Required Reading

There are many books ACA would like to recommend to people interested in learning more about ADD coaching and ADD in general. We will add more books to the following list on a regular basis. We have built a partnership with To purchase and/or see reader reviews and other information, click on the title of the book next to its image.

Driven to Distraction

Driven to Distraction, which came out in 1994 and reached the New York Times best-sellers list, was one of the first books that talked about ADD throughout the life span in a down-to-earth, informative yet entertaining manner. Filled with case studies, quizzes and lists of ways to manage ADD symptoms, reader interest is maintained as learning takes place almost unnoticed. It was also in Driven to Distraction that the first mention of "coaching" as an option for managing the symptoms of attention deficit disorder appears in the literature. Hallowell and Ratey are both psychiatrists who have treated thousands of patients with attention deficit disorder and in the process reached the conclusion that coaching is a "good fit" for the ADD brain.

This book will help anyone wanting to know more about attention deficit disorder.

Shadow Syndromes

Shadow Syndromes by Drs. John Ratey and Catherine Johnson is about "the biology of everyday life" of people with mild forms of conditions including but-not-limited-to depression, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety. In well-written, easy-to-read prose, the authors guide readers toward an understanding of the biological foundations of conditions long thought to be psychological in origin. "Knowledge brings power" is the basic premise of this book.

It is the intention of the authors that readers learn to be biologically responsible for themselves - so they can live the lives they desire, choosing the ways they wish to respond to the stimuli in their lives, rather than being biologically "compelled" to behave in particular ways. The mandate of this book is to become educated about our particular brains so we can better manage the symptoms of our shadow syndromes.

This book is a stepping stone on the bridge toward the medicine of the future. Ratey and Johnson are in search of the truth about shadow syndromes, for they know that ultimately "the truth will set you free."

Co-active Coaching

A newly revised edition of the book that helped define the coaching profession, Co-Active Coaching captures the essence of what it takes to design and maintain successful, collaborative, and empowering coaching relationships. The authors describe in detail their flexible and adaptive model-placing the client's agenda at the heart of the coaching partnership, define the skills required for success, provide dozens of sample coaching conversations, and a power-packed Coach's Toolkit of over 35 exercises, questionnaires, checklists, and forms to make these proven principles and techniques eminently practical and immediately actionable.

Changing for Good

How many times have you thought about starting a
diet or quitting smoking without doing anything
about it? Or lapsed back into bad habits after hitting
a rough spot on the road to recovery?

To uncover the secret to successful personal change, three acclaimed psychologists studied more than 1000 people who were able to positively and permanently alter their lives without psychotherapy. They discovered that change does not depend on luck or willpower. It is a process that can be successfully managed by anyone who understands how it works. Once you determine which stage of change
you're in, you can:

create a climate where positive
change can occur
maintain motivation
turn setbacks into progress
make your new beneficial habits
a permanent part of your life
This groundbreaking book offers simple self-assessments, informative case histories, and concrete examples to help clarify each stage and process. Whether your goal is to start saving money, to stop drinking, or to end other self-defeating or addictive behaviors, this revolutionary program will help you implement positive personal
change . . . for life.


Change Your Questions, Change Your Life

While the metaphor may not be palatable - "A Ticking Time Bomb" - I have to say, it is exactly the right way to think about Dr Adams book. You read it, wander off, not realizing you just triggered the device and boom!, it goes off in your head. Sometimes it takes a jolt to move us to higher and safer ground.

Many books attempt to help us move into a more "hopeful and possible" state of mind. However, having read dozens of such books, very few are able to be grasped and remembered. Usually complex and focused on organizational theory, they offer little for the "average Joe" to implement. The power of this book can rapidly move the "average Joe" to a new height of effectiveness and position of power (so to speak). In an instant, one will move to effective behavior, sure to be noted and applauded by all - maybe even your Boss!

ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

I have read 7 or 8 books on ADD, all of which promised to suggest organizing strategies that someone with ADD can implement and maintain. Those books spent 95% of the time defining the problem, and the other 5% on general advice like, "you need lots of structure." I learned more about ADD in general from this book than any other, and I recognized several traits that I'd always struggled with, but hadn't realized were common among ADDers. This book gave me practical, useable advice on HOW to simplify and structure my life, so that I can achieve and maintain order and reach my goals without becoming overwhelmed and giving up in frustration. By implementing the maintenance strategies first, I now feel that I can tackle the chaos and clutter a little at a time, and get out from under.

Goodness of Fit

Stella Chess and Alexander Thomas' new book illuminates one of the most significant theoretical and practical implications in professional publications on temperament today: the concept of goodness of fit. When individuals achieve accordance with the properties and expectations of their respective environments, they have attained goodness of fit, which ultimately enables their psychological growth and health. They can function on a healthy level with a potential for a positive life course.

Beginning with a clear definition and explanation of the concept of goodness of fit, the book goes on to delineate the evolution of the goodness of fit concept, its clinical applications, and the biopsychosocial elements relevant to the goodness of fit model. The authors provide insightful step-by-step commentaries on individual case histories that concern such problems. Each case is unique and intriguing, and is reviewed by the authors in a compelling manner. As is appropriate to their research, they have wisely taken into account a wide variety of environmental expectations and demands-parental and other caregivers' child practices and goals, peer group judgments, special community values, as well as cultural and ethnic diversity. They also address possible educational rules and expectations, career stresses, sexual issues and marital conflicts.

In the past, clinical applications of the concept of goodness of fit have been restricted to a modest number of community parent guidance temperament programs and have not received their due attention. In their recent work, however, Chess and Thomas, long-standing psychiatrists with forty years of clinical experience, step outside past boundaries and explore a panoply of clinical cases, including all age-periods, ranging from infancy to adulthood. Using the clinical data obtained from numerous case histories, the authors develop an insightful clinical system from which researchers and clinicians of mental health professionals, pediatricians and educators alike can benefit.

Goodness of Fit: Clinical Applications, From Infancy through Adult Life aims to answer the question of how to create a healthy consonance between individuals and their environments in order to achieve optimal development, and will undoubtedly enhance both our understanding of psychological development and personality maturation as well as the clinical methods used to analyze them.

The Disorganized Mind

Ratey has produced a valuable resource for people addressing the daily challenges caused by the neurobiological condition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty with organization, focus, and time management. Ratey, a professional ADHD coach who was diagnosed with the disorder herself while in graduate school, provides a set of concrete tools that ADHD adults can use to help themselves traverse both personal and professional situations, though the author emphasizes that her book is not a substitute for diagnosis and treatment. Short sections explaining the biological reasons for the disorder's more exasperating symptoms are contributed by Ratey's husband John, a psychiatrist specializing in treatment of ADHD and co-author of Driven to Distraction, a seminal ADHD book. With a nod to her audience, Ratey divides her book into sections that can be absorbed in small increments, including her own struggles with the disorder, her six-step "A.N.S.W.E.R" system, case studies and tips from spouses and employers. For ADHD sufferers, Ratey's book might not be a one-stop remedy but it's an extremely helpful starting place.

Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults

If you're a professional working with individuals with AD/HD, this is the book for you! If you just want to really understand more about your condition or that of someone you love, this is also the book for you!

A leading expert in assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder dispels myths and offers clearly written, science-based, practical information about treatments. Dr. Brown sets forth a bold new understanding of ADD/ADHD and offers compelling examples of the daily life challenges it presents for children, adolescents, and adults.

"Thorough and compassionate. Consider it essential reading if you are concerned about a child or an adult who may be struggling with this syndrome."—Mary Beth Regan, Baltimore Sun

"This intelligent book does a better job of explaining AD/HD than any book in recent memory. It’s a must-read for anyone with an interest in AD/HD, whether of a personal or professional nature."—Kathleen Nadeau, ADDitude Magazine