American Coaching Association

What is ACA and How Can it Help?

The American Coaching Association was founded with the goal of making individualized coaching available to everyone who desires it. ACA's mission is to: link people who want coaching with people who do coaching; acquaint the general public with the concept of coaching; provide coaches with training, supervision, and a professional community.

What Is Coaching?

Coaching. Everyone knows what it is. We see coaches on the football field, the tennis court, in every sport. There are voice coaches, dance coaches, and coaches in almost every kind of specialized endeavor. But what about coaching for the daily challenge of life itself? The International Coach Federation defines coaching as a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional or academic potential. Put simply, coaches help people to meet the opportunities and challenges life presents. As An ADD Coach You...

  • Help people to plan and set goals
  • Help people to become organized, learn time management skills, learn how to prioritize
  • Assist people in developing and maintaining focus and concentration
  • Help people to create and maintain their own medication titration log
  • Provide structure, support and encouragement
  • Maintain a safe space to work on social skills
  • Facilitate the handling of ADD issues in the workplace.

Who Can Be a Coach?

There is currently no licensure for ADD coaches, but ADD coach training is essential and coach certification is recommended. ADD coaches are diverse, with varied educational and professional backgrounds. They have knowledge about ADD and specialized skills in helping individuals with ADD: these coaches are committed to improving the lives of people with ADD.

How Does Coaching Help Individuals With ADD?

For the person with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), a partnership with a coach can help by refocusing the client's energy, turning failure and frustration in the direction of accomplishment, fulfillment, and self-esteem. Specifically, individuals with ADD benefit from coaching which emphasizes four basic areas:

  • Structure
  • Skills
  • Support
  • Strategies

ADD coaches help individuals to set goals, accept limitations and acknowledge strengths, develop social skills, and create strategies that enable them to be more effective in managing their day-to-day lives. They do this by establishing a pattern of frequent communication with clients to make sure they are focused and working steadily toward their goals.

Philosophy of Coaching: Positive Psychology

Because so many individuals with ADHD have been repeatedly told (and believe) that they’re lazy, slow, unreliable, stupid, careless, clueless, terrible students or workers, etc., etc. it’s essential that coaches have a positive framework for their coaching. Positive Psychology stresses character strengths, virtues and talents; looks for a “good fit” between an individual’s natural strengths and talents and the everyday demands of the environment; and seeks ways to promote flourishing. Positive Psychology is a departure from the standard medical model in which the exploration of weakness, pathology, difficulty and blockages are the common modus operandi. Positive Psychology is perhaps the most well documented form of evidence-based coaching. Research has demonstrated that it promotes growth, development and, yes, even happiness.

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