD coaching first appeared in print in the book Driven to Distraction by Dr. Ned Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey. This book has been the best-selling book on ADHD of all time. To bring awareness to the public, I reached out to Dr. Ned Hallowell. Together, we did a podcast on Attention Talk Radio, acknowledging the 20th anniversary of the birth of ADHD coaching as an intervention.

Interestingly, in 2004, ten years after the book, the ADHD Coaches Organization was formed. The focus of the group was to have coaches come together to share best practices and promote coaching. Later, in 2011, I found myself doing my first interview with Dr. Russell Barkley. At the time, he was not a proponent of ADHD coaching. It’s not that he disregarded it; he just didn’t necessarily promote it. As time has passed, ADHD coaching has surfaced as a promising intervention.

In a later interview I had with Dr. Russ Ramsey, who was always one of our fans. The purpose of the interview was to review the history of ADHD coaching, but it was fascinating to me in as much that he credited the ADHD coaching industry and mental health professionals for bringing a business sense to help those struggling with the condition. He further acknowledged that over a period of time coaching was helping to destigmatize ADHD. I’m happy to report now that more and more mental health professionals are starting to partner with the coaching industry.

As you can imagine, I was happy to stumble onto the September 2001 edition of the ADHD REPORT, published by Dr. Russell A. Barkley and associates (The Guilford Press, Vol.29, No.6, ISSN 1065-8025, Sept 2021), writing about ADHD coaching and the evolution of the field. Given that I had started coaching in 2007, it’s been a joy of mine not only to help those in need but also to be a part of the birth of an evolving industry.

The REPORT cited organizations that provide credentialing and, in particular, the Professional Association of ADHD Coaching. This organization was formed in 2008, and I was quite proud to be a charter member of the board, being able to take part in defining the competencies by which ADHD coaches were to be judged for certification.

We’ve come a long way since those times. More and more certified coaches are out there helping those in need. Please join me in celebration of the birth of this industry and of intervention, as well as the impact the industry has had on the lives of so many who struggle with ADHD. To read the REPORT, CLICK HERE.

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