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Coaching is a relatively new phenomenon that has grown in popularity in recent years. In its most simple form, "coaching" occurs when one person (the coach) provides objective feedback and guidance in an organized and methodical fashion to help another person (the client) address a problem or achieve identified goals. The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."
There are many types of coaches, though most fall into one of two categories: business coaches help individuals in business or professional activities, while life coaches help individuals address challenges in the spheres of personal or family life. Many coaches specialize even further, and recent years have seen an increased popularity in the emerging field of ADHD coaching. ADHD coaches help clients with the disorder develop and implement practical strategies that help the client attain specific goals in either the personal or professional life, or both. Examples include helping someone organize and pay bills, or helping someone work more effectively on the job.
It is important to recognize that coaching is not the same as therapy and should not be seen as a substitute, although it can be a helpful addition to a multi-dimensional approach to an individual's ADHD treatment plan.
As a new and emerging field, coaching continues to develop the educational and other standards that have long existed in such fields as medicine, psychology, social work, or other helping professions. Accreditation standards are being developed by the ICF and The Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching (IAAC). At present, all educational and accreditation programs are voluntary and there is no governmental licensing of coaches. Because anyone - regardless of education or training - can call him/herself a coach, caution is advised when exploring the possibility of using coaching services.
As a matter of policy, CHADD and the National Resource Center on ADHD do not provide formal referrals to individual professionals. However, the CHADD Professional Directory can be a means of locating service providers, including coaches, in your local area.
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